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The Aspirational Investor: Taming the Markets to Achieve Your Life's Goals Hardcover – June 2, 2015
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"Chhabra is the world's pre-eminent thinker on how to adopt financial decisions to address effective wealth management. This book lays out his insights and a wonderfully clear and compelling way." (Bruce Greenwald, Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, Columbia University)
“In this astute business manual, Chhabra, chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, urges readers to focus not on beating the market, but on evaluating personal goals and dreams, and formulating ways to reach them.” (Publishers Weekly)
“In this engaging, accessible, and hugely insightful book, Chhabra shows individual investors how to structure investments to match three separate goals: to protect, sustain, and enhance their way of life in unique circumstances.” (Charles D. Ellis, Founder, Greenwich Associates & author of Winning the Loser's Game)
“The Aspirational Investor is a most-readable popular presentation of investment theory and practice in general, as well as an account of Dr. Chhabra’s own influential contributions.” (Harry M. Markowitz, Nobel Laureate 1990, Economics)
“In this valuable guide, Ashvin Chhabra teaches individuals how to focus on their key financial goals and shows them how to be better investors.” (Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street)
“Ashvin Chhabra is one of the smartest and wisest investment experts I know. This book explains how to break down a seemingly very complex problem-how we should invest our money-into manageable steps. I recommend it highly.” (Eric Maskin, Adams University Professor, Harvard University; Nobel Laureate in Economics (2007))
From the Back Cover
Why are otherwise smart and competent people such lousy investors? Individual investors give up as much as two-thirds of their potential investment returns in misguided efforts to beat the market—and most don't even realize it.
Ashvin B. Chhabra, chief investment officer of one of the world's largest wealth management firms, explains that an important idea has gotten lost amid the relentless pursuit of investment returns. Rather than trying to beat the market, your primary goal should be to construct an investment strategy that creates a solid safety net and enables you to pursue your dreams and aspirations.
With no more guarantee of lifelong jobs or pensions, all of us bear the burden of investing wisely. But many of us focus on the wrong set of investment activities, such as identifying the next great start-up or star fund manager, or simply beating a market benchmark. Even the standard framework for investing, modern portfolio theory, offers an incomplete solution. Meanwhile, the grand debates in finance, such as indexing versus active management, prioritize the wrong set of issues.
We need a framework that shifts the focus of investment strategy from portfolios and markets to individuals and the objectives that really matter: protection against unexpected financial crises or retirement planning. Whatever matters most to you—paying for your kid's education, starting your own business, endowing your favorite charity, or traveling the world—you need a road map to help you achieve both your essential and aspirational goals.
In The Aspirational Investor, Ashvin B. Chhabra outlines a groundbreaking yet intuitive approach to managing wealth, based on the identification of key goals and the careful allocation of resources and risks. The Wealth Allocation Framework will help you connect your investment portfolio with your life's goals, and accommodate the three seemingly incompatible objectives that must underpin every sound wealth management strategy: the need for financial security in the face of unknowable risks, the desire to maintain current living standards despite inflation, and the opportunity for life-changing wealth creation.
Chhabra's pioneering work illuminates some surprising facts about how people get very wealthy, and reinterprets the success formulas of investing greats such as Warren Buffett and David Swensen. Chhabra also offers a novel perspective: If the markets don't really care about you, as surely they do not, then why should you spend all your time and effort trying to beat them?
Raising the bar for what we should expect from our investment portfolios—and from our investment advisors—The Aspirational Investor is a thoughtful, practical guide for any investor, regardless of income or wealth level.
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Top customer reviews
As a consumer of investing information, this book does not focus on investing my money in the abstract, but answers a question from a higher perspective: how to apply my money for me, for my needs, for my aspirations. In other words, for me holistically. Of these applications of my money, traditional investing is only a bucket.
A passage in the Aspirational Investor book made me recall the time when I went to an investment professional, and was listening to a shpiel that felt like fixed, memorized words, wholly non-customized to me or my situation. I remember how I cringed when I discovered she expected that I would be giving her *all* my money to invest (of course, for an annual percentage to her). At the time I lacked the words to tell her why I thought she was wrong, and simply walked away. Now, the passage would be the answer that I would have given her: in a situation like mine, it made sense to keep a hefty savings account for a rainy day.
The Aspirational Investor is easy to read, accessible, and without being pretentious. Make no mistake, however: at the high level it is organized and proceeds with the completeness of a rigorous mathematical proof. It proposes a way of applying money, which it calls a Wealth Allocation Framework, says how it works, and is used to explain why other investing strategies do not work as well as expected.
An omission, in my opinion, is that the book did not seem to prepare itself adequately for the future dialogue about its message. More particularly, Chhabra might have predicted that his proposed Wealth Allocation Framework will be praised or challenged in further articles and books. That it might be mentioned in conversations that can be public or private, paid for or academic, and done in good faith or not. That it might be distorted or usurped by investment advisors to mean what they sell today – after all, each of them advocates their own version of a wealth allocation framework. Chhabra might have prevented the latter by not merely capitalizing his concept, but also naming it more distinctively, for example if he had called it: the Aspirational Wealth Allocation Framework. Oh, I wish he had, so that investors too busy to read the book will not be misled into thinking they are buying the real thing.
As for investment advisors, they may want to heed the following : your clients will eventually catch on to this book, and they will mistrust you if you have not been the one who presented it to them first, and helped them apply it to their overall finances. Second, you should embrace this book because applying it to a person’s overall finances calls for making judgments, and this can be your differentiation from software-based money advice that charges less than you, and seems to be moving up-market and disrupting your industry.
Patrick Ford CFP(R)