In an interview with Pooja Chopra Goel of Myiris.com, Balvir Chawla, Chief Financial Architect, Life Lite says, ``Always hire a reputed financial planner and read the fine print of recommended schemes carefully before signing on the dotted line.``
Can you tell us about `Life Lite` and its mission & services? What services do you offer?
Life Lite is a financial planning firm providing services in financial planning, wealth management. Mission of Life Lite is to upgrade the financial health of our clients and hence our tagline - ``For a sound and healthy financial heartbeat.``
How many fund houses do you deal with? In which fund house do you have the maximum AUM ((in terms of percentage)? Tell us your favorite all-time MF schemes and fund managers.
We are empanelled with all major fund houses. We have a major share in HDFC, Franklin Templeton, Axis for various schemes. We do not have anything such as favorite schemes or fund managers since we recommend on client needs and recommend based on their requirements. However, we have a look at the fund house`s investment philosophy and also we have a look at their portfolio before recommending the schemes.
In the wake of Fidelity MF`s asset sale to L&T MF, what are you advising clients with investments in Fidelity MF schemes at the current point of time?
At this point of time we are recommending our clients to wait and watch and we will monitor the performance for a quarter or two before taking any decision.
What is one misconception about financial advisors you would want to refute?
A common misconception about financial advisors is that they just want to make money at the client`s cost and they always mis-sell.
How does a financial advisor make his living and is there any conflict of interest between him and his customers?
A financial advisor makes his living by charging fees and also earning commission from the companies for whom the products are sold. If a financial advisor is fair in his dealings and transparent with his clients then there is no conflict of interest.
How would you suggest a common investor ensure that their accounts are protected and not invested in dubious instruments?
A common investor should trust his advisor but not blindly. Also the investor should not have very high expectations on returns from any investment. Always hire a reputed financial planner and read the fine print of recommended schemes carefully before signing on the dotted line. Every investor should understand the pros and cons of the investment before signing the dotted line.
Do you think enough is being done to address the broader issue of financial literacy?
There is enough activity happening for financial literacy. However there can be much more that can be done by providing financial literacy at school or college level since they are the future and they should have the requisite knowledge. Financial literacy is focused today more on the upper middle class whereas we need to provide literacy to all strata of the society.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
As an advisor, be clear with your communication with your clients and be confident. Have a self belief that your services are worth a price and you can change the lives of your client for the better. The job satisfaction in advisory is uncomparable and one should enjoy the profession with pride.