InvestOnline.in India’s most popular mutual fund investing portal, founded by Abhinav Angirish in 2006, was built on the idea of constant innovation for clients. Clients are always at the centre of everything, and InvestOnline consistently strives to raise the bar regarding service and wealth creation. Abhinav is also widely known for his expertise in the financial sector.
In a one-to-one chat, Abhinav talks about the journey thus far, challenges and more.
Q – Please tell us something about the inception and journey of Investonline so far.
Abhinav Angirish: The professional journey of InvestOnline can be summed up in three words; going upward, learning and constantly evolving. At InvestOnline, we are extremely proud of our people-first culture. www.investonline.in was born on the idea of constant innovation for our clients. It was founded by Abhinav Angirish, a post-graduate in Marketing and Finance. InvestOnline was started when investment advice was pretty standardized. Advisory was confined to filling up forms or collecting a cheque and depositing them in AMC’s office. A sincere effort to disrupt the industry, make our customers feel special, and treat them with a personal touch has paid off. We have succeeded in setting a benchmark of service in wealth management. Today we actively cover more than 6000 families’ clients across our products and services and over the globe.
Q – What is the most significant challenge you foresee as a financial advisor, and how do you plan to overcome them?
AA – New clients, or prospects, don’t always want to hear what you have to say. It is difficult to get people to understand the need for life insurance or create an estate plan to handle their assets after they are gone. The biggest challenge is to keep the focus of our discussions on the big-picture to achieve their goals instead of dwelling on the nuts and bolts of the mechanical ‘vehicle’ (i.e. the financial plan). Thankfully, we’ve learned to ask the right questions and to identify and understand the goals that are most important to them. We probe into the client’s vision for the short-term, mid-term and long-term picture. It helps us prioritize their financial goals. Then, with that information on hand, we can frame a financial plan for them that will help them achieve the goals they have identified.
Q – Please share some insights on the recent developments of InvestOnline?
AA – InvestOnline is built for speed and scale in capturing, storing and enabling real-time transactions. InvestOnline.in aims to offer a complete set of financial services under one roof. Besides operating the state-of-the-art platform to cater to the individual’s investment needs, we also provide Restructuring and Reorganizations, Liability Management, Strategic Advisory and M&A, and Capital Raising. It is not just the end consumer we are serving; we also serve the other distributors who want to use our platform to offer services to their clients. Portals and Mobile Apps are DIY. It has been our constant learning and improving what an investor wants to see on his homepage. Too much-unwanted information can be intimidating. It is imperative to show what an investor is looking for. It is a constant learning process. So, while someone is looking for basic information or deep-dive into research, we provide it. Soon people will be able to buy insurance with a state-of-the-art comparison engine. We are constantly upgrading our mobile app to provide a feature-rich experience to our customers.
Q – What are your thoughts on the increasing awareness about the financial markets in Indian youth?
AA – There are multiple challenges on this front. The information overload causes the investor to become confused. Information that is scattered online is highly fragmented. At InvestOnline, we firmly believe in being on the front line of the business cycle, meeting and servicing our customers, and at the same time, educating them. We have an in-house magazine called InvestGuide that educates people about personal finance and economic issues. The magazine is distributed free to our esteemed customers. The idea is to connect with our customers and educate them about the personal finance space’s ‘What’ and ‘Why’. Without financial education, an individual can’t reach his full potential.
Q – What, according to you, are the qualities that a financial advisor needs to be successful?
AA – One characteristic that, when it comes to being a Financial Advisor, is more important than anything else is that everything is transparent. The degree to which an advisor is knowledgeable and competent will differ from one advisor to the next. Still, there are times when a Financial Advisor finds himself in a situation where there is a conflict of interest. Either he gives the client the correct advice and benefits the customer the most or gives advice that isn’t precisely wrong and won’t make things worse for the customer but will bring in more money for the advisor. As I said, transparency is everything. I firmly believe that teaching being unbiased and honest is an essential quality. In addition, the best allocation of investments that favours the client may yield lower incomes initially, but over time, it gains multi-fold.
Q – What would you advise someone who just started investing in the Mutual Fund?
AA – The best advice for first-time investors is never to forget the basics. Before you begin investing, ensure that you and your family are adequately covered for life and that you have adequate medical cover. You should invest some time in getting acquainted with the terminology and different type of funds. Recognize your goals and the time available to reach each goal. It is essential to understand your risk tolerance before investing. Investing through SIP will help you make small but disciplined investments regularly. And the most important is not to panic during volatility. Use SIPs to cost-average your investments.
Most importantly, wealth is built over time; there is no magic wand to make it overnight. Discipline, Patience, Time in the market, and Goals are the most pillars for a successful investor. If you follow these basic rules, you will inevitably be wealthy!