In an interview with Yogita Khatri of myiris.com, Pradeep Hattangadi, Chief Executive at Raviram Financial Services says, ``I anticipate the debt instruments to perform better in the next 15 months. But that does not mean that an investor should move his entire allocation towards debt.``
> Could you please tell us about Raviram Financial Services? What prompted you to take up a financial planning profession? Tell us something about your experience.
Basically I am a banker by background. While corporate finance has always been my favorite, I found that while the corporate sector manages to multiply its wealth the same was not true with individuals who work there. The research on this led me to personal financial planning and my interest in the subject increased to the point of passion to educate people about the need for financial planning.
> What is the profile of clients that you mange today? Are clients clear in their goals? What steps do you take to bring clarity to their goals?
About 65% of clientele are NRIs. Many are now clear about their goals. I normally take the process of ``Questions are the answer`` methodology to enable people to understand and prioritize their goals.
> How do you see various debt instruments performing given the volatile markets and rising interest rates?
I anticipate the debt instruments to perform better in the next 15 months. But that does not mean that an investor should move his entire allocation towards debt. It would be ideal that a major portion of the tactical allocation be in debts during this period and the investor resort to a laddering.
> Financial literacy and customer education is seen as a step towards helping the common man take right investment decisions. Are you planning any initiative in this regard?
The major problem that our populace faces is of financial literacy. While FPSB and other bodies should take active steps in propagating the need for the same, it is also relevant to mention that investors who are interested in financial literacy to know that they need to pay for the same and nothing comes free. As regards my part in financial literacy, I conduct corporate trainings in finance and banking, where I make it a point to include topics that generate interest in the participants on the need to know more about personal financial planning.
> Equity-linked savings schemes (ELSSs) are the best initiators for investments in mutual funds but after the direct taxes code (DTC) they will become irrelevant. How is it going to impact the industry? Please share your thoughts with us on same.
It indeed is sad that ELSS has been slated to become redundant after DTC. The finance minister has in his budget speech has assured discussion on DTC before implementation of the same and I sincerely hope that sanity prevails and the ELSS continues.
> Have you as a team set a goal for the next three years for Raviram Financial Services? How do you plan to expand your business? In terms of firm size, client acquisition and services offered?
We hope to double our current strength of 3 in the next three years. As regards client acquisitions, the plan is to increase the current client strength to 100. We are also planning to add cash management services for SME by the end of next financial year.
> What piece of financial advice would you provide to the person who is ten to twenty years away from retirement?
Retirement planning or for that matter any facet of financial planning involves structuring considering the risk matrix of the individual concerned along with the current financial position. But in general, I would advise a person who is due to retire in ten to twenty years to be invested more in equities at least till 2 -3 years before his/ her retirement and slowly incline his portfolio towards debt instruments as he / she approaches retirement in phased manner.
> What are your views on the future of financial planning profession in India?
Financial planning profession as such has a great future. How soon depends on the propagation of this profession by bodies like FPSB, SEBI etc.
> Any additional thoughts, comments you would like to address?
The general belief of the public is that financial planning is for rich and wealthy a myth which needs to be dispelled. In fact, HR departments of all businesses concentrate on various human relations aspect except financial planning. There is a need to include at least a half a day program in their induction trainings on financial planning. This I feel is one of the best staff welfare measures that an organization would be undertaking.