Do we know what we need?
An ET Wealth study involving 22 financial planners & wealth managers tracked the changes in goals of average Indian Families over a decade. The study revealed Children’s education and marriage, buying a house, a car, and saving for retirement were top priorities in 2009. While in 2019, international vacations emerged as the second-highest priority over investing in a home or for retirement. Children’s education continued to top the chart. This inflation in lifestyle expenses has put future goal-related investments at risk. Our indispensable income may have doubled but so has our heavy consumer mentality, which over-shadows our vital investor mentality.
Managing your money
The right question is:
Have you set long-term goals, and are you unwavering about meeting them?
If yes, then are you managing your money well-enough to meet those goals?
People who work in or monitor the financial markets closely will have a fair knowledge about varied investment instruments and which would work best to meet their set goals. For others, your hard-earned money must not be gambled away on a toss of a coin.
Today statistics prove that most investors prefer to opt for online sites or apps for investments.
“India’s adoption rate for FinTech products stands at 59%, the second-highest pace worldwide, and significantly higher than the global average of 33%.” - DataLabs by Inc42.
While these figures are overwhelming, what we must be weary of is misinformation and fraud. Our drive to choose technology over traditional advisory could have its own fault lines. Inadequate knowledge, little or no research, and emotional investing decisions could in-turn lead to a negative impact on your investments.
Paying for financial advice
Financial advisory is an art and requires a deep understanding of the client, his needs, and goals. A mix of investments based on an individual’s risk capacity, goals, timelines, and most of all, emotional triggers are a professional financial advisor’s cup of tea. These crucial factors can be deciphered through personal introspection. Some of these may be inconceivable to Robo-advisors. I truly believe technology is certainly an excellent enabler, but its ability to share context-driven advice is still debatable.
A financial advisor must be your confidant who:
· Clearly understands your financial and personal goals, relevant tax & investment information, risk appetite and attitude towards financial investments
· Well-equipped with market trends, backed with complete knowledge of various investment instruments
· Adept at adapting and strategizing investing decisions based on your real-time financial fitness and capabilities
These attributes are hard to find in a Chatbot or a Robo-advisor and hence the preference of consulting IFAs continues to prevail. But what one must look for in an advisor is someone who is well-educated, trustworthy and credentialed. One who will look out for your financial interest rather than the gain of (or allegiance to) the financial institution she serves. He should be adept at strategizing investments, allocating assets, planning, minimizing taxes, structuring timely withdrawals to match your set financial objectives. A Financial advisor should be proactive and routinely check your financial situation and future goals to plan ahead accordingly. Behavioural coaching is another crucial part of their bouquet of services that can help reduce counter-productive actions by investors in volatile markets.
No matter how well-versed you are in planning your financial investments, it is advised to take a second opinion from an expert. Financial planning is a skill that one needs to keep honing and sharpening unceasingly. And, you can only get more from investing in a skill.
It is thus clear why you should invest in the services of a financial advisor. With the best financial planning software in India, you can avail of the services of a financial advisor who is trustworthy and who will look out for your gains, strategize investments, and allocate assets for you.
By Rajan Pathak, Co-Founder & MD, Fintso
Rajan is known for his in-depth insight into the financial entrepreneur’s venture with 25+ years of establishing various B2B businesses, which gives him the edge and adeptness to scale the advisory business.
As the CEO of IFAN Finserv (formerly ING), Rajan managed a team of 40+ people, created a wide network serving 1300+ Independent Financial Advisors managing assets over $500 million.