Golden rule of investment Invest first spend later

Financial Advisors Interview
On: Nov 14, 2013 | From: Suresh Sadagopan
Financial Advisors Interview in Advisorkhoj - Golden rule of investment Invest first spend later

Suresh Sadagopan, Founder of Ladder7 Financial Advisors, Mumbai is into financial advisory for last 9 yrs and has clients in India and abroad. With a team of 5 CFPs, his firm offers 'Comprehensive Financial Planning' service to 300+ families. A founding member and President of 'The Financial Planners' Guild, Suresh is a CFP and has done Master of Management Studies from BITS, Pilani. He also has a Post Graduate Diploma in International Marketing.

What are your views on the current state of awareness on financial planning?

There is certain degree of awareness in urban areas due to frequent media coverage. But, the willingness to engage with the planner and pay fees for advice is still evolving.

Do you think that the need for financial planning in India is different compared with other countries, especially the developed world?

No, I feel client’s situations everywhere in the world are similar. It is a fallacy to think that I do not have much money and will do a financial plan when I have more money. People need to understand that who have less money require the financial plan more as they are running a tight ship and the margin of error is less for them.

How long have you spent in the financial advisory industry? In these years that you have spent in the industry, what are the common investment mistakes that you have observed?

I have been a financial planner since 2004. Few common errors that I have observed over the years are:

  • Desire to change the investments into what is doing well today

  • Looking for high returns with low risk

  • Putting all investments in one asset class (like property)

  • Not investing on a regular basis, too much churning in the portfolio.

What basic investments that a client should do during his/her first fours years of employment?

I feel,medical insurance is a must besides other investment. Next is to create a liquidity and contingency fund first and foremost before making the white goods companies rich! Invest, accumulate the amount required and buy anything you want with that. Start monthly investments with the surpluses available or else you end up spending it.

What is the procedure you follow when you meet a new client?

We first talk over phone and we explain our planning process. If the client is interested we would send further information to them. We would seek complete information from them about their goals, investments & finances. After they pay the fee, we start off on the financial plan.

What services do you/your firm provides? How do you charge for your services, and how much?

We offer financial planning services and we charge Rs.30,000 for the plan. But we also offer higher and lower versions of plan where the fee is different.

What value addition does the client gets after paying a fee?

They get a complete detailed financial plan. Three planners get involved for every plan and we walk them through the plan at three levels. The client ends up getting complete clarity on what we have done for them in their present situation and the recommendations. The recommendations are specific and actionable.

How would you differentiate your service from the other advisors?

The detailing, the amount of time we spend ( 70hours on an average ) , the three levels plan, three advisors per plan all together put our offering at the premium end of the plan offering.

What are the few golden rules of investment that you would like to share with our investors?

Invest first, spend later