For those of us who have gone beyond asking “do you need a financial adviser”, we have to understand the role of a Financial advisor. To cut a long story short, in a country like India Financial Services is undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts.  Consolidation in the banking space is fairly obvious and almost inevitable. Cognitive Technology and Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain Technology,
Robotics Process Automation, and Fintech will revolutionize the future of financial services. A change in cash culture will
increase levels of efficiency and productivity. The future is disruptive and exciting.

Many people find it difficult to find their way in this complex world, and would be better off investing with the help of a Financial advisor. As a person’s life goes more complex and his wealth increases, the role of an adviser is felt more.

An experienced advisor provides financial planning, portfolio management, estate planning, etc. and adds a lot of value in the whole process. Of course once the relationships are established he does far more than just finance – he becomes some kind of a friend, philosopher and guide too.

Financial advisers do not just merely pick stocks and mutual fund schemes for you to invest, they go beyond that.

  • they understand your dreams, goals, and need for investing
  • they understand your fear, greed, regret and pride
  • they hand hold you during tough times and contain euphoria during boom times
  • help create an investment strategy for meeting your long term and short term goals
  • make sense of an array of investments – mutual funds, etf, alternate investments, retirement plans and see which of those are appropriate for you and fit into which goal in your investment strategy
  • matching your personality with the goals, strategy and appropriate products
  • act as a behavioral coach and help you stay on course to achieve the goals
  • help you find other professionals to do your investment execution, making a will, making pre nup arrangements, etc.

The end user has to be able to distinguish between a good adviser and a seller of products (the industry is just as confused as the end investor is!!). Sebi is helping in a way by trying to segregate the adviser and the distributor- however the journey is a long way off.

How to pick an adviser?

How to know whether he/she is adding value?

How to check for integrity?

How…..and many other hows will be answered by a panel at the Morningstar Investment Conference 2017 scheduled on October 10thand 11th, 2017. I am headed there to see and learn.

In the changing financial advisory landscape how will a financial advisor cope?

who will be giving him the inputs and learning?

What exactly is considered to be client – focused perspective, devoid of conflict of interest?

Will the adviser be able to cater to the younger tech savvy and demaning clientele?

Will the children of existing clients come to you automatically or will they shy away?

Are advisers meeting their demand? Are advisers able to communicate the expectations, the appropriateness, etc. to the new customers?

Three things the IFA must do

How big is this gap between perception and reality?
Panelists will look at the investors’ perspective and how advisers
can better engage them. The panel discussion will be moderated by Dhaval Kapadia and it has some interesting panelists like Anthony Serhan, Monika Halan, Nilesh Shah and Rajiv Bajaj.

So do we meet on 10/11th at Grand Hyatt for the Morningstar Investment Conference? I am headed there to see eminent speakers like Uday Kotak, Ridham Desai, Ajay Bagga, Nilesh Shah, Naren Sankaran, Nemish shah, Prashant Jain…..and whole host of them! 

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