I am perhaps one of those rare people who say ‘An investor is personally responsible for Ruining his portfolio’. Of course there are people who help him on the way, but primarily he and he alone is responsible. A financial planner makes some assumptions about client behavior. Let us see some of the impossibly irrational ones!
1. The Customer will behave rationally at all times: Almost impossible to achieve. Why he needs money, when he needs money, how much money he needs are things about which clients think they know. They even pretend that they know. Some may even have excel sheets on all this, but chances are they are 50% off the mark.
2. They listen only to one person: In this time of over communication, they will listen to 5 channels, 4 newspapers, 2 pink papers, club gossip, office gossip….so what you say is heard (mostly), sometimes listened to, but not always implemented in letter and spirit!
3. Clients understand when they say so: When you tell the client – this is for short term, this is for long term, and this is for very long term, he will nod sagely. Then suddenly one day he will need all the money or you realise that the so called short term money lies untouched for 12 months.
4. When they need money, they will ask you: Not all customers will ask you from where to remove the required money. Good chances are that they will remove money from the easiest source. This is normally the mutual fund. They will not borrow from an endowment plan, they will not surrender an unnecessary policy, they will not withdraw from a matured PPF account. The mutual fund is very easy to remove, so they will remove from the mutual fund.
5. That they have told you all their financial requirements and problems: Chances are they have forgotten something, or are hiding something. They will play poker with you and the cards will be held very close to their chest. This happens because till they trust and believe you, they will play poker.
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