Here is a story …said in a very spiritual context. It is just as applicable to us as ‘fund managers’, ‘relationship managers’, ‘ifas’ or…what have you. When the markets do well, we keep saying ” I got the client 43% returns” if you are such a genius why is your portfolio in the Red this year? We should realize as fund managers we are only technicians (we understand NAV, SIP, SWP, STP, growth option, dividend payout….and all that jargon), we are communicators (we can convince customers to save, invest, why plan for retirement, etc) BUT WE ARE NOT MAGICIANS. If you think you are a magician…read on!

Once a sculptor in a village made a beautiful idol of a goddess and thought of selling it at a good price in the city. So he loaded the idol on his donkey and started towards the city. When he was going through the village, the villagers bowed in front of the idol as it looked like a real goddess. Whichever street he crossed, a crowd would bow in front of the idol.

But a strange thing happened. The donkey, which was carrying the idol, thought that he was special and that was the reason why people were bowing to him. He was thrilled with his newfound respect.

Soon the sculptor returned after selling the idol. While he was crossing the village, the donkey stopped in the middle of the road, expecting a warm welcome. But nobody paid attention to him. The donkey felt insulted and started braying, so much so, that the villagers drove him away.

The same mistake, what the donkey did, is what most of us do.

When we are in a bull market, all funds we touch do well  with God’s grace, a glow enters our demeanor and we stand out in the crowd (because the client does not see too many people). People respect us and often bow in respect. But we should realize that people are bowing not to us but to the MARKET RETURNS (which we ourselves did not believe in, actually). So the credit of this respect goes, solely to the MARKET, not to us. If we start taking the credit, we cross the thin line of demarcation and enter into an area of false ego, which the Market dislikes most.

And then it shatters the ego. Mostly at the emotional level. Sometimes at the physical level!

The basic difference between material and devotional lifestyle is that, in material life the more we progress, the more ego we develop. In a devotional lifestyle, the more we progress, the more ego we shed.

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  1. This is perhaps the most apt description of the entire down-turn in India & across the world. What applies to Advisors also applies to ULIP/MF salespersons, CEOs/CFOs etc. as well. Since the high tide is out, we can all see who is swimming naked…

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