On one hand, we have Investment product sellers; like banks, brokers & individual consultants, who sell investment products, claiming to offer the best solution with detailed research reports.
On the other hand, we have manufacturers, like mutual funds & insurance companies, offering mouth-watering deals with smart TV & print commercials.
Who do we believe & trust?
As once a product is sold, one gets to know or understand the actual value of the product only after few years or later, that too when one meets a new advisor or spends some time on knowing the product 😉
Now if one tries to correct the mistake, by calling the seller or the manufacturer, customer is shown the “terms & condition agreement” or various “disclaimers”, one would have signed at the time of purchase. Which in most likely scenario, one would have not checked or read, and simply gone ahead based on the sweet talk or the projection shown based on the positive market trend.
Who to blame?
Without getting into pros & cons, based on my understanding, its “us” or the customer, who needs to draw a line & have to spend some quality time on what he wants, how he wants & where he wants? before getting into any investments.
Step 1: What one wants? means, as a first step, what are your goals, for which you want to make investment, like retirement, kid’s education, buying a house, business venture etc. or portfolio management. One has to define same with clear future value or expected value & time.
Step 2: How one wants? means, as a second step, what kind of risk is one ready to take or preference & understanding one has towards various category of investment products available in the marketplace. Which in turn will give an idea on the products availability (or shortlist) in those categories.
Step 3: Where one wants? means, as a final step, the platform or the execution of products which is shortlisted, based on above two steps. And off course the review mechanism/ platform as well.
Now comes the bigger challenge; how do we get all three at one place?
Again, we have a clutter here, with many new & old companies now offering these services. But the catch is, at what depth or how do we differentiate? My evaluation process is simple:
First, is it free or do they charge fees/ disclose charges? if the answer is free or nominal sum, my suggestion, don’t go further. Nothing comes free and in case you want good advice or service, it will cost.
Second, how detailed or comprehensive they are? Which can be gauged from the website, teams background, blogs, FAQ’s & best, an interaction with the team. I guess, I don’t have to explain same.
One such platform, which follows above practice is www.moneyfrog.in, where customers are guided based on their data & analytics, and investment products comes out only as an output, on their goals & various other data points.