Should I give financial advice to strangers over email?

It is really a pleasure to write – I address an audience of 3 million views – from 139 countries. This is not small by any stretch of imagination.

However, along with that it means I get mails asking me for help in investing. The questions are more like:

– I am 45 years of age, and have not started planning for retirement, should I continue to invest Rs. 55,000 per annum in my PPF account? Is it enough?


-I am doing an SIP in Idfc premier equity fund. However in the past 2 quarters it is not doing well, what should I do?


my son does Futures and Options and says he never makes losses in that…should I also start doing that?

Frankly I am one of those very very old fashioned people who feel that if I do not see a person I cannot invest. Or there has to be a lot of interaction, and I should get a feeling that the person understands me, EXACTLY in the way that I want him / her to think. I do not think I have interacted and given advice to more than 8-10 people despite the fact that about 3000 people must have asked for it.

Frankly I do have a detailed questionnaire, can talk over the phone, can collect details (and cheque for doing this service!) …but I am still reluctant to do so.

Also i do think that there are just too many players who are in this ‘business’ – and there is no quality check at entry level, performance level, execution level….One day this will result in lots of arguments, fights and legal battles.

To say ‘I did my best, but you lost money’ is not an answer my conscience will be too keen to accept……

So here I am to tease, guide, help and encourage you to do things on your own..if you still think you need more hand holding, visit me in Mumbai ONCE. After I know you, it is possible to guide you better, and hey I will expect to get paid for the advice, yes, execution you are at liberty to do it where ever you wish to.

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6 Responses to “Should I give financial advice to strangers over email?”

  1. Hello Sir,
    You are talking about investment or financial planning?
    Some savvy people would not mind to give you nice advisory fee to get market beating returns on “investment”.
    At other spectrum, there are some people who don’t know simple risk-return analysis. Like option trading in the examples you mentioned above.

  2. Hi Subra,
    I agree it is impossible to give advice to strangers over email. You can give guidelines and advice through blog. But the individual advice prerequisite is to understand the customer.

    One request though, is it possible to get your advice through phone(Ready to pay the fees) and follow-ups through email. As you have mentioned the clients are geographically scattered . As a matter of fact, I am from Tamilnadu and have to plan alot to travel to Mumbai.

    Thanks and Regards,

  3. Hi Subra

    I have been reading your posts since long time….Nice question posted by you….the third one…”my son does Futures and Options and says he never makes losses in that…should I also start doing that”

    Request you to express your views on detail on this……do you really feel this is possible????

  4. Subra Sir,

    I don’t think there is any dearth of GOOD Hald baked professionals in the market,It just seems people currently need a person who will only keep correcting the cource & will have the ability to Scold the person for wrong doing
    but then in the current marketing driven economy that will be impossible. So what is the answer, Do we designate some one from our close friend circle as One what is the answer…..

  5. Who are those 8/10 People you adviced??? 😛

  6. pls update me of your newer posts.

    thanks in advance.


    Paresh Shah.

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