The Caveman and THOG

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

I might not be able to find better words for the feelings and thoughts that are going through my mind now. I was thinking about a way to communicate this concept and I stumbled upon my notes written in 2019 about a story I read in Dave Asprey’s Book “Super Human”. 

The story in the book goes as follows – “A hundred thousand years ago, two cavemen struggled to keep their families alive during a particularly harsh winter. As the wind howled, one wrapped himself in animal skins, checked that the fire was big enough to keep his family from freezing, and made the dangerous trek to a neighbouring cave. He ducked his head, shivered as he noticed the dark cave was scarcely warmer than the air outside, and shouted excitedly, “Thog, I have discovered something amazing. You have to see this!” Thog reluctantly wrapped himself in animal skins and ventured into his neighbours impossibly warm and well- lit cave, where he saw the world’s very first man made fire. “Isn’t this incredible?” the caveman said. “I am using this right now to keep my cave warm. See how happy my kids are? Do you want me to show you how I am doing it?”

Thog was sceptical. He knew fire was dangerous. When lightning struck a tree, the resulting wildfire could burn forests, not to mention humans who were dumb enough to get too close. He and all the cave dwellers had survived winter (for the most part) without fire. They huddled together and shared their food, and everyone got along. Fire might be harder to share. What if only some caveman had access to its warmth? “No Thanks,”Thog grunted. “I am good.” And he shivered his way back to his cold, dark cave.

What was the caveman offering Thog? 


Yes, Fire = Technology.

Webster defines Technology as “the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area.”

Thog refused the Technology that was offered to him because of his inability to change or evolve or grow as a person.

Fast Forward 2020 – We don’t live in physical caves anymore and we now use different kinds of technologies.

So, let me now share the modern cavemen story. 

My team and I (We are the modern cavemen) are super excited to have found the equivalent of fire. Like the caveman, we started meeting and then e-meeting distributors across the country in the hope of sharing our client experience, business know how, value proposition, and technology. We know that this will be of immense help to each and every financial professional. Not only will they be able to build the wealth management firm of the future, but they would also be able to attract amazing clients, not to mention increase the value of the firm several times. 

We showcase our body of work and share our knowledge generously. After the meeting, we also invite the financial professionals to get any of their prospects for a live meeting with us, so they can see how this works in real time. We know it works. You can see it has worked for us but if you want to take us for a real test drive, you can experience it too. Like Thog, everyone sees the Fire. They know it’s great for them. 

However, like Thog, many are sceptical. They have all survived so long without changing much. They have all survived without wanting to be the best. They have all survived by being like each other. They have all survived by not investing in the business. And they are now surviving by doing the NFO business lock, stock and barrel.

There were some hard lessons to learn but the biggest one was that we forgot to take our own medicine. We realized after investing a lot of time that THOG was never our ideal partner. No matter what you do, THOGS will remain THOGS.

Now, we don’t waste time on THOGS. We in fact drive away THOGS as fast as we can.

In the process of avoiding THOGS and focusing on ideal partners, we have been blessed with some of the finest partners who are very serious about this profession and about building a world class firm.  

The checklist question for our team when meeting someone new is ” Is this person a THOG or the Caveman?”

I would extend this question into something that we all need to ask ourselves when confronted with an important decision: “Am I being a THOG or Am I being the caveman who wishes to Change, Evolve and Grow?