New Book on Investment ‘The Aspirational Investor’ By Ashvin B Chhabra

By Rusen Kumar

NEW DELHI: New Book ‘The Aspirational Investor’ By Ashvin Chhabra outlines Investing in the Pursuit of Wealth and Happiness. The book being published by Random House India (Penguin Random House) is now available. Ashvin’s book explains how to break down a seemingly very complex problem – how we should invest our money – into manageable steps. The cost of the book is Rs 699 (hardback).


In The Aspirational Investor, Ashvin B. Chhabra outlines a ground-breaking 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.

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.

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.

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.

Ashvin B Chhabra is the chief investment officer of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Bank of America.  He is widely recognised for being one of the founders of Goals-Based Wealth Management and for his seminal work ‘Beyond Markowitz’, which integrates modern portfolio theory with behavioural science.

Ashvin grew up in New Delhi and was trained as a theoretical physicist.  He received his PhD in applied physics in the field of chaos theory from Yale University, where he also met his Italian-born wife, Daniela Bonafede-Chhabra.  They currently live in Princeton with their two children.

Ashvin has lectured at Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia Business School, Baruch College CUNY and University of Chicago. He’s a member of the Board of Fellows for the Program in Financial Mathematics, Courant Institute at New York University; the Board of Regents for the Financial Analysts Seminar, CFA Institute; the International Advisory Board of EDHEC Risk Institute; the Board of Trustees of the Stony Brook Foundation and the Investment Committee of the Institute for Advanced Study.

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