Thursday, September 20, 2018

Book Review: Brightest Investment Minds

Anuj Shah gives a peek into the lives and minds of some of India’s brightest equity investors

  • Book Review: Brightest Investment Minds

By Aashish Somaiyaa

Brightest Investment Minds by Anuj Shah gives investors, especially youngsters, a refreshing approach towards understanding the background and thought process of some of India’s brightest equity investors. There are several young and aspiring investors who will surely be encouraged after reading through the journeys of these investors. All of them hail from ordinary backgrounds, but are academically brilliant and have worked hard for years together on their own learning trajectories. As investors, we may have invested with some of these stalwarts and their companies but it’s insightful to understand how they think, what their mental make-up is like and know “what they are made of”. Usually, one doesn’t get a chance to learn about them in person and how they go about their work up-close. The book does the work by capturing the journeys of five of India's brightest investment minds:


Raamdeo Agrawal: Co-founder, Motilal Oswal Financial Services

Sankaran Naren: ED & CIO, ICICI Prudential AMC

Prashant Jain: ED & CIO, HDFC AMC

Mahesh Patil: Co-CIO, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC

Nilesh Shah: MD & CEO, Kotak Mahindra AMC


While their personal journeys are described in interesting narratives, the book essentially is about investing and what these investors think about investing. The book captures all that has worked for these investors and their recipe to wealth creation; what they avoid and what their preferences are.


When I initially picked up the book for reading, I was expecting narratives of life stories of these investors. But, it was interesting to note how smoothly the narrative moved from their life stories to the evolution of their personalities, traits and further onto their investment theses and thought processes. I was able to read the entire book in one go, as the writing is extremely lucid and breezy. The book is a page-turner – it is a delightful experience to be enjoyed in one go. More so, because a 17-year-old young author who has been able to get plenty out of these investors and at the same time assimilate, distill and present it in a highly readable format is indeed an accomplishment. Most of us at 17 had not the faintest idea about investing, let alone investment philosophies and processes. If you are a contrarian who is most likely to bet on stuff with poor odds or if you are someone who loves to identify potential way ahead of the market, then this book is a must read. Anuj has penned his interactions with these great minds in a highly simplified and interesting manner that no stock investor should miss.