There is too much venom these days against the IFA. Not that I have not ripped them apart in my blog, but he/she has a very important role to play. I will try to say some of the things that an IFA can/ should do for the client. Whether they are equipped to, is a book in itself. Given the remuneration and other opportunities available I would not advise anybody to become an IFA.
– he (includes she) should be able to keep the client be in control of his investments
– make sure that he and the client understand every part of the portfolio – why, how to redeem, when to review, basis of change, etc. GET THE CLIENT to articulate, write and save it. His spouse too should know the details.
– avoid the inherent traps in the Financial Advisory business.
– communicate in such a way that the client understands the importance of record keeping, calculations, writing down things, communicating with other family members…etc.
– ensure that the client is not impacted by the extremely stupid short-termism in the media and mutual fund managers talks
– understand (and convey to clients) that wealth does not get built overnight. It takes decades, even generations to build up real big good wealth. If you get a good ‘r’ for a few years, YOU are lucky – actually it is the ‘n’ in the compounding formula that is important.
– explain the risks of PPF, NPS, NSc, bank fixed deposits, etc.
– explain concepts like growth option, tax deferral etc.
– explain index funds, star fund managers, temper expectations, past returns, etc.
eeks! there is a long list, dammit.
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