The Prasads of the 21st Century

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

If you have not clicked on/seen the above video yet, kindly do it now. The context of this post can be understood only after watching this hilarious video.

The best part about the video is that you can watch it now or in 10 years and it will still be relevant then. I could have written about the video, but I surely wouldn’t have been able to do justice to the brilliance of the Late Jaspal Bhatti. So, I decided to let you watch it.

Now that you have watched it, did you notice the character Prasad?

I am sure you have. No one misses Prasad in this video.

Have you come across someone like this in your life? I have certainly seen many and continue to see them all the time.

There were very few Prasad’s earlier and their impact was limited. In the sense, their bullshit could impact only a few people like the ones who were in his limited inner circle.

They are everywhere now. They are seriously injurious to your financial health.

Social Media is their favourite place. They are literally everywhere – Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and lately ClubHouse and TikTok. There is even a lot of gender diversity now.

Some are as blatant and stupid as this on Instagram/YouTube “Guys, Maine aaj Buckstop (a platform that constantly advertises trading) pe bahut paise banaye hai. Aap bhi baniye. I want all my followers to benefit from this so sign up quickly for Buckstop and start trading.”

Others come across as slightly more believable and are seen on media channels as well as various financial publications.

While the Prasad in the above video was bullish on bullshit, there is another type of Prasad who thrives on gloom and doom. These Prasad’s speak so confidently about gloom and doom that you start believing that this is exactly how the future is going to play out.

A seemingly intelligent guy with all the right credentials has been screaming doom for the last 10 years. In fact, he has written several books with every book pointing to crashes (different types of crashes in different asset classes) all the time.

A reader of one of this gloom doom books wrote an interesting review after reading his book in 2016.

The reader writes “He is talking sense. His rationale about the future of Gold is amazing. I enjoyed reading the book. People who understand Gold should read this book. Gold climbing to $10000 i.e., 8 times of today’s rate (2016) in a few years can be a fantastic investment. He explains the reason behind this climb in an interesting manner. If Gold really climbs to $10000 then I think he should be known as the “Father of Gold”.”

I can write an entire post on this review and will actually attempt it in a future post. But for now, let’s stick to a few takeaways.

a. We are in August 2021 and Gold is now at $1800. I am not even wasting my energy to think about when Gold will hit $10000 or make a prediction of my own. The reason being for real investors, it truly does not matter. Your investment strategy should be based on your personal economy and the life you want to lead with your money. Save, Invest in Equity (Become an Owner of a portfolio of companies) and let compounding do its job.

b. Dire Forecasting = Headlines and is only done to catch eyeballs. I had heard “a Prasad” in the US during the tech bubble about the Dow hitting 36000 by 2004. There was even a book written in 1999 named “Dow 36000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming rise in the Stock Market”. The DOW is now after 17 years closer to that mark.

c. No one can predict the future, and no one ever will. Hoping that someone does however intelligent that person sounds is not the hallmark of a wise or sound investor.

d. The world is built on optimism and will continue to run and make progress based on optimism. This does not mean things will not go wrong sometimes or we will not hit bumps in the road. We all will from time to time.

Finally, a thing to remember: Investing is never about being right all the time; it is about being less wrong. Not letting the Prasads play with our emotions is a superpower that we all need to develop in the 21st century.

 

P.S. A Disclaimer – Let me respectfully say that the name Prasad in the post only refers to the character in the post. It does not refer to any specific person by the name Prasad. In fact, it could be any name for that matter Another Disclaimer – Some Prasad’s might actually behave like the above Prasad in the video ☺.