Taking A Breather 2

Welcome to another newsletter.


Yesterday, the death of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala – an Indian billionaire investor was announced. At his death, Mr Jhunjhunwala popularly referred to as India’s Warren Buffet; was believed to have been worth approximately $5.8 billion.


Unlike Warren Buffet who started investing in shares at an early age, the late Rakesh bought his first shares whilst in college (University). He later on actively started investing as a 25-year man in 1985.


Mr Jhunjhunwala developed an interest in the stock market by listening to his father discuss it with his friends. Although his father encouraged his interest and even advised him to pay attention to the news since it had an impact on stock prices; he was not given any financial assistance. His father also discouraged him from approaching any of his (the father’s) friends for money.


With an initial capital of Rh5,000, he was able to invest in Indian companies which were later reformed and privatised. These investments formed a foundation for building his sizeable fortune.


Unlike Warren Buffet, he hardly ever gave investment advice.


From his life, I learnt the following:


• Who we listen to matters – from his own admission,  he got interested in investing by listening to his father. As his portfolio increased in size, he found a mentor in Radhakishan Damani – a popular Indian stock market veteran. Many times, we tend to invest without seeking counsel or advice. It pays to have trusted advisers or mentors with credible experience.


• Age is just a number – as mentioned above, he started investing as an adult. Whilst it is advisable to start investing as early as possible, starting later is not a barrier to wealth creation.


• Fortune favours the brave – Mr Jhunjhunwala was a renowned risk taker who was fortunate to have several lucky breaks. According to several reports, he started buying shares when the Indian stock market was in its infancy and so was properly positioned as the market grew in value.


• Freely were we given, freely should we give – According to him, when he became a billionaire in 2008, his father wasn’t interested in what he was worth but in how much of his wealth he was going to donate to charity. Upon his death, he was one of his country’s biggest philanthropists having pledged to give out 25% of his wealth to charity.


Till next Monday, do have an amazing week.


Toyin Oguntuyi