Comments n Critics

One word that can make you RICH

I am sure you are all dying to hear what is this word…..well the word is NO. Nahi chahiye. Nyet. Nein. Vendam. Nako. Nathi Jothu. Do not want…..
the single word is NO. When I was reading an article recently I saw an article with similar headlines…it was an article in Newsweek and it said ‘One word Can Save Your Life: No’.Make no mistake this article was written by a doctor. She was not trying to save on deductibles, she was not trying to save money….AND THEY WERE APPLYING it to THEIR LIVES.
I could not but nod my head in agreement.
Cut. Come to India. With so many financial planners, quasi financial planners, quacks, banks, life and general insurance companies, mutual funds, portfolio advisors, portfolio managers, etc. fairly obviously somebody would have got you!
It is also so difficult NOT TO SEE THE ADVANTAGES when confronted by a good salesman (hopefully trained by me!!). Who can deny the need for focus, asset allocation, pension plan, child plan, neighbour’s wife plan, own mother in hospital plan, funeral plan, broken dentures plan, cancer plan, kidney failure plan, tiger eating you on the highway plan, ….- given the right name, selling it to the retail ‘prospect’ seems like selling toothpaste.
If you have teeth, you have to buy toothpaste, right?
So if you have a child you need a child plan, if you have a body you should have a medical plan, if somebody you knew got cancer, you need a cancer plan. Like they say anybody with a forehead thinks he can plan, so be it! If you will retire you need a retirement plan. ….so on and so forth.
So you agree to a Wealth plan, a Child plan, a pension plan, a medical insurance plan, an endowment plan, a ULIP, and an income replacement plan. Then the next word ‘Asset allocation’…sir you need to be in equities, gold, land, bonds, bank fixed deposits, post office savings, ppf, blah blah blah. Of course you need a few credit cards too.
Then the other word ‘leveraging’. So you need a home loan, a car loan, a personal loan (taken to make the down payment of the house which you anyway cannot afford!), a travel or foreign tour plan, children’s education loan, OMG these guys are innovative are they not?
Then the dreaded word diversification again. Large cap fund, banking fund, pharma fund, gold fund, midcap fund, small cap fund, elss.
Now that you have said yes to all this — he says sir you need to be in different fund houses too — so a Hdfc, Prudential Icici, Reliance, ….and a few more fund houses as per the distribution targets of the ‘advisor’.
So now you have a fairly simple request converted to 4 pages of holdings, some as a SIP, some ULIPs, ….and the client is completely confused.
Frankly what does the customer need?
Well if he has the ability, need and willingness to invest in education he should look at a couple of well managed multi cap funds like Hdfc top 200, Hdfc equity fund, Pru I discovery, Franklin India Bluechip…one term plan, one credit card..or to make it even simpler an index fund.
And sir do not invest in a lumpsum — do a systematic investment plan, a systematic transfer plan, a trigger option, a variable investment plan, a weekly transfer, a monthly transfer plan……..another list of options!
Once he has the basics in place, he should learn the art of say NO. No to channels, magazines, websites, blogs, planners, …just keep it simple dude.
Read the article and you will be able to relate to the financial world what that article says about the Medical world.
PS: My doctor has kept me off medicines for the past 28 years. I love him. Not sure if I can say about all the doctors….I have a few friends, a few clients, a few readers of my blog, …..I just drew a parallel from a Newsweek article to our noble profession of advise!
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By Swatantra Kumar

Swatantra is an engineering leader with a successful record in building, nurturing, managing, and leading a multi-disciplinary, diverse, and distributed team of engineers and managers developing and delivering solutions. Professionally, he oversees solution design-development-delivery, cloud transition, IT strategies, technical and organizational leadership, TOM, IT governance, digital transformation, Innovation, stakeholder management, management consulting, and technology vision & strategy. When he's not working, he enjoys reading about and working with new technologies, and trying to get his friends to make the move to new web trends. He has written, co-written, and published many articles in international journals, on various domains/topics including Open Source, Networks, Low-Code, Mobile Technologies, and Business Intelligence. He made a proposal for an information management system at the University level during his graduation days.

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