It’s been 6 months since I quit my corporate job on 1 July 2014 and started my Financial Planning and Advisory practice at PenguWIN. I took a couple of days off to attend my niece’s wedding and commenced the full time role at PenguWIN on Friday, 4th July 2014. So, when the Americans were celebrating their Independence, I too was celebrating mine, as I became my own boss!. I had taken the new office space by May end 2014 and started the furnishing work but for all practical purposes, 4th July 2014 was my day 1 at PenguWIN.
When I look back and reminisce these 6 months, my experience has been memorable and whenever my Ex colleagues, friends and well-wishers ask as how I feel, my response has been positive and that I am enjoying my new job. The only flip side is that the monetary part cannot compensate what I used to make, but I had known that beforehand and was well prepared for it.
Like most other businesses, financial advisory business has its own set of challenges and misselling to gullible investors is definitely there. How else can so much of new funds and closed ended funds (NFOs) thrive in the industry, when there are established products with good track record available in the market? Similarly, Insurance products gets sold without even assessing the Insurance needs of investors. On the other side, the expectations of some the investors is also quite unreasonable where they expect rebating or part of the commissions that the distributors make.
Integrity and Business Ethics are of paramount importance in this business and the way I have modelled PenguWIN’s business is such that we are willing to compromise on the earnings but not try and sell products or services that does not benefit investors. The acid test to this in my opinion is whether I will be willing to buy the product or service and only if the answer is yes, I recommend it to investors.
I mostly recommend products where I have an exposure (as a result of which my personal portfolio has become unwieldy but with my financial prowess, I guess I should be able to tackle) so that I have skin in the game or else I should be fully convinced of the product and it’s just that I don’t have enough money to take exposure. Either ways I disclose this to the clients during the investment process.
An example of this is direct equity where several of our clients and prospects have asked as why we are not into trading or Stock Portfolio Management Services (PMS) and my answer to that is, “I am not convinced that normal investors can take the route of direct equity and hence I will refrain from that offering and will be able offer equity participation only through Mutual Funds”. Another example is that I do recommend investments in PPF which is a good product though I have nothing to do with distributing the product or get any monetary benefit out of it. I sincerely hope such practices benefit in the long run rather than try and make some quick money.
From a business perspective we have acquired about 50 customer from 30+ families. I feel that customer acquisition in this business can happen mainly through word of mouth and interaction with me as “Trust and Credibility” are very important. Trying to spend on sales and marketing might lead to a few enquiries but very few conversions. I am happy to have a few customers who know me for few years now (and have benefited from my advice), and have gone above and beyond to recommend PenguWIN to their friends and relatives and I am grateful to them.
Systematic Investing in Mutual Fund Equity schemes is one of the simplest, easiest and proven methods advocated by experts around the globe for accumulating wealth in the long term and I am planning to launch a specific initiative for it shortly.
I sincerely thank all my clients, friends, well-wishers, relatives, my wife and parents who have stood by me and supported me in the PenguWIN venture and hope that we will be able to make a positive impact on the Personal Wealth of our esteemed clients.
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