'The Big Bull of Dalal Street' takes stock of life, success of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala : The Tribune India

'The Big Bull of Dalal Street' takes stock of life, success of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

'The Big Bull of Dalal Street' takes stock of life, success of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

The Big Bull of Dalal Street by Neil Borate, Aprajita Sharma, Aditya Kondawar. Penguin Random House. Pages 256. Rs 399

Book Title: The Big Bull of Dalal Street

Author: Neil Borate

Sanjay Khurana

On January 25 this year, the Government of India announced to posthumously award the Padma Shri to Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, also known as the ‘Big Bull of the Dalal Street’, who died last year. His life story tells us about the way he created money — from a meagre Rs 5,000 that he started out with in the late 1980s to nearly Rs 35,000 crore at the time of his demise. However, there was a lot more to his life than just money-making.

‘The Big Bull of Dalal Street’ provides a fascinating account of Jhunjhunwala’s life, investments and the interviews he gave over the years. He was born in Hyderabad on July 5, 1960. His was an Agrawal family with a strong Marwari business acumen. His father was an Indian Revenue Service officer who was hugely interested in the stock market. Jhunjhunwala studied at Sydenham College in Mumbai and later qualified to be a chartered accountant.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was an optimist and firmly believed in the India story. The three stocks that built his fortune were Titan, Crisil and Lupin. According to investment guru Shankar Sharma, it is trading that built Rakesh’s skill and these skills are something that managers of third-party money never quite develop. However, even though he was a great investor, he never managed a single rupee for someone.

His trading strategy was diametrically different from the ‘buy low, sell high’ adage applied to investing. He would buy stocks that were trending, even if that meant buying at a higher price.

To the people who followed his portfolio, Rakesh was categorical in advising: “You cannot make money on borrowed knowledge. Please understand what I am saying and my thought process instead.”

He would often say, “Respect the market. Have an open mind. Know what to stake. Know when to take a loss. Be responsible.”

He lived life to the fullest and kingsize. On his death, many from the stock market mourned thus: “Dalal Street ka bhagwan chala gay. (God of Dalal Street is no more).”

A large part of the book is more than just a biography and is devoted to understanding the stocks that made his fortune. It offers useful tips to retail investors — the benefits of long-term investing, having patience and the mistakes that one should avoid in the stock market. It is a book that will be of great interest to the expert and the rookie investor alike.