Amazing how people come to me purportedly for advice. Great.

Once upon a time when I was much younger had a head full of black hair and foolish ideas, I used to feel thrilled. Would spend hours on end and come up with what I thought was a great solution. People would thank me and go away. I had no clue whether they used it or just told themselves ‘what a stupid idea’. No clue. Really no clue.

Then came a time when I used to feel bad that they did not use my advice. Financially it did not matter that they did not heed my advice. Anyway I was not billing them.

Then came a stage when I decided whom I will help and whom I will not. So now there is a very small set of kids for whom I will go out of the way, sit, teach, learn, and hand hold them through a problem. Obviously these are kids I love and I help them through career, personal, health, relationship problems, and I feel happy that I am there for them to ask. No ego / expectation that they will listen to me. They do, mostly they do. If they do not, there is a solid reason why they do not. But yes no money, no expectation, no hurt.

Now come to strangers who come to me for ‘help’. I genuinely try to help people when they come with a sensible question but see how some of the conversations go:

Me: You have too many mutual funds in your portfolio.

Reader: Maybe, but is there a reason why I should reduce them?

Me: No, you need not. But hey, you need not ask me too, right?

Or if I tell them “Sell x, y, a, b, d, and m schemes”

R: Why? x is doing well and y is just started doing well. ‘a’ i have invested for the long run and it is now only 5 years…I am sure going forward it will do well, do you not think so? b, d and m are small amounts to see how the fund is doing..see i have only 25,000 in each fund.

It is really exhausting. And doing it for free is foolish too, do you not think so too? For a fee at least some effort is sensible.

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  1. I’m surprised you did it for free, or so long! When I was a beginner some four years ago, I always used to worry that the Subramoney content would disappear behind a paywall!

    You do yeoman service, through the blog, you’ve pointed us out to so many more awesome teachers. (Pattu, FTW!)

    I can honestly tell you, I would not have gotten out of debt and started on my investment journey if it wasn’t for the blog.

    So, if the people want it for free, let them use the blog and its resources!
    If they still need help, let them buy the book!
    And if they *still* need help, it’s only fair they pay, no? Let them have some skin in the game too 🙂

  2. I think there should be clear distinction b’ween advice and opinion. While most of us are adults enough to not seek advice but go with an “expert” opinion and evaluate it in the context of our current place and circumstances to take the next step. However, at times we do no need some advice. For that, a fee is certainly warranted.

    It’s nice that there are free blogs and opinions. These help the regular readers & listeners to evaluate the competence of the expert and seek his/her advice (paid, of course) when and if needed.

  3. I enjoy the back and forth discussions and the gentle persuasion mode that you have than the ‘I am the expert now listen to me’ attitude most advisors have.

  4. IN “WEALTH” and “HEALTH” the margin of error is very very thin and very difficult to feel and explain the difference between good and bad!!
    that’s why millions of failures!!

    the basic human brain design is like that!

    otherwise”GOD” role will not be there

    as a practicing physician (DOCTOR) daily i go through your role i just watch!! and smile
    dr nehru

  5. Vandhana you have a steep learning curve and YOU are interested in learning. True for many of my friends/ clients too.

    Some of my clients are “you told me so it must be right”. That is also fine.

    Those who do not learn are hurtful. Because neither of us know where the market will be after 6 months. If they come back and say…”See I told you market will be down” – I could either laugh or cry, but no purpose will be served.

    Just finished a long conversation with a friend’s boss wanting to invest Rs. 2.4 cr…IN ONE SHOT FOR A 10 YEAR VIEW…phew convincing him to reduce the pace to a six month sip was tough. 6 months later if the index is 35000 i am going to look like an idiot. If it is at 25000 will look like a genius. 10 years later we both would have forgotten who sais what 🙂

  6. Subra, I attended FP session at Dr. P N Singh center for HRD. It was good session and helped me in a good way with your examples. I consider my self as average investor & step by step moving towards good. Some of correct beliefs were reinforced in session during Q&A.

  7. And there are many like me who got immense benefit of just following what You Suggested .Probably this in the only Blog or amongst very few pan India with No Strings attached – So We do Lsiten to what You Say Sir ! Thank You for all the Inputs

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