Time flies! It feels like yesterday when I was leaving Franklin Templeton with mixed sentiments of leaving an Organisation where I had been for more than 10 years and liked the culture and the environment and another of the joy of going independent in the business of personal finance. Now, this was something I had been thinking of doing for a very long time but could not muster enough courage to call it quits on my comfortable job. I started as a financial planner, with the vision of helping my clients globally achieve financial freedom. I am very excited to share my journey and some thoughts after completing one year of successful entrepreneurship at Financial Radiance.
Value addition: This is something that is always on my mind. I enjoy interacting with people not only about investments but also about what drives them towards investments: their goals and their passions. I spend a lot of my time talking to my clients, as understanding them and their drive towards investment is very important. Once the plan has been made, Implementation is quick since it is done through the online BSE Platform. I decided not to get into technicalities such as the filling forms, taking signatures etc. since these are non-value-add processes and I wanted to spend more time talking to people and understanding them. I have provided an App to my clients which they can log into and track their investments. Recently, along with my regular mailers, I have also started making use of the Broadcast feature in WhatsApp to keep my clients updated.
Process improvements: I have continuously improved my processes to bring in more efficiency and streamlined the procedures from data gathering to investment monitoring and tracking. but found scope for improvements. This meant unlearning and learning a lot of things. Eventually, these changes helped me in taking control of the entire process end to end, thus adding more value to my clients.
Being a master of one’s passion and not a jack of all trades: I tend to outsource non-core areas. I understand that I have my own set of skills and competence areas in the personal finance business. This is where I gain a lot of respect. However, often clients need certain products which do not lie in my expertise. In such cases, wherever possible, I have identified people, who can take care of these need much better than I would have been able to. This way, my work is simplified and the client gets the best advice, creating a win-win scenario.
Adopting technology: As mentioned earlier, I quickly realised that I would have to go digital in order to grow my business. Adopting technology has really helped a lot. With the advent of technology, I now have clients all the over the World, investing with me. No hard copy signatures are needed (given that the client has done KYC) and investments can be made smoothly, often, within a day.
To keep learning, being at the top of things: I spend a good part of my day reading. Every client is unique and so are their needs, to cater to that, I need to be on top of things, especially with the changing regulations in the country.
Being humble: I truly believe that there is a lot to learn from everyone. I understand that my success is driven by trust and I work hard to not let that down.
Defining values and sticking to them: There have been instances in the past year where a client’s values have not matched with mine. I believe that in the long run, it is better to not take up such opportunities and politely decline. I have done this in the past and would continue so as to not compromise on integrity or values. I take pride in the trust and faith that my clients put in me, and would not compromise on that.
Taking no shortcuts: I believe in building my business person-by-person. Before making an investment for a client, I ask myself a question: “Would I do this, if it were to be my money?”
Power of referrals: Referrals have been a great source of growth and so far 54% of my business has come only through referrals, some of the referrals being those referred by my clients too. One major advantage which I have seen about referrals is that they are in most cases already “sold” and all that I need to do is “validation” as the foundation for a long-lasting journey has already been laid in such cases.
Lastly, as you are aware, investments for tax saving purpose is about to start in India. I observe that lot of products during this season are mis-sold, as people scamper to make investments at the last minute. If you would like me to conduct an educational session at your company, school, college, NGO, just about anywhere, please do get me in touch with the concerned authorities. I can do my bit in education so that choices for such long-term investments are done in an objective and rational manner.
I would like to thank all the people for having put their trust in me. It is extremely satisfying to help my clients in their journey of achieving their financial goals. If you would like to discuss anything with me, give me a call at 98664 61113. If you prefer to write, drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to your continued support in many more years to come.