My editor friends do not like the titles of my posts. My SEO friends are indifferent. I am worried that my headlines are too broad!

Improving as an investor is  a life long process and we all will go towards our goal, will we not? So when I get calls like these – I have nothing to say:

‘Subra my father has decided to invest Rs.12,00,000 in 3 mutual funds (a midcap fund, a high growth fund, and a contra fund) – and he is a first time investor. He read up some websites and he was convinced that those who have money need not do a SIP. Clearly he does not need an adviser – he knows in which fund to invest. Should he go to Icici Direct or go to Icici bank? He already has a demat account.

Me: I can choose to tell her some of the following things:

a. I do not give advice for individual investors (that would be a lie)

b. Your father has no clue what he is doing and needs a far more detailed session with a good adviser.

c. It is right your father does not need an adviser, he should go to Icici bank. Or Icici direct. Or whatever. Brilliant strategy.

d. Advising is a full time profession, why are you asking a blogger?

e. As your father was smart enough to identify 3 funds, I am sure how he can invest online

f. Given his age, net worth, temperament, and ability to take a hit on the portfolio, he is better off in bank fixed deposits.

g. My fee for telling his what to do, whether the funds chosen makes sense, how to invest, …etc. is the same Rs. 10,000.

The way people go about investing is well, at most times, shocking. They read up some websites and understand exactly what they want to understand the way they want to understand! Look at this 70 year old man. First time investor with a Rs. 80 Lakhs net worth other than a flat in which he is living. I ended up saying this:

  1. Your father’s risk profile is such that he should be investing only in debt. He does not have the temperament to be in equities.
  2. You will act as the inflation provider, so let him keep spending from the corpus that he has accumulated.
  3. He needs an adviser who will teach him to diversify widely, not wildly.
  4. He can choose lower cost funds, but he cannot pretend that he does not need and adviser.
  5. He has a long way to learn about how to invest
  6. Let the adviser take over and explain the investing process better
  7. Resist the urge to ‘improve’ performance on a quarterly basis. That is called tinkering, not portfolio review.
  8. Go to an ,,,,,well well not everything in life is free, right?



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  1. Totally agree the need of the advisor and I agree that most people find it difficult to pay fees. The problem I see with advising is no one takes any guareentee or promises any minimum % returns so the invidiual does on its own by reading blogs or going by moneycontrol or valueresearch.
    But I also know that “Half knowledge is more dangerous”

    Even I am one of the confused lot that should I choose a advisor or not. Someone help me

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