Advisor Speak 16th March 2015
Mr.Bond's wisdom - distilled into a book
Sunil Jhaveri, MSJ Capital, Gurgaon


Mr. Bond is popular within the distribution fraternity not only for his understanding of bond markets, but also his ability to present cogent investment strategies, backed by rich data and analysis. In recent months, his investor sessions have become just as popular, given his knack of thinking away from the herd. Spurred by the positive feedback from investors, Sunil decided to write a book that distills the wisdom of what he shares in his investor sessions - to enable him to reach out to many more investors. Read on as Mr.Bond takes us through his maiden book and as he gives us a peek into what to expect from his second book.


WF: Congratulations Mr.Bond, on writing your first book - I'm sure this is just the first of a series that we will see from you! What was the genesis of the idea to write this book?

Sunil Jhaveri: Vijay, as you know, I have been conducting lot of Investors Awareness programs across the country - I have visited over 25 cities in the last 8 months. When interacting with investors, I try to give them simple messages on the importance of financial planning, I explain important concepts in simple terms. I stress on the need to look beyond just the arithmetic of investing, and apply common sense and logic to make wise investment decisions. I showcase how by applying common sense and logic, we can avoid many of the pitfalls that investors fall for - including chasing past returns, chasing hot themes. I talk about aspects that they want to know more about - like whether gold is a good investment or not, about how to choose asset classes for each goal, about how to graduate from FDs to mutual funds. Almost invariably, after these sessions, investors come to me with many compliments and requests for copies of the presentation - because they want to take back the facts and figures that I discussed with them.

That's when a thought occurred to me - that if I am able to put in the same thoughts and the same data into a book, I can not only hand over books to all participants of my sessions, but can also reach out to many more investors than I am able to address in my sessions. That's how this book came about.

WF: What is the key message that you are seeking to deliver in this book?

Sunil Jhaveri: One of the key messages that I want investors to internalize is the definition of long term. In our industry, long term is associated more with the tax definition and not with an investor's life cycle. We talk about 1 year or 3 years because tax laws define it as such. Then we have fund managers who talk about 5-7 years, as they relate long term more to a market cycle.

For an investor, tax and market cycle are secondary - long term means different stage of his life cycle. He has an accumulation phase and a distribution phase. If each of these phases lasts 30 years, well then long term for him is that period. There will be several market cycles within a phase of an investor's life. What we need to help investors do is plan for an entire life stage - not for the next market cycle.

With this as the basic orientation, there are many chapters in the book that debunk popular myths, share simple principles for long term investing success and provide data to support ideas for successful long term investing.

WF: What's the feedback from distributors who have already read it?

Sunil Jhaveri: Frankly, its been astonishing! Some of them have come back to me and said that it is the best investment book they have read. A friend's 70 year old father called me up after reading the book and told me he's very angry with me - for not writing this 20 years ago! Some distributors have told me they would like to send this book to many of their clients. It is frankly very encouraging to see this kind of response.

WF: How much does the book cost and where and how can one buy it?

Sunil Jhaveri: The book costs Rs.300. You can go to my website and click on the "Order Book" link, which will take you to Flipkart or Amazon, from where you can buy it. Alternatively, you can directly go to Flipkart or Amazon and buy the book. So far, about 5000 copies of the book have been sold.

WF: There's a second book in the works, I understand.....

Sunil Jhaveri: The second book is more internally focused - it is meant for every participant of our industry. I try to look at some of the industry's shortcomings - our list of omissions and commissions - and analyze what's wrong and who is to blame - manufacturers, distributors and investors. It is only when we do an honest appraisal of our failings can we work towards correcting and improving - with a view that all stakeholders benefit from this. We are as yet a young industry, we have an opportunity to correct mistakes as we grow so that we can all grow much better and so that investors can get much better investing outcomes.

WF: Will there be some sales ideas / sharing of best practices for IFAs as well in this book?

Sunil Jhaveri: Absolutely. Talking about ideas for IFAs, I will focus equally on soft skills and product insights. From insights on how to conduct effective sales meetings, to understanding bond market concepts like bull steepening, rolling down the yield curve and so on - there's a lot that I hope IFAs can take away from the book. The book is almost complete - I hope to publish it soon.

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