Even though consumers have been using online banking and mobile applications for years, the concept of online financial planners like Moneyfrog.in is still new. In comparison to a traditional face-to-face financial planning relationship, how do online financial planners work?
Online financial planners allow you to:
- Develop plans for your finances that are comprehensive enough to include every aspect of your life from buying new home, child education, insurance, long-term investment management, spending trends, and retirement.
- Analyse your debt, understand how debt management works, and develop a plan to pay down debt.
- Access finances at any time. You don’t need to make appointments with a financial planner, or schedule an office visit plus travel time.
- Analyse your financial situation and run scenarios to cover “what if” questions about your financial future. You can change your financial plan at no extra cost.
- Keep your information private. Unlike a traditional financial planner, no one else needs to see your personal information, and you can rest assured your information is stored securely.
- Run quick reports, and understand them easily.
“I have opted for financial planning and wanted to invest in mutual funds” – when I told this to my mom; she was as concerned, as one feels towards a medical patient.
Now stop smiling there!
If it reminds you of a famous dialogue-“It happens only in India”, then you are wrong. It’s not just the case in India, it’s worldwide. People are afraid about investing in market either because of their bitter experiences or scarce knowledge.
My mom warned me to either take a money back insurance policy or open a bank FD account for all my needs. She said “it’s more than (more…)
Yes, very true, this is exactly what everyone thinks in India, whenever we hear the term “Financial Planning”.
Since the day I have started my venture in similar field and my interactions with my near & dear ones to promote same, reactions have been quite similar, i.e. they perceive my pitch as another advisor in town, who wants to sell investments (i.e. Insurance or Mutual Fund). And all most all of them have replied back (though without hurting my feelings), that they will call back once they have funds in hand… 😉
As a matter of fact, my own experience of last 15 years in capital market & my recent venture, where we have registered more than 1500 customers for Financial Planning, most of them or rather 99% of them, relate the term “Financial Planning” to “selling new investments”.
We all get tempted at offers when we see discounts at stores, malls or even online websites and end up purchasing goods, which we may actually don’t require or even use in the near future. Whereas, we most likely will shrug off a genuine seller, who would be pitching for a product (with or without discount), which will actually be beneficial & useful to us.
Why do we behave like this?
This is a scenario which one goes through while relocating to a new place, mainly to metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore. It’s been everyone’s dream to have their own property, but without any guidance in place, making us feel helpless.
One hand you have hordes of brokers who are ready to show you apartments, where you just have to give them an indication on your budget. On the other hand you have banks offering home loans based on your eligibility & make offers look very attractive.
But both these parties will never ever advice what is good & right, give you a cost benefit analysis, how one should look at buying a property or even renting? Broker makes cool 1% on the purchase transaction. Banks has a spread of 3% to 5% on your interest payment & makes handsome money by lending.
Well for starters, my interaction with customers of all categories, i.e. retail to mass affluent or even budding HNI’s, not just in today’s market scenario, but since last 15 years of my corporate career, is that customers don’t mind paying for advice, as long as same delivers, “what is preached?”
Pop comes out question; why we don’t have players or offerings which takes care of same?
My understanding, it’s all about vision & execution from a leader or from a company, where we have very few risk takers or even innovators. We all follow a herd mentality, not just at a customer level, but even at a company & leader levels. In short, we have very few companies, who would want to try new products or create new demand. I am talking about companies like Apple, Facebook, even our own Tata motors with Nano… all have DNA built on innovation & customer centric working. Whereas most of the other companies, follow the herd mentality.
With 2015 few days away, I thought of writing the most debated topic & a crucial benchmark, which always get backseat…. What should come first? Expenses or investments?
Let me start with you… which one will you prefer?
- Income minus expenses equals investments
- Or Income minus investments equals expenses
I will not be surprised, if you have selected the 1st option, as most of us including myself (till few years back though) follows the first model, i.e. we take out expenses from our monthly income first & balance is looked at investments later, on what is left.
I started thinking as to why most of us follow this model, even though back of the mind we know it’s wrong.I started comparing societies & countries on how they follow savings & investments. What comes out clearly in the culture & upbringing an individual goes through, where I can draw parallel to the most heated topic of 2014, “women empowerment”.