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Archives for December 2015

Safal Niveshak’s 2015 Annual Letter to Tribe Members

Note: The genesis of this idea lies in the annual letter that Shane Parrish of Farnam Street wrote to his readers few days back. I have shamelessly cloned the idea here because, like Shane, I find great relevance in mastering the best of what others have already figured out. 🙂

Dear Tribe Member,

Trust you are doing great.

2015 was another tremendous year for Safal Niveshak. The tribe doubled to cross 20,000 members by the end of the year. Our Twitter count also crossed 10,000 followers. We conducted five workshops during the year, meeting 200+ tribe members in the process.

The Mastermind Value Investing Course count crossed 1,500 students. We launched a new premium newsletter – Value Investing Almanack (VIA) – in March, which is now 400 members strong, and has gotten great reviews from its subscribers, including Prof. Sanjay Bakshi. The idea to launch VIA came from the need I felt of a detailed value investing newsletter in the Indian context, which had deep insights on the subject, business analysis, and interviews with practitioners of the art. I had always missed such a product in India, and could not find a better way to get it than to create it myself. Anyways, when we opened membership in February, I expected less than 100 people to join. But the final count after ten days was an overwhelming 250+.

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Poke the Box: Compounding Goodwill

Let’s Start with Safal Niveshak
Just in case you missed any of this on Safal Niveshak in the last week…

Book Worm
Stephen King’s book On Writing had been lying in my anti-library for quite sometime. Every time I would go near my bookshelf, the book seemed to catch my attention, as if asking, “Dude, are you ever going to read me?”. When I couldn’t tolerate its stare for many weeks I finally picked it up.

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Latticework of Mental Models: Externalities

About five years back when I moved into my current apartment community, the area around was pretty much empty. The open land and the surrounding greenery attracted so much that making the decision was a no-brainer.

Or so I thought because I forgot one thing. I should have asked for a guarantee that the greenery will stay that way.

It didn’t take much time for small houses to start mushrooming around the campus. Honestly, I shouldn’t be complaining. It’s a free country and people are allowed to construct houses. But it’s always the second order effects which create unexpected problems.

With inadequate supply of water from the government, came the need for bore wells for every house. I guess you can imagine where this story is going.

With bore wells getting installed in some or the other house every few weeks, started the unwanted and unbearably irritating noise emanating from heavy mechanical devices, drilling holes in mother nature’s heart.

I felt I was living in the middle of a factory. I had never signed up for this.

In today’s capitalist society, when I want to listen to a song on iTunes, I have to shell out money for it. But if I am forcefully exposed to a deafening, non-musical, and unhealthy sound, why am I not being compensated for it? Who should pay for my misery? The driller, the landowner, the government? I demand that all of them should but nobody seems to be interested.

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It’s Your Money, Honey – My Lecture on Saving and Investing at Mindscape 2015

I recently delivered a lecture on the importance of saving and investing to a group of 300+ people, mostly college students, at Mindscape 2015 – an annual ideas festival that features talks, film screenings & performances and is held in Navi Mumbai.

Click here to download my presentation slides PDF (13.8 MB file). I will share the video when I receive the same from the organizers.

I have been extremely fortunate to be able to share my thoughts and experience with budding minds.

Please share this presentation or the ideas it contains with the young around you. Even if you can enlighten one mind and get him/her on to the right path of managing his/her money and behaviour sensibly, it would be a great job done.

Let me know your thoughts/feedback on the presentation in the Comments section of this post.

Poke the Box: Simplify

Let’s Start with Safal Niveshak
Just in case you missed any of this on Safal Niveshak over the last few weeks…

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Latticework Of Mental Models: Mental Accounting

Imagine yourself with your friend in the Sin City, i.e. The Las Vegas. While walking on the Las Vegas Boulevard you find a $10 bill sticking out from the side of the pavement, as if it’s telling you “Please Pick me!”. You pick it up and feel ecstatic about your moderately good fortune.

“Wait a minute! Is that a sign from the universe?”, a strange but perfectly reasonable thought appears in your thought screen. Perhaps the lady fortuna is nudging you to try out your luck using this $10 totem. After all it’s Las Vegas. The Gambler’s Paradise.

Your friend however is tired and heads back to the hotel. But you just can’t ignore the sign from above. Taking this as an omen, you enter the first Casino and head straight to the roulette table. You want to bet on your lucky number 7. Sure enough, the roulette ball hits 7 and 35-1 bet wins you $350. You let your winnings ride and the ball lands on 7 again, paying you $12,250. And so it goes. Within an hour you are a multimillionaire with $50 million in your kitty.

Feeling like Daniel Ocean from Ocean’s Eleven, you intend to bring the house down with your raging streak of luck. Being just one step away from becoming a billionaire you bet all your money on number 7 one last time – only to lose it all this time. Broke, dejected and little flabbergasted you walk down several miles to join your friend in the hotel room.

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Poke the Box: Think Like a Child

Let’s Start with Safal Niveshak
Just in case you missed any of this on Safal Niveshak over the last few weeks…

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The 37th Lesson

On this very day last year, I had shared with you 36 lessons from 36 years of my life. Today, I complete 37 years in the present state of being, and thus wish to share with you the 37th lesson I have learned in the year gone by – one of the most powerful lessons that I believe has the ability to turn me into a better person and a better investor going forward.

That lesson is of mindfulness, or a state of active, open attention on the present.

When you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.


“Oh, that’s same as meditation, right?” you might wonder like I did when I came across this practice some time back. Well, meditation is a tool to help you learn to be mindful.

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