In an interview with Yogita Khatri of Myiris.com, Pankaj Mathpal, managing director (MD) & chief executive officer (CEO) of Optima Money Managers, says, financial literacy is poor in our society. He wishes to make everybody financially literate that will automatically control mis-selling in financial industry.
Pankaj Mathpal is a certified financial planner with 17 years of work experience which includes 7 years of financial planning and training. He has constructed more than 100 financial plans and trained more than 500 corporate employees which include middle and higher management of Edelweiss Capital, Motilal Oswal Securities, UTI AMC, JM financial etc. he regularly addresses viewers` queries in the investor education programs on business channels like `Your Money` on CNBC Awaaz, Money Guru on Zee Business and Money Plant on Doordarshan. He also regularly addresses readers` queries through weekly column in personal finance section of Economic Times. His views and opinion on various financial matters are being quoted regularly in reputed financial news papers like Hindustan Times, Mint, Business Standards, Wall Street Journal & Bizxchange.in.
> Could you tell us about ` Optima Money Managers` and its mission & services? What services do you offer?
Optima Money Mangers is purely fee based financial planning firm. We write comprehensive or goal specific financial plans and offer wealth management services to our individual clients and SMEs. We want to position ourselves as financial planner and therefore avoid transaction based sale.
> What drew you into financial advisory business? How has been your journey so far? Tell us something about your experience.
I stepped in financial service industry as an insurance advisor and mutual fund distributor. Very soon I realized that there is difference between advisory and distribution. I saw that many of the financial advisors were doing their own financial planning through their clients rather than their clients financial planning. Due to my unbiased and client centric nature I could never push products. Further I decided to upgrade myself and completed my CFP certification course. Since then I have been practicing successfully as fee based financial planner.
> Please share with us your view on the several changes that advisors are facing in recent times.
Investor are becoming more informed about their personal finance, therefore the financial advisor who do not update themselves finding it difficult to manage their clients or sourcing business.
> Do the media reports of mis-selling against distributors affect you?
No. We are successful in positioning ourselves as unbiased financial planner and not positioned as distributor. We implement the plan and don`t sell financial product as financial distributor. Since I personally write in several financial news papers and do lot of investor education program on CNBC, Zee Business and Doordarshan so our clients are well aware about my unbiased image.
> As the tax-planning season has began, how would you recommend investors to go for the same? What kind of investment avenues one should look at for this fiscal?
One should always do the goal specific investment. Investor should include those financial products in their portfolio which provide tax benefits but should not invest in the product just because it has tax benefits. Most of the insurance policies which are sold by an agent for tax saving are not renewed by policy holder in next year.
> According to you, on a broader perspective, what financial resolutions should people take in the New Year 2011?
Make your monthly budget. Set your financial goals, plan it properly and implement the strategy to achieve it. Spend to the extent only what you can afford. Avoid ``buy now pay later`` strategy.
> What is your take on current market situation? What are the key factors that will drive the stock markets in 2011? What is your advice to retail investors now?
My outlook on equity market is bullish. Retail investors should invest in mutual fund instead of investing in direct stocks if their excess to research is limited.
> What`s the one thing that you would change in the financial services industry, if you had the power to make that happen?
Financial literacy is poor in our society. Wish to make everybody financially literate that will automatically control mis-selling in financial industry.
> Going ahead, what are your plans? How do you plan to expand your business?
Want to set up multiple financial planning outlets in the city and want to cultivate the habit of financial planning in each individual. As of now most of people buy financial products only in expectation of good returns from them without any objective.
> What three books related to personal finance would you recommend every person read?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Rober Kiyosaki, Money Guide by Selena Maranjian and Personal Finance for Dummies authored by Tyson.