In our personal lives we have many people who guide us in the process of taking decisions – family, friends, consultants, etc, whom we trust and who help us enrich our lives with their experience and knowledge. They help us in choosing a career, a life partner, even setting up a business. We share a special relationship with our accountants, lawyers, doctors, jewellers, in fact, even with our next door kirana shopkeeper! However, as the world is rapidly changing, we have replaced these professionals with Tax guru.com, Google.com, Amazon.in, netmed.com and so on.
Today we are a lot more independent and we cherish our own identity and decisions. With 50GB of monthly free data on our smart phone, easy availability and access to information, digitalisation of financial markets and products, people who are new to investing try to gain all experience and wisdom from internet. With this information on your fingertips many start questioning the role and importance of the financial advisors. And then there are many who have started dabbling in shares for past two three years (having experienced and invested only in the bull market) but proclaim themselves to be India’s best fund managers. It is thus important to once again revisit the reasons why a financial advisor is important for you.
I have the following key questions for you as an investor to honestly answer for yourself. If you have more than 60% in affirmative, you will not require the services of any financial advisor throughout your life.
Q1. My financial life was absolutely perfect before consulting a financial advisor? Do I feel that companies that sell to a mass market care about me and understand my specific financial goals, time horizons and risk profile??
“You often don’t know what you don’t know.” A true Advisor attempts to draw a financial roadmap for you and your family. If you are honest with him and your data, he will help you spell out your financial goals and prioritise them as per your needs and risk profile. The entire process can unravel new dimensions to your financial life.
Q2. Do I have plenty of time to read finance journals, investment magazines and do I truly believe that publications that depend on advertising revenue from product manufacturers can render impartial and objective investment advice??
A good advisor often carries with him knowledge and wisdom that he has gained from being in this market for very many years. Financial services are an industry that requires regular studies and being updated of all new developments regarding regulations, taxation, market situation or product feature. Knowledge and wisdom is difficult to gather and should not be mistaken for information.
Q3. Neither do I find 2500 plus funds and 6000 plus stock alternatives overwhelming, nor did a 1500 points drop in a market on a single day concern me??
In investing, emotions play the devil’s role. If left unchecked, they can easily ruin one’s entire financial portfolio. Hence there is so much talk of taking emotions out of financial making decision. A good advisor will help you manage your emotions of greed, hope and fear in different market conditions. And this is the most important aspect I consider for the success in investment.
Q4. Am I very sure that after my demise, my nominees and my legal heirs are competent enough, and also do have sufficient time to run around to complete the transfer and transmission processes as stipulated by different companies and registrars, which are changed every 6 months by SEBI and KYC authorities??
A financial advisor sees you not just as a single transaction driven customer, but as a potential lifelong partner in your financial journey. The long term relationship is something that we value and expect the same from every investor. For us you are never an individual but a family that can extend into different generations. Hence it is important to have a trustworthy financial advisor who can service your family even after your demise.
Q5. Do I prefer being thought of as a computer entry rather than a person? Also do I prefer the service I receive from faceless clerks at toll free numbers to an Individual Investment Professional??
Well, the obvious reasons for which you think a financial advisor is required, actually comes last in my list. Reasons like operational support, consolidation of entire investment portfolio, keeping regular track of investments, regular portfolio review, timely communication of transactions and resolving queries are the many additional reasons why a financial advisor is needed.
Simply being with you, assuring you and helping you as you may need and a promise for a life time of same goes a very long way in you being confident in your investment journey today.