In the sector of providing financial services and advisory. Information on everything is available at our fingertips. And interestingly, to add further icing to the cake, all this information is available free. In this jet age of information availability, there are so many websites vying for your attention. That provide quality information.
Since you are going to have a long-term relationship with that Agent. And you will be placing your hard-earned money in his (or their) hands. Therefore, it is better to pay enough attention to choose a Mutual Fund Agent, who would be right for you.
When it comes to advising about finances, experience matters. When it comes to advising about Markets, experience matters a lot. Especially experience across market fluctuations. The duration matter as well as the tide.
Importance of Mutual Fund Agent
Today with so many Investment Options available, the task of doing prudent investment planning is quite difficult. Because we are surrounded by so much information. Around all kinds of investments such as stocks, Mutual Funds, bank FDs, NCDs, corporate bonds, Public Provident Funds (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), etc. This creates doubt in our mind. And at the end of it, we still keep wondering whether we have made the right investment decision. The main reason is that our decision was being influenced by several persons. They may be our family members, friends, websites, mutual fund distributors, agents, brokers etc. An everyone has his (or her) own view, which often adds to the confusion.
Most investors in mutual funds often come across this question: Should I go directly in a Mutual Fund Investment or choose a mutual fund agent? Now if you were investing in a Direct Plan of Mutual Funds, you will have to bear less management fee. Therefore your Returns will be slightly better than the investments you make through an agent.
If you have the time to keep updated on the market trends. You are aware of the right time to exit or enter a Mutual Fund Plan. When you know how much to invest and when to invest. If you understand the working of NAV, Annualised Returns, NIFTY, NSE and BSE-Sensex. Do you know how to diversify your mutual fund portfolio? If you know the best fund managers. You have a good experience in investing. If you can regularly scrutinize your asset allocation. If you have the time to regularly review your mutual fund portfolio. And you can monitor the Stock Markets.
A Mutual Fund Distributor provides services and brings convenience to you. If you want to invest directly in Mutual Funds or buy mutual funds without a broker, then you need to fulfill all those services yourself. When you have enough time, know-how and discipline to do all these activities by yourself. When you are aware of which Equity Fund, Liquid Fund, Debt Fund, Balanced Fund are doing well. And which ones to avoid. In such a case, you can consider investing in mutual funds without a broker. You do not need to choose a Mutual Fund Agent and you may invest directly in mutual funds.
Mutual Fund Agent provides you with a consolidated report periodically. Along with that, he also sends you different types of reports. For example, Absolute Return Report, Annualised Return Report, Profit/Loss Report, Dividend Report, Transaction Report, Investment Summary report, etc.
Your auditor may ask you for a Report for the total investments made during the year. Before engaging him, ask for these kinds of sample reports.
When you invest in Mutual Funds, there is a lot of paperwork and documentation involved. KYC completion and filling up the Mutual Fund Application are a few things your agent will assist you. The process becomes a bit more tedious when you choose to invest via SIP or STP for Lump Sum. As a Mutual Fund Advisor, he/she will know all these formalities, very well.
How to Choose the Right Mutual Fund Agent
You can follow some simple rules to choose a Mutual Fund Agent. These are:
At the time of selecting mutual fund schemes, the experience of a fund manager across different market cycles is of great value. Similarly, it is critical that your mutual fund agent has been through ups and downs in the market. Indian financial markets went through their last significant downturn about 3-4 years ago. So, look for Mutual Fund Distributor who has been around for at least the last 5 years.
Ask for referrals:
Ask your advisor to share contact numbers of some investors that he has worked with. Especially, who have similar goals and are in a similar life stage. Also, for those customers who have invested in Mutual Funds with him/her for quite some time. Contact them and check their own experiences on the advice and service offered by the agent.
One of the most significant roles of a mutual fund agent is to help the investor to understand the underlying asset classes in mutual fund schemes. And then combining them to achieve his/her investment goals. Look for the advisors, who are willing to take an overall view on your portfolio. Do a detailed risk profiling process. Understand your financial goals and investment objectives. And then, at last, suggest the best mutual fund scheme or a combination, thereof.
Ask about his compensation:
Different Mutual Fund Agent have different models of charging and earning. It may be Commission-only, Fee-only or Fee-based service, which is a combination of Fee and Commission. While each one would pick his compensation model as per the needs of his business model and client base. You must try to spend time and understand the same in detail.
When it comes to investing, you must spend time, ask multiple questions. And only when you are fully satisfied, go ahead with the same. And a good mutual fund advisor will not put pressure on you to decide fast. Hustling you to invest quickly because the mood of the market may change. Therefore, because you are going to keep investing in Mutual Funds for the long term, do your due diligence. A few days are unlikely to make a difference.
Lastly, but not least, do make sure to choose your mutual fund agent who is accountable for any statement or suggestion he gives you. He must comply with the AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds in India) and SEBI requirements. He must adhere to the Code of Conduct for Intermediaries, as laid down. He cannot leave any point and/or give you some false information and view. The purpose either sell or prevent you from buying. If they do, you can report them. SEBI and AMFI are the governing bodies. They may get De-registered or their license may get canceled, depending on the verdict.
Your Financial Advisor is responsible for recommending the right investment plan according to your financial goals. A successful Mutual Fund Agent, therefore, will have good analytical abilities, subject matter expertise, and customer service skills. He will help you chart out your path to wealth creation. You should also have clarity about how much the agent can charge, whether it is the commission or fixed fee or both.
In short, working with a competent Mutual Fund Agent can make a huge difference in your journey of investment, with his experience and expertise.
Planning to invest in Mutual Funds? Want to build a corpus? Worried about Retirement? Or a child’s education? Get registered with WealthBucket. With only a few clicks online, you have the assistance. The assistance of professionals who have an expertise of over 10-years.
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