Most new investors focus on the returns of an investment. Returns are the end result for investing activity. From the client’s perspective, expecting better returns is a justified act. After all, why should the investor be bothered about the process of investing? Whatever the financial advisor decides should be ok with the investor. But this is possible only in case investor trusts his financial advisor blindly. However, what if you are approaching an Advisor who is new to you? Or in case you feel; that you should get it checked whether the financial advisor or financial planner has adopted the right approach? Let’s look at the 7 important aspects an advisor should check before finalizing the investments for you.
I was approached by Pranav Tibdiwal (Name Changed) who belong to a ‘well to do’ farmer family. His family wanted to invest in Mutual Funds. Mutual Funds being a relatively new investment product for this family and that the family heard that this investment can give better returns with good liquidity. When Pranav reached sharp in time of appointment; I could judge that his upbringing must be with right values and discipline. A person belonging to this ‘school of thought’ can be an easy client to deal with; since he already knows the importance of things like discipline and punctuality. I can co-relate same with features of the investments to that of Mutual Funds.
Pranav was clear with what he wanted. He also told me that before coming to me he has approached a couple of Investment Consultants and they have straightaway advised him to invest in A scheme, B scheme, and C scheme.
I asked – Are you aware of the reasons, why have they offered you these schemes? To which Pranav replied negatively.
I tried to dig further, since you already know where to invest, then why have you come to me?
He replied, somehow; I feel that I am not being guided properly.
He then asked – would you give me the same schemes as other distributors have offered.
I said- I am not sure unless I understand your requirement, your background, and your risk appetite. After understanding the details; I might offer you the same schemes as that of other distributors. But then my advice about which funds to buy will be based on the definite process and I will be able to definitely tell you why am I offering you those schemes.
Investment decision cannot be based merely on the expectation of returns. There are so many other variables which one need to consider before reaching the final investment product.
The understanding on following parameters helps us in advising our clients the investment or the funds which best suits their requirement:
- Client Age, Income, Profession and the details of his family members
- His Income and his expenses
- His Assets (his existing investments to be more precise) and the liabilities on him
- The goals (purpose) for which he is investing the amount
- The duration of each goal
- His Risk appetite (Found out through an exercise involving a lot of questions)
- Amount of investment
To conclude: Try to be as clear as possible with your advisor with what you want. Let them know about you and your objectives transparently. And in case the advisor is not interested in knowing all these things- he might not be true to his profession.