Introduction: The what, who, why and how about this investment guide
7 min read
This is a chapter from the book - “Rabbit Hole Guide for Investing in India” by Kushank Poddar - founder of Simple Investing Smallcase. Follow Kushank on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Consider checking out the introduction section of the book to start.
What inspired this book? How is it different?
Many young people who start earning often come at a stage where their savings are lying in a bank account and they wonder what should I do with it? Many such friends asked me to recommend good material on how to think about investing. I couldn't find a good comprehensive guide anywhere and that's why I decided to write this book.
There is just so much content out there on investing through blogs, videos, advisors, TV shows, tweets etc. I was curious enough to quantify and found just YouTube is churning more than 300 videos per week on "mutual funds" alone (as of August 2021). Given this background, its pertinent to ask the question - "why another guide about investing, what's different about this?".
The Rabbit Hole investing guide is different because its based on following principles -
80/20 rule - aims to give readers 80% of the big picture with just 20% of information.
Comprehensive and updated - I aim to cover all needle moving topics and update them over time. The users should feel comfortable referring to this from time to time, whenever they have to questions about certain investment decisions.
Simple and Actionable - the book has been edited by people with zero finance background, to make sure there is no jargon.
No affiliate links - I don't intend to earn any money through any referrals or affiliate links. This gives me complete freedom to voice my independent views.
Data backed - I have presented data wherever possible to back my opinion
Who is this book for?
This book is for people who are have little finance knowledge but curious to understand more and take better investment decisions. And when I say investments, I refer to the slow and boring world of long term investing in stocks, bonds, real estate, gold bonds etc. By investing, I don't mean day trading, futures & options, commodities and other high adrenaline avenues.
If you have been thinking of investing for a long time but never ended up starting, this book will help. If you are already investing on your own, this book will help you check if you are on the right track. If you are investing via a financial advisor, this book will help you assess their performance in a better way.
Why am I qualified to tell this story?
Let me first tell you about my background. After graduating as an engineer in 2011, I worked as a financial research analyst for 5 years and also did CFA. Then I moved into the start-up world as sales and marketing guy, and that's still my day job. But I love investing and I got myself registered as an authorized Research Analyst with SEBI and have been running an investment recommendation service via smallcase.There are two reasons why I think I am qualified to write this guide. First is that I have developed the requisite expertise and rigour in investment research while working at JP Morgan and Ambit Capital (which was headed by Saurabh Mukherjea from Marcellus/Coffee-can investing fame).Secondly, once I got out of finance industry I interacted with lots of people on how they manage their savings. I found some people doing crazy things - like having 100% of savings in bank account to others who own 100 stocks and 20 mutual funds. These discussions with people and answering their questions on investments kind of helped create the skeleton of the book in my mind over the last few years.
How to use this book?
The goal of the book is to be a resource you can come back to frequently, like a textbook, when you need to refresh yourself on something, or when you’re about to explore a new investment, and need to brush up what's the best way to think about it.
If you have time, a good way to read this book would be to go through it in one go by following the table of contents - going deep into the topics of interest and skipping the ones that are not relevant for you.
But for others who don't have time to spare, its best to read this in any way where your curiosity leads you. Have you ever found yourself into the wiki rabbit hole [Wiki rabbit hole - Wikipedia] while reading about something on Wikipedia? Similarly, for this book you can start with something that interests you and then travel from topic to topic while browsing the reference links to different chapters. This is also the reason why I call this book the "Rabbit Hole Guide to Investing" in India.
And finally, a few more things to keep in mind.
Updates - Just like the world of investing, this book will also evolve with new chapters or updates to existing ones. Do make sure you sign-up to my email list to keep in touch with the new topics as they come along.
Q&A - You may have questions or comments about the content on specific topics, so feel free to send me an email or post your thoughts in the comment section of the specific pages and we will try our best to answer them.
Further Reading - At the end of every chapter, I have shared some links for further reading on a specific topic. Do check this out if you are super curious about certain topic and interested in going to a greater depth than what is presented in this book.
The book is intended to be a guide on how you should think about investments and take better decisions. Don't treat anything mentioned here as investment advice. The right investment advice varies for each person depending on the financial objectives, risk appetite and other factors - please take your independent decisions or consult a certified financial advisor.