Sample Chapters

Buddha On Wall-Street

Introduction

BUDDHA on WALL-STREET seeks to redefine happiness from the perspective of ancient wisdom drawing on the source of true happiness. In the material world there is a single pointed focus towards attaining wealth which defeats the purpose it intends to serve, thus ending in misery rather than happiness. The book deals with the mechanics of how to maximize one’s Happiness Quotient (HQ).

BUDDHA on WALL-STREET is materialism with contentment; it is a book on managing stocks, investments and keeping the right perspective in life while doing it. BUDDHA on WALL-STREET is where the maximisation and creation of wealth meets moderation and maximisation of happiness. It is where the United States with the philosophy of maximising wealth (G.D.P Gross Domestic Product) meets Bhutan, whose core philosophy is maximising happiness (G.D.H Gross Domestic Happiness). It is about securing our future with the right investments and managing our lives with the right attitude. It is the blend of both extremes, to desire and to know how to limit desire. On one hand, this book would equip the reader with the knowledge and wisdom to maximize the return on his/her investments, within acceptable parameters of risk and on the other hand, it lays out a balanced approach to both money and life with the objective of achieving inner peace and contentment. The book has two halves.

1st Half: Maximise One’s Money & Investments
2nd Half: Maximise One’s Life & Happiness

The First half of the book brings out the essential and basic financial concepts that every person should possess to effectively manage money and investments. Every person would include the young college goer, the young working class, experienced engineer, doctor, entrepreneur, small businessman, senior citizen and many more. It is a MUST READ for all people who want to manage their finances effectively. The knowledge and wisdom of the chapters in the first half of this book would endure through one’s investing life.

The Second half of the book deals with how one should balance out one’s primal desires for infinite wealth with one’s HQ (happiness quotient). Like the philosophies preached by BUDDHA which propagate balance and harmony the book lays out the blueprint for such happiness and bliss. While we should reflect on our situation through the prism of money we should do so without being sucked into the vortex of greed and unhappiness

PART I

(Knowledge and Wisdom)

To be happy we must first attain a minimum and sustainable level of financial security. This part of the book talks about the methods and the ways we could approach investments to maximise one’s return in the long run. It is something that every layman should follow to first attain a level of financial stability for him/herself. It is difficult to pause or reflect on philosophies while we are bogged down by financial needs. Hence, we need to first get by with our lives and be practical. This part of the book would lay the basis that enables the discussions on philosophies of life that we would encounter and delve deeper into, in ‘Part II’ of this book. No man can really digest philosophical advice on an empty stomach. As Warren Buffett quipped “Money is not everything. Make sure you earn a lot before speaking such nonsense”. Philosophy cannot be absorbed or appreciated by a person with empty pockets, hence at a practical level it is important to educate oneself on investments, so that, one attains a minimum level of financial security before one absorbs doses of philosophy and advice on how to live in harmony and attain bliss. This way, we could balance our need for money with the intangibles that aid in maximizing the happiness in our lives.

Educating oneself is the first step to financial liberation. Equipping oneself with the basic concepts of finance will allow one to attain ‘Financial Freedom’. Knowing the difference between ‘Financial Greedom’ and ‘Financial Freedom’, will set one free to follow one’s passion. Following one’s passion will lead to bliss. Reading this book is an important step in that direction.

“Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs”
– Zig Ziglar

“Academic qualifications are important and so is financial education. They’re both important and schools are forgetting one of them”
– Robert Kiyosaki

Chapters in ‘Part I’ of the book introduce the reader to financial and business concepts which are central to smart and wise investing. Financial literacy is a must for every person who would deal with money in their lifetime. Whether you are a college going youngster or a working adult or maybe even a business man or an investor, being sharp about your investments carries immense benefits to last over a lifetime. To quote the best- selling author Robert Kiyosaki:

“I want parents to teach that academic intelligence is essential, but so is financial intelligence”
– Robert Kiyosaki

“You know, for years I’ve heard financial experts stress the importance of teaching your kids about money, but it wasn’t until I saw my own son’s perspective change that I became a true believer”- LZ Granderson

Chapters like ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Money’, ‘Inflation the Monster in Temple Run ’ , ‘The Rule of 72’ and ‘The Power of Compounding’ deal with basic financial concepts written in an easy to understand fashion such that the concepts would linger in the minds of the readers.

The Chapter ‘An Ocean of difference’ talks about how small differences in decision making lead to large impacts on wealth generation. As W. Rogers, Jr. said “Financial literacy is just as important in life as the other basics”. The Chapter educates the reader on why it is necessary to be financially erudite, as that choice could either leave one wealthy and comfortable or struggling and short of finances.

The Chapters ‘Understanding Risk’ and ‘Managing Risk’ talk about how risk is an inevitable part of investments. It educates the user on how to handle and minimise risk. Risk is not something to be afraid of but a factor to be embraced as where there is risk there is also opportunity. One only needs to learn to embrace risk smartly.

The Chapters ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ and ‘Investing’ lays out enduring and time tested principles of investing that one could follow to manage the vagaries of the stock market and other volatile investments.

‘Understanding the Business of Business’ is a Chapter that discusses how one should assess and separate a ‘great’ business from a ‘good’ business. Understanding the underlying business is important to make profitable and enduring investments.

The Chapter titled ‘Technical Analysis vs. Fundamental Analysis’ deals with the two styles or approaches to investing in financial instruments. These principles are even applicable to the Real estate market which have been dealt with in great detail in the books ‘NUGGETS of WISDOM’ and ‘THE REAL DEAL’, written by this author.

The Chapter on ‘Accounting: ‘The Language of Business’ lays out the basics on how one should read financial statements and how to recognise and interpret the story behind the numbers.

The Chapters such as ‘Macro Investing’, ‘Investing in Stock Mutual Funds’, ‘Investing in Individual Stocks’, ‘Bond vs. Stocks’ and ‘Investing in Bonds’ are meant to be an initiation into the world of investing. The chapters guide a common investor through the different aspects of investing. It is full of information and concepts that would initiate the reader into the complex world of investments and help the reader navigate the same.

The Chapters ‘Useful Economics’ and ‘When is it a bubble?’ intends to supplement the knowledge and provide a practical approach to investing that the reader would have accrued by reading the first part of this book. The concepts of economics and the nature of a bubble have been explained succinctly to leave the reader better equipped and better prepared.

The Chapter ‘The Scent of Money’ talks about how to extract key information from Financial Statements. The Financial Statements leave a trail that tells the story of the company or enterprise. Our job as investors is to sniff out the trail and know more about the company we wish to invest in. This chapter is an initiation into just that.

PART II

How to Maximise your HQ (Happiness Quotient)

The single minded pursuit of money has its short-comings and we need to be anchored in our minds to maintain the balance in our lives. The chapters in the second part of this book have a philosophical touch to them. These chapters recommend, that we need to take a more balanced approach, so that, we don’t get derailed in the race for money. It fundamentally alters and corrects the equation that more and more money leads to more and more happiness.

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity” – Calvin CoolidgeThe first few chapters titled the ‘Essentials’, ‘How much do you need to be happy?’ and ‘Quantum of Happiness’ discuss about the essential elements of happiness and how to alter one’s attitude in life, in order to find that elusive happy and stable state. The following chapters such as ‘Living within your means’ and ‘Why a Financial Cushion is important’, deal with how one should manage one’s expenses in a smart and wise manner. The chapter titled ‘Why Finances are like oxygen’ on one hand, talks about the practical need for money, and on the other hand, talks about why one should balance it with other important ingredients for happiness. The chapters ‘Active income’ vs. ‘Passive income’, ‘Liberation through Financial Freedom’ and ‘The 2% Rule, the rule to Financial Freedom’ deal with the path to financial freedom and sustenance. It shows us the path that we could take so we may be unshackled from the drudgery of our day job. Thus we may be liberated into the realm of infinite possibilities by laying the foundation to unlock our true potential.

The subsequent chapters such as ‘The Big Swap’, ‘Recipe to Time Affluence ’, ‘Less Greed, More Passion’, ‘Invest in Experiences and People, not Material Acquisitions’, ‘Chose Financial Freedom and NOT Financial Greedom’ and ‘HQ (Happiness Quotient)’ give us the blueprint to reclaim our lives and maximise our happiness. They give us new direction, and encourage us to shun the herd which has lost its way in the barrage of messages from peers, neighbours, friends and big corporations. These chapters guides one on to the path of balance and happiness with time tested wisdom and good advice.

My personal motivation to write this book is to spread my experience in both attaining ‘Financial Moksha’ and maximizing my ‘Happiness Quotient’ (HQ). The idea was to blend western and eastern philosophies to make it practical in today’s context. Also, having seen how misled the younger generation are in their pursuit of happiness, I wish to give them another perspective to attaining happiness other than the usual materialistic path that many corporations want us to believe in.

This book has become necessary to help people reclaim their lives from the rampant materialism that is destroying the happiness and fabric of societies around the world. While money is a definite necessity, it is important to not chase money and instead make it work for us. In this manner we would not sacrifice all the other aspects of happiness in our lives.

This book is about getting that balance right.



 

Mr. A.Venkatasubramanian is a qualified engineer and management graduate having done his B.E. from INDIA and M.S. in Engineering and M.B.A in General Management and Finance from the US. He has also completed CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst, USA) until Level – II.

He has been longstanding in the industry having served as the Vice President of a premier and fast growing Real Estate Company in India and has been part of a premier Mortgage Financial Institution in the US. He is currently an Entrepreneur and loves music, arts and is an active sportsman.

His knowledge and depth in the subject of finance has been laid out in these books which will leave a deep impact on the reader and help readers manage their life and finances in a balanced and effective manner.

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