In an attempt to understand what is happening to the financial planning market and what influences investor confidence most, Yogita khatri of Myiris.com managed to get an exclusive interview with Aadil Kadri, Manager - Advisory, Continental Financial Services.
Aadil Kadri is a Manager - Advisory, Continental Financial Services. From humble beginnings as an average academic and struggling salesman, this Indian Professional Financial Advisor has clawed his way to the top of his profession. Aadil is a qualified and result oriented Certified Financial Planner (CFPCM) from Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) – India. He has a strong business acumen in advising Individual and Corporate Clients on securing their Financial future based on their personal and professional goals. Aadil has been advising clients on a range of financial services for over 13 years. A dynamic individual, Aadil, believes in leading from the front and is passionate about spreading financial awareness and the need for proper Financial Planning.
> What led you to choose financial planning as a career?
I have started working with my father who used to be an LIC agent for brief stint from 1986 -1991 after he retired and I was helping him paying the premiums for the client and taking him on our scooter in Baroda - India out for a client meeting. To tell you the truth I was not happy with what my father was doing at that time and I use to actually hate this industry where my father used to convince people for their own benefits.
After my college I got an opportunity to sell a concept of TIMESHARE with one of the reputed companies in India. It was then I realize that even I can also convince people. I have started thinking that it is same thing which my father was doing with a little difference and that is I was convincing clients to spend the money on timeshare (holidays) and my father was convincing clients to save the money for securing their financial future.
It was then I decided to choose financial planning as a career because this is what will make me happy as my clients will always remember me and my services for a long time.
> What is your take on current market situation? How do you see the market going forward?
I always believe and guarantee 3 market scenarios to my clients:
1. The market is going to go up.
2. The market is going to go down.
3. The market is going to remain flat… (There is no 4th option).
In either of this 3 conditions if your Objectives are defined and analyzed properly with a proper ASSET ALLOCATION set in place depending upon your age, objectives, goals and risk appetite, the markets are least to be bothered about.
> What services do you offer? How long have you been advising clients?
- I am associated with a Financial Services Company and we have number of products to offer from our range of companies we have tied up as our channel partners. We offer Protection Plans, Savings Plans, Mutual Funds and Medical Insurance.
- I have been advising clients from more than a decade… to be precise this is my 13th year in the industry.
> Briefly explain the investment / selling scenario of the financial products you offer in current market?
In this current market what I do is to build a relationship in my first meeting and assess client`s objectives and requirements as per his GOALS and aspirations. Once that is done… depending upon his priority and budget I recommend him solutions. I strictly follow the Financial Planning process.
The biggest ASSET an individual is having is an ``Ability to earn an income``. What I do is to see that it is properly secured before I advise him to look for any other savings / investments.
> How important is an independent financial advisor (IFA) in the total sales process?
An independent financial advisor and that also if he is a multi tied product provider it is always an advantage for the client because a multi tied IFA will not be biased on promoting the product from the same company unlike the tied agents. In this situation the IFA will give the product from the gamut of products which is in the best interest of the client. An IFA who has a CFP certification is always an added advantage for the clients as he takes the client through a process of Financial Planning and advises unbiased recommendations.
> In today`s fluctuating market conditions, what`s been the most common reaction from your clients?
It`s a very important question which you have asked and let me explain you in detail keeping in view this market especially NRI`s in UAE. (I am sure it is more or less the same situation everywhere in the world).
What has happened is that during the boom phase i.e. 2003 - 2007, investors have made lots of money. The whole of the economy was booming. Every individual or company has started making lots of profits from the business / investments. Salaries have been increasing across the board.
During that phase investors/clients have taken huge commitment mainly by way of Housing loans or car loans or any other commitments. They have not understood the nature of the market and they have not done proper Asset Allocation. But now what I feel is that clients are much aware and cautious before jumping in any impulsive decisions. I am sure this financial turmoil or crises (whatever we say) will be the best lesson learned by all investors (including myself).
> How many clients do you currently manage?
I have clients around 150 quality clients in total, which I have made over a period in the industry. What I mean by quality clients is that these same clients keep on enhancing their own business or they keep on referring their friends / colleagues / relatives. One has to understand financial planning is not a onetime event it is a process and has to be reviewed periodically as the circumstances and life situations keep on changing for an individual. This is the reason why it is always important to keep an honest relationship with the client and help them plan their financial future.
> What do you think influences investor confidence most? Do you think investor confidence is improving?
In the age of Internet and media what clients require is not the products and the information on the product. Many a time`s clients know more about the product than an IFA.
What investor wants to know from an IFA is that how this product is going to help them and their family for securing their financial future. If you want to influence the confidence of an investor do not try to sell them a product, but help them to buy a solution for their problems.
Investors confidence is increasing day by day and the credit goes to the regulators i.e. SEBI / IRDA / RBI because of their strict norms and rules & regulations which is not allowing the product providers or IFA`s to do anything which is not in the best of their clients interest.