I get many invites these days – and I thought it was as a blogger, but this was different. I was getting invited by a ……… (no I will not name them) to a FREE seminar which was covering the following:

  • Fund Manager’s view on the current equity market
  • Fund Manager’s view on the current Debt market and interest rates
  • Tax planning
  • Hints on Estate planning
  • Real estate as an Investment Tool

As usual my question was:

Why ME for an exclusive meet like this in a 5 star Deluxe hotel?

Why are the speakers ‘fund managers’ from MF/Insurance companies coming to a private event like this?

Why is the sponsor a ‘wealth management’ company peddling mutual funds, life insurance, and REAL ESTATE?

What is really so exclusive…and again why me? and more importantly HOW me?

From where did they get my name and address – email id and phone number combination?

Forget what I should do…

Should you attend? 

Clearly the brokers are ultimately out to sell financial products. That is fairly obvious, is it not? My neighbor paid Rs. 65,000 as a down payment for a Holiday Resort, for attending a free meal seminar. A little expensive, I thought. The sales pitch is clear and this is reinforced by the choice of speakers.  That said there might be some good information available, the topics are certainly timely especially for people in their 50’s and retirees.

If you feel that you can resist a sales pitch, why not attend? Just keep an open mind and a closed cheque book. In the case of this session, the hotel, atmosphere, food, and the speakers were very good – and it was a 40 km drive.

On the other hand, what can you hope to get by attending? These advisers are spending a fair amount of money on this session and expect a return on their investment. Well they were spending about 3k per person – cocktail and dinner…but people like me would not eat anything there – so that is priced in I guess.   There will be a good deal of sales pressure at the – at least to schedule a follow-up session with them.

Think about your real objective 

If you want a good meal and perhaps a little bit of knowledge, why not attend?

On the other hand if you are serious about finding real good financial advice, you will have to attend my seminars – these are really in expensive ones – no frills – wondering whether to say no food also 🙂 to guide you to and perhaps through retirement.  Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I am convinced that there are no ‘retirement’ or ‘children’ products, but simple equity funds and direct equity.

Take your time in finding a financial adviser…it is no great hurry, but put in the process.

I am not liking giving financial advice online and without any interaction – though it has met with some success, I am a little paranoid. I am not sure whether a fee based model will work – and at what stage should the fees be mentioned.

A free meal is great, but in the end as they say, “… there are no free lunches…” except at a langar or at a temple


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  1. again why me? and more importantly HOW me?

    – may be it is the bombarding of popups of you can be rich too slogans and amazon best seller blurbs

    i think they mistook you for indian kiyosaki

  2. Unrelated to the topic:

    My wife before marriage bought some LIC money back plan ( 5 years back)
    She was paying some 19,500 PA as premium
    This year she got 60K as money back and 21K as closure proceeds (premature surrender). Plus she got a cashback of INR 9K from the agent. So total return 90K against a total investment of 97.5K.
    A net loss of 7.5K a negative compound of your money, a magic only LIC can do. Why so many people are queuing to invest into their products?

  3. this is an old piece. Not sure when is my next personal finance seminar. Lacking the lung power and leg power to put in efforts…that is all..

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