Saurabh Mukherjea’s Gurus of Chaos is yet another addition to the books that preaches long-term investing. However, the book remains just that. The sum and substance fails to live up to its hype and is just a me-too in an already crowded shelf space. While the author does not offer any new big idea, a lot of the advice is mere repetition. They are mostly ideas any serious investor would have read before. In fact, I feel one would be better off reading Benjamin Graham, Peter Lynch or Anthony Bolton for a more in-depth analysis of value investing and its tenets.
Having said that, India is a very complex financial market. The average investor will find it extremely useful to refer to the nuggets of wisdom this book offers from professionals to develop an investing approach tailored to the Indian market. There are enough rules here to help an inexperienced investor navigate the pitfalls of investing.
The key highlights of the book are the interviews with some high-quality investors and fund managers. Their wisdom, story and evolution are enlightening and inspiring. The author clearly has access to some of the best brains in the industry.
In the book, Alroy traces the history of Indian brokerages over the last two decades and how his own investment philosophy has evolved over time to a very specific process. Akash talks about meaningful positions way back in the 90s and how those shaped his thinking. Also, Sanjay Bhattacharyya’s ideas on when to exit a stock is a must-read.
The author stresses on the Indian context, which resonates well with the Indian reader, who is usually brought up on value investing books that talk about foreign companies and concepts. He shares his understanding of Indian corporates and their mindset in a lucid manner. He has explained various value investing concepts through companies such as Asian Paints and TTK Prestige in a refreshing manner.
The section on being a contrarian serves as a useful guide and the author’s advice on how to pick a company and to be a contrarian is valuable. Some other interesting learnings from the book include 10,000 hours of practice concept for investment professionals (referred from another book) and how valuation is one part of the entire game and how it’s important to understand business cycle, opportunity, management etc.
To its credit, it is an easy-to-read book with a simple narrative, useful information and advice. At times, his advice borders on plain common sense, which an amateur might like. For the more advanced investor, there is little to take home. The book could have achieved a lot more given the author’s vast experience and access. One would have liked more in-depth interviews and more innovative advice, which is missing. What could have been a three-course meal ends up being a bland starter with a little bit of seasoning sprinkled on top.
Niraj Dalal, Founder, 3A CapitaL advisors
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT