Photo credit: Roger Yip
SENIOR FINANCIAL SERVICES EXECUTIVE | BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE EXPERT | PERSONAL FINANCE ADVISOR | BESTSELLING AUTHOR
Life is all about making decisions. My interest is how we can make better decisions so that we can get to better outcomes – in all walks of life.
As a corporate lawyer, I provided my clients with the advice they needed to achieve specific business objectives.
As an investment banker, I advised business leaders in companies of all sizes in raising capital, buying other companies, and designing and implementing strategic plans.
As an investment counselor, I coached clients to define, design, and carry out investment strategies so that they could lead the lives that they aspired to.
As a senior executive and leader of teams, I coached my team to plan a vision of where we wanted to go, how we were going to get there, and how to navigate obstacles and setbacks.
As a start-up executive, I guided our team to identify and manage potential risks and to deal successfully with the daily challenges of building a business from the ground up.
The common themes across all these roles are that success depends on defining the goals, designing a plan, and then deciding between different courses of action to get to the best possible outcome.
Better Decisions | Better Outcomes
I wrap my legal, financial, and behavioral training and experience, and more recently, my research into ancient philosophy, to write stories in an informative yet easy-to-read style for my readers to enjoy and to draw insights for themselves on how to make better decisions – in all walks of life: personal investing, business strategy, people leadership, personal wellness.
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Sam Sivarajan is a best-selling author and senior financial services executive and leader. He has spent over 25 years advising investors on achieving their investment goals, advising companies and business leaders on achieving their strategic objectives, and leading teams to personal and professional success. By weaving his academic and practical background in law, finance, strategy, and leadership, Sam helps his clients make better decisions to achieve better outcomes.
As a writer, he writes narrative non-fiction to help readers make better decisions. His bestselling book, Making Your Money Work: The Secrets to Financial Health, gives people actionable tips and tools to make better financial choices and achieve financial health. His upcoming book, Uphill: How to Apply Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science to Life's Choices and Challenges, provides actionable insights for everyone to deal with life's inevitable setbacks and make better choices – in investing, in building and growing businesses, in leading teams, and in their personal lives.
Sam has written articles in several academic and mainstream publications and has been a guest on broadcast media. He believes that science, philosophy, and experience are important to make better decisions that lead to better outcomes.
Away from his desk, Sam loves adventure and new challenges. Some memorable experiences include summiting Kilimanjaro and Gran Paradiso in the Italian Alps, trekking the Himalayas and the Andes, cycling 1400 km from London to Monaco, and setting a personal best at the Boston Marathon. For some of these, he looks for guides to help him make better choices that lead to better outcomes. Closer to home, you can often find him reading or enjoying a good meal or a glass of wine with friends and family.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Enjoying a good meal, some wine, and a few laughs with friends and family. What is your greatest fear? Living someone else’s life. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience. What is the trait you most deplore in others? A sense of entitlement. Which living person do you most admire? Angela Merkel. What is your greatest extravagance? Used to be ties – thanks to Covid, no longer an issue. What is your current state of mind? Contemplative. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? A neat desk or work area. On what occasion do you lie? When a loved one asks me what I thought of something they made that I didn’t like. What do you most dislike about your appearance? Nothing – stoicism teaches me to accept what I cannot control. Which living person do you most despise? Anonymous social media trolls attacking others not in their tribe. What is the quality you most like in a man? Character – doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Character – doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Like. Look. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife and daughter. When and where were you happiest? Coming home from work to have my young daughter run into my arms, excited to see me. Which talent would you most like to have? Sing on-key. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Better able to stay in the moment.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Convincing my wife to marry me. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? An eagle or falcon. Where would you most like to live? I am fortunate enough to be able to split my time between Toronto and Vienna. What is your most treasured possession? Physical and mental health. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Self-pity. What is your favorite occupation? Reading, writing, talking (not necessarily in that order). What is your most marked characteristic? Goal-setting, planning, and execution. What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty. Fun. Shared Values. Who are your favorite writers? Will Storr, Malcolm Gladwell, Erich Fromm, Alexandre Dumas, Margaret Atwood. Who is your hero of fiction? Edmond Dantes – The Count of Monte Cristo. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Hector of Troy. Who are your heroes in real life? Terry Fox, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa. What are your favorite names? Isabella, Matthias. What is it that you most dislike? Wasted talent. What is your greatest regret? No regrets – I am blessed with what I have and what is in my control. How would you like to die? Of old age, having made a difference, with friends and family sadder for my passing, but happy for the life I have lived. What is your motto? “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” Thank you, Ernest Hemingway.