Financial planning comes of age

Mumbai, March 28 | Updated: Mar 29 2005, 05:30am hrs
Do not confuse between your doctor and your pharmacist this is the marketing mantra of the new age financial planner. They are but the doctors who prognose ones risk profile and prescribe the right financial products, and not sellers of the products themselves, say the financial planners.

Though financial planning has not taken off in a big way in India, with two batches of 40 odd successful certified financial planners out in the Indian markets, boutique firms managing money for a niche clientele such as, say, medical practitioners, may just be off the cuff.

Professional money management got a shot in the arm as the erstwhile Association of Financial Planners recently metamorphosed into a self regulatory organisation called Financial Planning and Standards Board (India).

On a recent visit to India, Noel Maye, CEO, FPSB, Denver, US, said, Boutique firms are the order of the day especially in the US, where financial planners cater to some particular sections of the society like sportsmen or widows or single parents. This is a business where its not just about giving the client a good financial roadmap but also about networking. This is a peoples professional, where the financial planner is more your friend than just your advisor. Ranjeet Mudholkar, CEO, FPSB (India), said, Financial planning can be for very specific needs. Catering to a certain cross section of the society can serve as an ideal situation for both the financial planner and the client. This may be, however, thought of as a goal at this stage, as financial planning In India is still at its very nascent stage.

India is in a stage of transition currently. Thus financial planning is gaining significance as more and more people are making an attempt to judge their risk profiles early in the day. As this becomes an emerging trend, a mix of boutique firms along with financial planners working as employees of charter members of FPSB, consisting of the best names in the financial industry, Mr Mudholkar explained.