April 27, 2018

Book Review – Personal Finance Lessons From The ICU by Amit Trivedi

Kiran Telang

Book Review: Personal Finance Lessons From The ICU by Amit Trivedi  

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Amit has made a very refreshing lemonade out of his extremely scary experience. Having been through a critical health condition, he not only learned important lessons and made changes in his personal life, but expanded those learnings to his professional life and has shared it in the form of this wonderful book ‘Personal Finance Lessons From The ICU’.

It is very aptly brought out in the book that both in terms of health and wealth, most people tend to get lulled into a comfort zone when things seem to be alright. Not being ill does not mean that you are healthy, similarly being unaware of the gaps in one’s financial situation does not mean everything is alright. Many times ignorance might end up causing disruptions in life.

Because of ignorance people tend to make sub-optimal or damaging decisions. And these mistakes keep on getting repeated over and over again. It is a vicious cycle, a mind-game where people refuse to accept that there are zillions of things that they do not know or understand. The limited amount of information that is available and applied resulting in a seemingly good result leads to overconfidence in one’s own capabilities beyond the actual level of expertise. This, in turn, leads to a situation where expert advice is shunned as unimportant or not required.

It is only when things start going wrong, be it a health disaster or a severe impact on financial situations that shocks people out of the reverie of their comfort zone. Even then most times people tend to blame others or circumstances that made them err. It is then that experts are called in to rectify things. People do not realise that it is better to answer difficult questions and face the situation when the going is good, rather than answering the same questions when the times are bad. The examples of situations that Amit faced in the events leading to his critical health event, clearly brings out these aspects in the book.

As an indivibook imagedual and a financial advisor, we do see these mistakes people make. At times we also fall prey to the same biases and errors. Amit has given good real life examples that most individuals face i.e. not taking care of health on a regular basis; Ignoring the minor recurrent conditions, that might actually be harmful in the long run; not taking expert advice when it is called for; investing without understanding the why, how and what of the strategy/product; making decisions based on aspects other than our own requirements, like peer pressure, greed or fear; hiding mistakes from people who can help rectify them- doctor/ financial advisor- if they get to know it when there is time; not being able to say no to things that do not fit in your plan of things, just because it is being sold/ presented by someone close to you.

This book is a good reminder of things that we need to take care of. Written in a very lucid manner it is a short book sprinkled with nuggets of wisdom, and is a great read!!     

If you wish you read the book. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.in/Personal-Finance-Lessons-Amit-Trivedi/dp/9387860043  

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