In an interview with Shweta Dhoka of Myiris.com, Annapurna Shastri, certified financial planner, Sriraksha Financial Planning Services, says, ''Retail investors should refrain from taking large lump sum exposure to equity related avenues and should adopt systematic investment route for direct equity and equity mutual funds investments.''
> How did you start as a Financial Planner? What services do you offer?
I started my career 15 years ago as a banker with a leading private sector bank and with a post graduate degree in financial management. As the banking scenario changed and the bank graduated from just transaction oriented banking to relationship oriented banking, I moved to the wealth management segment from retail banking. After spending about 5-6 years as a wealth manager, I quit my job, honed my financial planning skills further by doing CFP ( Certified Financial Planner) and started on my own. We offer financial planning and wealth management services to our clients which includes building customized investment portfolios,their implementation, regular monitoring and review.
> What is your take on current market situation? How do you see the market going forward?
Our economy is going through troubled times- with high current A/c and fiscal deficit, low GDP growth rate , high inflation and high crude oil prices. Since the stock markets are highly sensitive to economic ups and downs, the direction and performance of the markets will depend on how well the government is able to tackle these issues.
> What are the most common challenge a family faces these days with their personal finances?
Today, people earn higher salaries, have more disposable income but at the same time inflation erodes their purchasing power, income taxes eat into a significant amount of their savings and the availability of a vast number of investment options makes it difficult to choose the suitable avenues which will be both tax efficient and give them a reasonable growth.
> If a client who has monthly income of Rs 0.1 million, after paying of his EMI's and various other daily expenses he has an approx. Amount of Rs 25,000 in hand, what investment scheme you would suggest?
The client first needs to keep a reasonable amount in short term/ liquid/ cash schemes to meet his emergency requirements. Once this is done, he can invest the monthly surplus in a combination of systematic investment plans- diversified equity, gold funds and debt funds. The proportion in each would depend on his age and risk appetite.
> Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2013 did not increase the tax slab. What is your take in this respect?
Though the finance minister not make any changes in the existing tax slabs, the 10 % surcharge on income tax for the super rich, those earning an income of Rs 10 million and above p.a. is a positive move. Most of the developed countries are already doing so, and given that an estimated 42,800 people in our country fall in this segment, the government would be able to raise a significant amount for the country's developmental requirements.
> What is your take on current market situation? What are the key factors that will drive the stock markets in 2013?
One of the main factors driving the stock markets could be the FII inflows into the country.
> Your advice to retail investors?
Retail investors should refrain from taking large lump sum exposure to equity related avenues and should adopt the systematic investment route for direct equity and equity mutual funds investments. Tax efficient schemes like income funds and Fixed Maturity Plans could be considered by those who are equity averse.