In an interview with Pooja Chopra Goel of Myiris.com, Dr. K.K. Goel, Director, Unique Health & Wealth Consultants (P) gives a fresh perspective on client-advisor relationship.
Can you tell us about `Unique Health & Wealth Consultants (P)` and its mission & services? What services do you offer?
Unique Health & Wealth Consultants is a private limited company with a mission to provide and spread the health and financial awareness and thus bring about a positive change in life by providing, education, consultancy, and solutions to health and wealth problems.
With the internet and 24-hour business channels, is the average investor being overloaded with information?
Yes I agree. The information overload tends to confuse most of the investors and makes it difficult for him / her to decide what is right and what is wrong. Information on internet, if to this is added the guidance of an expert, would help create informed investors.
What can you tell us about dealing with debt?
Debt or say leveraging money can be a very useful instrument, if it is used for creating assets, but debts that create liabilities should be avoided.
How does a financial advisor make his living and is there any conflict of interest between him and his customers?
Ethical and client centric approach, is the only way to get clients confidence and trust, and would be the best way for long term business growth of any financial advisor.
What is one misconception about financial advisors you would want to refute?
Most of the investors have been investing on the advice of insurance or mutual fund agents/advisors, who are basically product sellers, and had been getting paid for investing. The concept of advisory services from financial advisors or certified financial planners is a new concept for investors, and majority finds it difficult to pay for a service. It is the financial awareness and education which would help both investors and the financial advisors.
How would you suggest a common investor ensure that their accounts are protected and not invested in dubious instruments?
Financial awareness and education is the only way out. Financial awareness supports a more rational decision-making process for individuals by improving their literacy against financial risks.
What three books related to personal finance would you recommend every person read and why?
> Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki
This book would help in getting a clear idea of what is an asset and what is liability.
> Guide to Investing by Robert T Kiyosaki
This book gives a good idea about various investment tools, and pros and cons of investments made by rich, poor and middle class.
> The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Talib
This book explains how random, rare, and impossible to predict events impact our lives and would help in dealing with such emergencies. This would help us in understanding financial risks and help us in dealing with the risks.
Do you think enough is being done to address the broader issue of financial literacy?
A lot needs to be done. Financial literacy must start from school level. All stake holders including government, financial product manufacturers, product sellers, financial advisor/certified financial planners, and education providers will have to take active role in financial education at all levels.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
The profession of financial planning and advisory services is in its infancy in India. We all need to really work a lot towards financial awareness and education at all levels, and inculcate client centric and ethical approach, in order to ensure investors understand the importance of these services and develop trust and faith. This is a noble profession and I am sure it would grow by leaps and bounds.