After the first 4 books that I listed in my last post which had predominantly US based authors, the first book this time is written by an Indian author.
Saurabh Mukherjea’s – Coffee Can Investing – Saurabh had written 2 books before this book. Both the books were very focussed on the Indian equity market. This book however provides a very simple framework of identifying stocks in the Indian context and also builds a case for how asset allocation has to be done with the Indian context. If you are an Indian investor wanting to get into equity markets then this book is a must read. I have given copies of this book also to young men who are getting into college or coming out of college. The other thing about this book that I liked is the typical Indian examples. In India food inflation, medical inflation and inflation related to commodities like petrol can play havoc with your savings. By taking specific examples of Indian people and their saving patterns he goes about constructing portfolios. Therefore I would reiterate, if you are an Indian investor then, this book is a must read.
The next book which is written extremely well is by Joel Greenblatt – The Little Book of Investing – which still beats the market. This book explains the concepts of Return on Equity / Return of Capital Employed along with the value of a stock so simply that once you read this book you can read through most financial ratios and easily get an understanding of the relative value of the companies. The tables and the resources however are not of value to an Indian investor. But if you understand the concepts then you can individually build the relative tables on your own. One of the challenges which I faced when employing his simple technique was that he suggests selling off the complete portfolio every year. Since I was buying shares over a period of time, putting this into action became difficult. However inspite of this, I would strongly recommend, this book to everyone who is getting in new to investing. Like Dhando Investing by Mohnish Pabrai, which I had mentioned last time, this book explains concepts with simple examples, so a must read.
The third book this time is by Tony Robbins again – Unshakable. Another of Tony’s masterpieces, simply written, explaining the working of the markets. Key thing especially if you are in the US market is that every 3 years markets will tend to fall. Psychologically if you understand this concept then you can drive big returns in the long run.
The fourth book – it is supposed to be the guiding book for Warren Buffet and a lot of other famous investors – is the Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. Quite frankly when I read this book for the first time, I was new to investing in equities myself. A lot of the concepts that he brings out were totally new to me and the book didn’t appeal to me much. One of the reasons for that was also the fact that this book also had the US context in mind where the markets are more mature and hence not growing so rapidly. The Indian markets on the other hand are still nascent and reporting is not transparent. Another fact is that the Indian markets are now in a growth phase. It was only after I had spent a couple of years trying to see how things work that I reread the book and understood it. There a lot of practitioners in India also who would like to buy a company at 5 cents to a dollar as suggested by the author. However I have personally preferred to look for growth stocks, even if they are expensive but they should have ethical management teams. In India I think that is the bigger challenge.
I will continue with some more books in my next post.
Meanwhile if you can recommend some books to me on investing, please out it in the comment box.
Till next time then.