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26 February, 2024 14:24 IST

Financial freedom starts with small goals: Billimoria

Source: IRIS (18 February 2013)

Financial freedom starts with small goals: Billimoria
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In an interview with Shweta Dhoka of, Dilshad Billimoria, certified financial planner, Dilzer Consultants, says, ''Investing without a goal, is like driving without a destination in mind (or a headless chicken). It can be fun for sometime, but it leads to frustration, lack of discipline, no long term focus and ultimately defeats the purpose of investing.''

How did you start as a financial planner? What services do you offer?

I was in the mutual fund and insurance business since July 2001, and did half-hearted financial planning, for clients, without putting numbers correctly in place. I became a CFP in 2008 and have been practicing financial planning since then in a detailed and comprehensive manner.

Services are:

> Financial plan contrsuction.
> Investment Advisory and Wealth Management.
> Risk Management
> Retirement planning
> Child Education Planning
> Tax Planning
> Asset Purchase
> Vacation Planning

In India, when it comes to wealth management and financial planning, people do lack initiatives.

Why is it taking long for these concepts to gain popularity in India?

Not really. Clients are becoming more aware of the need for certified financial planners and some are even aware of where to look for such qualifications and what to expect from an independent financial planner.

There are still some people at the other end of the spectrum who are so confused and not certain of how and why a financial planner can help them.

Some others who ''think'', they know it all, attempt to shun the need for a qualified professional to assist them.

Actually, if an individual has the discipline, know how and are able to quantify their goals, an investment philosophy to meet their goals and read the investment jargon and continually monitor their progress, you are a financially enlightened client!

Overall awareness has definitely improved and this is what will play a crucial role differentiating the ''real'' planners from the unreal or unqualified.

What's the one thing that you would change in the financial services industry, if you had the power to make that happen?

Create more awareness in financial planning and financial literacy. Ensure regulations are realistic and can work in a place like India. Try to bridge the gap between persons making the regulations and practising financial planners to create a healthy and sustainable relationship between the client and the planner, keeping the overall interest of the client on top as always!

What is your wish list for upcoming Union Budget?

> Tax slabs to remain
> More reach of NPS to the unorganised sector and transparency in its working
> Introduction of DTC and its impact on pension products and PPF
> Wider net for 80C tax saving investments.
> Higher tuition fee per child to be allowed under a separate head as savings and not clubbed under Sec 80 C.
> Capital gains changes with DTC

In today's fluctuating market conditions, what's been the most common reaction from your clients?

We try and alleviate concerns among our clients if any, by continually monitoring their portfolio and making changes, thus ensuring positive returns as the bottom-line.

At the same time, we need to remind clients of their long term goals and seeing the bigger picture from any short term volatilities which are temporary.

What are the new likely risks that one should be aware of while investing?

Have a plan in place and follow it, before you invest. Investing without a goal, is like driving without a destination in mind (or a headless chicken). It can be fun for sometime, but it leads to frustration, lack of discipline, no long term focus and ultimately defeats the purpose of investing; financial freedom starts with small goals.

This method leads to chasing market returns, creating greed and ultimately losses, and defeats the objective of wanting to invest.

Financial planning is a long term process and the relationship between client and advisor is lifelong, which makes it a fulfilling experience to both concerned.

Is there some thing that you would like to share with us?

I have a message for my fellow-advisors. 'Deliver' more value than asked for, understand needs in detail, understand risk, provide for active portfolio management, engage with the client, share and imbibe trust, and walk through his/her goals as if they were yours!.

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