‘Don’t Shine The Turd’

Some years ago, when we were just starting our wealth management firm, ‘Sahayak Associates’, we approached a HNI investor we respected and hoped would invest with us.

We were optimistic and passionate, but also new and nervous, and I think he could see that.

I started my sales pitch and had been talking for too long, probably over-explaining out of anxiety. He eventually cut me off and said, “you know what, son?” (I’m not sure if he actually said “son,” but I think it helps the story.) “I will invest with you.”

My joy knew no bounds.

“On one condition,” he said.

Uh oh.

“Just don’t shine the Turd.”

I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly. I said, ‘Sorry Sir, can you please repeat yourself.’

“Don’t shine the turd.”

I wracked my brain. The what?

Keep in mind, I was new to the industry and  I didn’t have a financial services background, I wondered if this was some jargon or slang I haven’t heard of? Is it an acronym? T.U.R.D…?

Turns out I was overthinking. He just went on to say, “nine times out of ten, getting only good news is actually bad news. If something is shit, don’t hide it. Because eventually, I’ll smell it. It concerns me when I get consistent updates that all is well only to hear later that a problem has been allowed to grow and snowball into something much bigger and less fixable.”

He went on to add, that he’d been investing for a long time, and he accepted the possibility of failure and the market volatility and an adopted strategy not working out as planned. He wasn’t afraid of it anymore. But what he wouldn’t put up with was someone pretending everything was going great when it actually wasn’t.

We agreed not to hide anything. He agreed to trust us and invest with us.

We really held onto that advice, and kept that promise, ever since, with all our clients. We have actually made this as one of our basic values and principles of our business.

It’s hard to be a wealth manager and one of the most difficult things is reporting bad news about some loss of corpus, especially to someone who has trusted you with their money.

That’s why we share this advice with our entire team: ‘When you update your investors, be honest, tell the whole truth, and give context. Mistakes happen, but no one can help you fix them if you aren’t honest that they’ve been made. Be up-front. Figure out the problem, Create a plan to reverse or minimize it and always own up to it.’

This advice is as applicable not only in the investment space but in all aspects of life. Don’t be afraid to admit to a mistake, don’t try to cover it. The actual solution will appear only when you first acknowledge that there is a problem.

Shit happens, you will make mistakes, ‘Don’t shine the turd’ and stay blessed forever.

(With inputs from the blog of the same name by Craig Shapiro)

Happy Invesyting!

Stay Blesses Forever.

Kindly check our earlier blog on a similar subject : Investment Lessons from Mythology at https://sahayakgurukul.blogspot.com/2019/03/investment-lessons-from-mythology.html OR https://www.sahayakassociates.in/resources/our-blog/2553-sahayak-associates/sahayak-associates-blog/8435-investment-lessons-from-mythology 

Note: All information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not constitute any professional advice or service. Readers are requested to consult a financial advisor before investing as investments are subject to Market Risks. 

About The author

Sandeep Sahni

Sandeep Sahni

After completing his schooling from St. Johns, Chandigarh (Class of 1980) and Modern School, New Delhi, (Class of 1982) Sandeep did his B. Com (Hons.) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University (Class of 1985)

Sandeep is an alum of IIM Lucknow with a Post Graduate Degree (MBA class of 1988).

He has also written two books, ‘Dear Son, Life Lessons from a Father’ on the teachings of Life https://www.amazon.in/dp/1637815271 and the Second book which he has Co Authored titled, ‘What My MBA Didn’t teach me about Money’ on the Human and Financial perspective of money. https://www.amazon.in/dp/1637816502

He has a rich work experience and started his career as a corporate man with Asian Paints after IIML. He has a rich experience covering the FMCG, Food Distribution, Cold Chain, Logistics, and Hospitality Industries. He is currently in the Wealth Management and Personal Finance domain. He has a passion for finance and is an active speaker on topics in finance. The stories he narrates strike a chord close to his heart, as they are based on events from his own life. He believes in a holistic view of Personal Finance.

Sandeep’s investing experience and study of the Financial Markets spans over 30 years. He is based in Chandigarh and is advising more than 500 clients across the globe on Financial Planning and Wealth Management.

He has promoted “Sahayak Gurukul” which is an attempt to share thoughts and knowledge on aspects related to Personal Finance and Wealth Management. Sahayak Gurukul provides financial insights into the markets, economy and Investments. Whether you are new to the personal finance domain or a professional looking to make your money work for you, the Sahayak Gurukul blogs and workshops are curated to demystify investing, simplify complex personal finance topics and help investors make better decisions about their money.

Alongside, Sandeep conducts regular Investor Awareness Programs and workshops for Training of Mutual Fund Distributors, and workshops and seminars on Financial Planning for Corporate groups, Teachers, Doctors and Other professionals.

Through his interactions and workshops, Sandeep works towards breaking the myths and illusions about money and finance.

His passion has driven him towards career counselling for young adults and mentoring the youngsters on achieving their life goals and becoming “Successful Humans”

He also writes a well-read blog; https://sahayakgurukul.blogspot.com

He has also conducted presentations, workshops and guest lectures at professional colleges and management institutes for students on Financial Planning and Wealth Creation.

He can be reached at:

+91-9888220088, 9814112988,

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