Investing is Simple. Do not confuse it for being easy. It is like going for a morning walk. Or going on a diet. Simple to describe, not EASY to do.

If you are a young kid smart enough and more importantly wise enough to start investing, you MAY not need an advisor. All you need to do is pick a couple of funds and do a SIP for the long term. However, if you are 34 years of age and have a hotch potch of investments, need help with medical insurance, retirement, making a will, etc. you are much better off using an advisor.

It is not easy to choose an advisor even if you decide to have one. If you are a 45 year old successful businessman or a professional like a doc, choosing a 24 year old ‘fund chooser’ as an advisor is amazingly foolish. It serves no purpose at all. YOU may treat him like a clerk to fill up the forms and choose funds -AND NOT LISTEN to his advice. So choosing an advisor has to be a function of knowing YOURSELF. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I impulsive?
  • Do I get carried away by what I hear, read, or watch?
  • Do expert bloggers sway me?
  • Do I understand that expert bloggers are GENERIC and not SPECIFIC?
  • Do I understand that even experts are peddling influence if not seeking money?
  • Do I have the temperament to act sanely? ALWAYS?
  • Do I have the empathy to see things in perspective?
  • Can I view the situation objectively?
  • Do I like to do the paperwork?
  • Can I easily enlist my spouse in all the goals?
  • Will my family listen to an expert better than listen to me?
  • Do I have a written down plan with good detailing?
  • Do my goals matter?
  • Are my goals tight – and can mistakes cost me dear?
  • Do I do an annual review, and does it really matter?
  • Do I procrastinate?
  • Am I too competitive?
  • Do I enjoy strategic financial planning only or the process too?
  • Do I enjoy planning a holiday or like piggy back riding on a friend/cousin/sibling whose hobby it is

answering these questions leads you to the answer of ‘do you need a financial planner’. Remember these are indicative and I could create another 25 such questions. This important question can be answered ONLY BY YOU. Blogs are generic – I can make fun of you for going with an advisor, or praise you for choosing one. I have a CA who files my IT return – and I pay a nice fee for the same. Can I do it myself? There was a time when I was supervising the filing of 3000 IT returns. Now I choose not to want to do the clerical portion of filing the service tax return, advance tax calculation, keeping track of the forms, …and choosing the option of outsourcing. Its your call.



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