It is quite amazing to see how far away most of the media people are regarding the reality – especially in financial planning. Yesterday while flipping channels..i saw about 2-3 minutes of a program which was ‘discussing’ giving ‘Power of Attorney’. These are the things that I heard:

– be careful to whom you are giving the p/a

give it only to your broker

it should only be for doing settlement, margin calls,…etc.

Madam, have you ever tried opening an E-broking account WITH ANY BROKER? Please try. You will not be allowed to open an account without a p/a.

Are you saying the client will be able to get Kotak Securities, Hdfc securities, Icici, Motilal Oswal, …to draft a fresh p/a assuming the client is able to read, understand and suggest changes. You ought to be joking.

Readers should realize that television programs are just generic…and cannot come with specific advise. Most television programs are funded by big houses. So you will find advise like ‘Big brokerage (life insurance, mutual fund, bank..) have good systems in place….so open your account there’. Big fund houses can spread costs over larger amounts of money (true), bigger life insurance companies have a greater chance of survival…none of this may be true for you, or rather useful for you. A good fund manager will be able to build a good corpus with good skills (Naren of I Pru is a good example), a small brokerage firm – (I have stuck to the same person for the past 31 years) may give you better service.

I bought Term insurance FROM THE SMALLEST life insurance company (at the time I bought it) and not worried about whether it would make payment to the nominee…if I die!

So remember…use your OWN thinking hat. ED de Bono suggested a White hat. Wear it and then think about a product, not by watching television….

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