According to the third CFA institute investor trust study survey covering 3,127 retail investors and 829 institutional investors worldwide, 70% of Indian investors work with professional advisers compared to 54% globally; 81% of these began work with advisers in the past six years. Of these Indian investors, 31
Benefits of Financial Advisers
So, what do the financial advisors bring to the table for you? According to Accenture Consulting survey report. “a human advisor (even if advice is provided virtually) is still seen by a slight majority (51 percent) as the most reliable option for new investment ideas. 57 percent of investors felt human advisors (virtual included) provided the best customized advice.”
Decision Making – Financial advisors assist you in objective decision making. Generally, an investor tends to get emotionally attached with his portfolio. When the markets undergo upheaval, he is liable to get swayed by the volatility and take biased decisions. A good professional advice from his financial advisor will assist him to arrive at objective and well thought through decisions. Moreover, financial advisors come to you with experience, intimate knowledge of financial products and market research. By virtue of their work, the financial advisors are in touch with numerous wealth managers, investment bankers, mutual fund managers and most importantly the common man to know the market sentiment and its buzz. This makes decision making more holistic by avoiding myopic and blinkered market view.
Diversification – They help you to diversify your investments. The financial advisor understands the importance of diversification as a means to beat the market volatility and thus helps you to stay on course to meet the financial goals. Statistically, as per the LMGIS survey, advised investors are better informed and more confident to diversify their portfolio into asset classes other than equities.
|ASSET CLASS||% OF ADVISED INVESTOR||% OF DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) INVESTOR|
Taxation – A common DIY investor may not understand the taxation intricacies of various financial instruments. Furthermore, taxation is a dynamic process and staying updated regarding various facets is also critical. To make maximum gains, the investor must know how to work around the taxation labyrinth correctly to avoid paying taxes unwisely and coming under the taxman’s scanner.
Risk Profiling and Goal Planning – A financial advisor will put you through the paces of risk profiling and financial goal planning before suggesting investment options. This is the correct and methodical way of going about investment. A DIY investor at times overlooks these important aspects and gets carried away to invest in a financial instrument that is marketed better than others even though it may not suit his risk profile or meet his financial goals in the given time frame. Financial advisors tailor your portfolio from a plethora of financial instruments to suit your risk profile and help you meet your financial objectives within stipulate timeframe.
Professionalism – Financial advisors bring professionalism to your investment management. In accordance with your risk profile and financial goals, they carry out annual or half-yearly portfolio reviews and rebalancing to minimize losses and maximize gains. Next, they track the markets continuously and advice you at opportune times to book profits or cut out losses appropriately through redemptions, switches or purchases.
Better Returns – The use of a Fi
How to Select a Suitable Financial Advisor
Qualifications and Credentials – Dime a dozen financial advisors are available in the market. This makes it difficult for an investor to choose the right man for the right job. To choose a financial advisor wisely, an investor must look for a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) registered investment advisor (RIA) who preferably is a certified financial planner in
Experience and Reputation – A post graduate in finance related subjects or a graduate in any discipline with five years’ experience in financial sector is eligible to apply to SEBI for registration as an investment advisor. Therefore, the investor must look for an advisor with more than five years’ experience with good market reputation.
Client Base and Assets Under Management (AUM) – Depending on his financial net worth, the investor must choose the financial advisor based on his client base. If the investor is a high net worth investor (HNI) then he should look for a financial advisor who deals with HNIs and if the investor is medium to low net worth investor then he should look for advisors whose majority clients are of equal financial status. This will ensure desired client relationship services and investment plans. It will be prudent for the client to find out the AUM of the financial advisor to gauge his overall market standing.
Referrals and Trust – A referral from a friend or relative will go long way to shortlist the correct financial advisor. A number of portals are available online to select, however, it is difficult to gauge their integrity and service before putting your money through them. The single most important aspect of the client relationship is trust, which takes time to build up. It is only prudent to initially invest small sum with the financial advisor and then take time to gauge his returns, service and work ethics. If satisfied, your subsequent investment could be a larger sum. It is advisable to give yourself two to three years to correctly gauge the financial advisor before making more substantial investment with him. Financial crisis tests the advisor-client trust. As per third CFA institute investor study, 83% of Indian investors believe their advisers are prepared to handle the next crisis, compared with 55% of investors globally.
Watch Out Aspects
Vested Interests – The financial advisors can be influenced by mutual fund houses or NBFCs to sell their products because of additional gratifications that they offer to them. Alternatively, he may be under pressure to meet their financial targets. This results in a conflict of interest wherein the advisor tries to push through financial products that do not suit the requirements of the investor.
Promise of Excessive Returns – The average equity returns vary between 12 to 15 percent. All financial products investing in equity markets are subject to market risks and an investor must understand that risk and returns are directly proportional. Therefore, to invest on promise of absurdly higher returns of 25 to 35 percent is to take unnecessary risk. DIY Investors – There are numerous pitfalls that a DIY investor has to overcome. He must sift through labyrinth of information available and then undertake correct documentation, have the courage to take difficult financial decisions, beat the habit of chasing performance and returns, keep a track of all investments and undertake periodic reviews objectively.