Insights

How FundsIndia Provides Advice

June 25, 2013 . Srikanth Meenakshi
Although I have been meaning to write this article for a while, today’s Mint article by Kayezad made me get to it finally. Kayezad’s article was about how online mutual fund investors can get advice and make good decisions. As can be seen in the article, I had spoken to him in this regard. I had provided extensive information about how FundsIndia provides advice, but probably due to length restrictions, much of it did not make it to the essay. So, here’s the full picture.

From day 1 of launching FundsIndia.com’s investment services, we have been providing advice to our investors without charging for it. Over the years, what has evolved is HOW we have been doing it – the manner of providing it and the channels we use. 

Although at the time when we launched our platform many of our investors (the early adopters) were quite mutual fund savvy folks, as time went on and the word spread, we had a lot more people who needed guidance and help. As their numbers kept increasing, so did the ways in which we went about providing counsel to them.

Fundamentally, there are three modes by which we provide advice to our customers – passive, reactive, and pro-active.

Passive 

The world of mutual funds in India is large, and choosing where to invest is not a trivial task for the uninitiated. Hence we have put together guidance material that an investor can simply walk-in and use. Inspired by the curated fund list Mint 50, we put together our own FundsIndia Select Funds – a list of investment worthy mutual funds. We have expanded our Ready-to-go portfolio set to include selections based on risk profile, time-frame,  and age of the investor. We have a SIP portfolio designer that will take simple inputs from the investor and fashion a portfolio of funds suited just for that investor.

All these tools are available at all times to our investors – these are passive advice in the sense that there is no need to consult with us to use these advisory channels. Just log in, pick what you need, and invest.

Reactive

A lot of our investors use the passive methods listed above. However, sometimes an investor just needs a piece of personal advice. For those situations, we have our advisory channels. Our customers can login to their account and simply ask their questions. They can choose whether they want a response by email or if they want a financial consultant to call them and speak to them. They can specific when they would like to be called, and get answers to their specified questions and more. Or one can simply shoot an email to contact@fundsindia.com with their question.

This is a reactive mode of advising in the sense that we are not pursuing our investors to provide advice. We simply make ourselves available as and when they need our advice. 

Of late, one more channel has added itself to this method of advice giving – and that is this blog. Vidya answers numerous questions of general advisory nature in our blog comments that it has become a new channel in its own right!

Pro-active

While these two modes of advice were going on, we were realising increasingly that people needed advice in some situations in a pro-active manner. These did not matter as much to their general purpose portfolios, but for their goal oriented portfolios, they needed to know if they are staying invested in the right funds in the right ratio. For these long-term portfolios, they needed someone to watch over their portfolios to ensure that they do not go stale and lose their returns-generating potency.

For them, we created FundsIndia Smart Solutions. An advised mutual fund portfolio service that would guide investors to their goals. While you can read more about it by following the link, I would simply mention that with this service, you will always have someone watching over your portfolio to ensure that you stay on track for your goals – both from fund selection as well asset balance perspectives.

So, there you have it – a complete suite of advisory modes and channels – a full complement that is available only in FundsIndia to make it real easy for our investors to make prudent investment decisions. 

At FundsIndia, we know that providing advice on scale to a large number of people is a hard problem. We are trying very hard to solve it – harder than any other entity that I know of – employing advisory smarts and technology tools. The list above is only a start – we have more to come as we move onwards in our quest to making investing a delightful path to a happy future for all investors.

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