I wrote an investment book for newbies when my children wanted to know more

Published: February 16, 2022 at 6:00 am

In this article, M T Raghunath (MTR) explains how he turned his discussions on investing and money with his two sons into a book. MTR is one of the smartest DIY investors I have interacted with and his book does not disappoint.
He sought my opinion on his book, Primer on Money and Investing: Fundamental concepts and first-principles based understanding of money and investing. I liked it a lot and think it would be an excellent read for anyone starting their career. There is no conflict of interest for me or freefincal in publishing this article. Now over to MTR.
About the author: I graduated with a Computer Science BTech from IIT Madras and went on to complete my MS and PhD from UC Berkeley. I have worked as a software engineer/researcher with leading organizations such as the IBM TJ Watson Research Center and Google. I have been a DIY investor for several decades.

My two sons, who are in their early 20s, were at home, working remotely. Both had adequate financial awareness to steer clear of people trying to sell them pyramid schemes or insurance-linked investments. However, they were curious about cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle.

It was obvious that they were hearing stories from their peer group and were watching YouTube influencers on this topic. Thankfully, they considered it prudent to discuss it with me before committing to anything.

Since I had spent time learning about the underlying technologies such as hash algorithms, blockchains, proof of work, etc., I was able to have an in-depth conversation with them. I was able to convince them that my opinions were informed, and I was not yet another “Boomer”, who feared new things that he did not understand.

This later turned into a series of post-dinner conversations which went into several fundamental questions. What exactly was money anyway? If there is nothing underlying cryptocurrency, as well as other currencies, why were these different? Why should one save and invest? Why is there a concept of an interest rate?

I started writing down my thoughts on these questions, both as a way to clarify them in my own mind and to explain it in simple terms. I shared some of my writing with many of my friends and colleagues who were older than my sons. The feedback I received was very positive. They found these write-ups accessible and useful. So I decided to embark on a project of organizing these discussions into a book.


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Cover image for Primer on Money and Investing Fundamental concepts and first-principles based understanding of money and investing
Cover image for Primer on Money and Investing Fundamental concepts and first-principles based understanding of money and investing

I managed to self-publish the book on the Notion Press platform and requested Pattu to review the book and give me suggestions on how to improve the content. I am extremely grateful to Pattu for offering to mention it on freefincal. Unfortunately, as a newbie book author, I have not yet managed to create an eBook version. The book is only available in paperback format, and only in India. I also had to price it at Rs. 799 because I wanted the interiors to be printed in colour. The book is available at Notion Press,  Amazon, and Flipkart. If you order it from the Notion Press Website, please enter coupon code FREEFINCAL for a 25% discount.

I have tried to make the book accessible to anyone with a bachelor’s degree. It does have a few simple equations and several graphs. So some level of comfort with basic mathematics is recommended for anyone wishing to buy the book. Please do not buy the book to learn more about crypto. I only make a passing mention of cryptocurrencies and mostly recommend against investing in crypto.

Primer on Money and Investing: Fundamental concepts and first-principles based understanding of money and investing is available at Notion Press,  Amazon, and Flipkart. If you order it from the Notion Press Website, please enter coupon code FREEFINCAL for a 25% discount.

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About The Author

Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over nine years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation for promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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My new book for kids: “Chinchu gets a superpower!” is now available!
Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower
Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower.
Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision making. We have all made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but for any aspect of life, what would it be? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parent’s plan for it and teach him several key ideas of decision making and money management is the narrative. What readers say!
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower (small version)
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower!
Must-read book even for adults! This is something that every parent should teach their kids right from their young age. The importance of money management and decision making based on their wants and needs. Very nicely written in simple terms. - Arun.
Buy the book: Chinchu gets a superpower for your child!
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About freefincal & its content policy Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News. Freefincal serves more than three million readers a year (5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any paid articles, promotions, PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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