Palande’s skill as a journalist brings alive the unique personalities of these financial wizards — their investing approach and philosophy, the intriguing investor psychology, how their own personal beliefs and way of life impacted what they did best as fund managers
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There could not have been a better time for a book like Pravin Palande’s How Fund Managers Are Making You Rich. The mutual fund industry’s AUM had crossed the milestone of Rs 10 trillion (Rs 10 lakh crore) for the first time in May 2014, and in a short span of about three-and-half years, the AUM size increased more than two-fold and stood at Rs 22.41 trillion (Rs 22.41 lakh crore) as on 31 January! In present times, with retail investors growing exponentially and with greater growth to emerge in the future, Palande has successfully interwoven several core aspects covering the history of the industry, a deep insight into the evolution of India’s capital markets and, most interestingly, selected unique and curated stories of some of the smartest investors in India. These star fund managers were instrumental in creating the current Rs 20 lakh crore mutual fund industry.
While for seasoned MF and finance professionals parts of Palande’s commentary might already be familiar turf, his weaving of the historical past, significant milestones in India’s financial history, the rise of technology stocks, the ‘boom and bust’ phase until the recent times, make a very intriguing reading. A definite must-read for the new initiates to the Indian mutual fund sector and those who are curious readers. Undoubtedly, the best parts of the book are the life expositions of some of India’s best fund managers and their success stories, which have now been preserved for posterity through this book.
The Fundamentalists section is where the heart lies. Palande’s skill as a journalist brings alive the unique personalities of these financial wizards — their investing approach and philosophy, the intriguing investor psychology, how their own personal beliefs and way of life impacted what they did best as fund managers.
Through their cases, the reader attains a clear understanding of the primary aim of mutual funds as a mechanism to create wealth and gets a fantastic insight into the sharp minds which manage them. I believe, strong case studies are the best teachers, leaving the reader with key thoughts to learn, probe and implement on their own. Through the book, which amplifies Palande’s storytelling skills as a long-form feature writer, he offers a basic primer on investing in mutual funds in a manner that keeps the reader hooked through very relatable analogies in the current day context. The chapter ‘The Story in Numbers’ aptly brings out the core of fundamental investing through a precise study of a good fundamental investor’s psychology and approach, which truly sets the tone for the next half, and the best part of the book. The anecdotes and profiles of some of India’s best fund managers not only reveal interesting personal experiences through their respective careers that shaped their investing approaches and business acumen but also highlights several extremely simple and often ‘generally assumed’ precepts and fundamentals of investing.
On the whole, Palande has brought together India’s evolution of the capital markets till date and along with it an in-depth analysis of the exclusive and distinctive world of fund managers, while demystifying some basic tenets of stock market investing. With an exponentially growing mutual fund industry, this is undoubtedly a must-read for all those who are intrigued with historical perspectives, for new initiates to the world of investing as well for those of us who believe in the tremendous potential of wealth creation that the mutual fund industry is already driving in India.
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