Wealth Management concept catching up fast in India

ET 4/5/09
 The wealth management concept is catching up fast in India with rising income levels, substantial share of household savings, growing number of high networth individuals and all kinds of exotic products available in the market for investment.
 Since India is in growth mode and a large number of youths are entering the job market, even those distributing products are slowly assuming advisory role. Lot of organised players from within and outside the country are waiting to enter the WM space, said, Mariam Mathew Kora, Associate Vice President and national sales manager, private client group, DBS Cholamandalam Distribution, part of Murugappa group.
 People need to invest to meet their short term liquid needs, for regular income and tax planning in the medium term and meet long term needs like housing, retirement, children’s education and children’s marriage. They are flooded with investment options like deposits, mutual funds, life insurance, equities, gold and other commodities, real estate and PE funds.
 “Like every family and individual consulting a doctor, lawyer and auditors, they should have a professional wealth manager to advice them on their investment”, she said addressing an ET in campus event on, ” Wealth better created is better managed” organised at Dhanalakshmi College of Engineering, Manimangalam near Chennai last week.
 As the income level goes up, life expectancy increases, life style requirements increase and with tax rates changing, one needs to have a wealth manager to advice. Wealth managers have come to play a role in the life of people right from the day they begin their career upto the stage of planning for their retirement and writing wills.
Estate planning has also necessary to smoothly craft a succession planning in families and enterprises. Similarly, writing wills have become important. With rising income levels, one can write wills even at the age of 40, she pointed out.
Ms Kora noted the role of wealth managers and investment advisors have become all the more critical in the current turbulent times when market dynamics have changed rapidly and investors are finding it difficult to decide on the choice of investment.
She said majority of the investors consult their friends and colleagues before they invest which have chances of wrong advice. Investment in various products are also routed through brokers and agents. Here comes the role of organised wealth managers.
“Wealth management is not a rocket science. It is about knowing the financial market, identifying the needs and priorities of a person and perfectly matching them with the products available in the market”, Ms Kora told the MBA students.
She converted her hour long presentation on the subject into a lively interactive session for students encouraging them to chew their brains asking questions like : what are the most common savings options for people, what is a stock market, how many stocks are listed, what is a mutual fund, which are the top life insurance companies come to their mind etc.,
 Ms Kora also told them career opportunities are plenty with banks and organised players entering the WM space. “You can become a certified financial planner (CFP), certified financial analyst ( CFA), wealth manager, specialist in product planning, stock broker\dealer, research analyst, operations analyst, marketing manager and business development manager”, said she.
 She advised the management students to prepare themselves in advance by joining the two year course on CFP and CFA. “While dealing with customers, you should have an open mind, very exotic knowledge on various financial products and technical know how to offer any clarification”, Ms Kora said.

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