imgbd Wise Advice

Wise Advice from India's most prominent IFA

Dhruv Mehta, Chairman FIFA

imgbd Dhruv Mehta, in his capacity as FIFA's Chairman, is today the most visible face of the IFA fraternity across all stakeholders. He champions the cause of the IFA at every forum in his very articulate and logical manner. But, beyond being the champion spokesperson for the Indian IFA, he is also one of the most successful IFAs in the country, with rich experience in managing the wealth of affluent investors through multiple market cycles. It is this rich experience in both these aspects that we tapped into when we requested Dhruv to share his words of wisdom on markets, on managing investors and on dealing with an ever changing regulatory and competitive environment.

My learnings over the years on markets and dealing with markets

  1. Faith in equities has been justified. Equites have delivered 2x/3x the returns in fixed income over the last decade inspite of a 50% drawdown.

  2. Inspite of having understood the arithmetic behind compounding, the magnitude of the effect of compounding still surprises me when one actually sees it magical effect in client portfolio's

  3. Investment in Equites have had a significant effect on Client's lifestyle post retirement.

  4. Wealth Creation happens only through entrepreneurship - and equites allows ordinary individuals to participate in this journey.

My learnings over the years on understanding clients and their evolving needs and aspirations

  1. Influencing Client Behaviour is more dependent on understanding their emotional framework.

  2. Most times clients' decisions are based on emotions than on rational judgement.

  3. It is only over time that one understands the Client's unstated needs, aspirations and expectations

  4. One needs to have deep knowledge on Behaviourial Science besides Financial Expertise to deal with this.

My learnings over the years on dealing with regulatory change in the profession

  1. Regulators are sitting in Ivory Towers so they don't understand ground realities.

  2. It is for us as a community to take the responsibility to make them and the media aware of the ground reality

  3. We also need to highlight the GOOD that is done by our Profession

  4. Practitioners need to come together under one platform , that is what FIFA has been trying over the last 4 years.

  5. Need for Manufacturers and Distributors/Advisors to jointly represent issues to Regulators

My learnings over the years on dealing with an ever changing competitive landscape

New Players will keep coming with different Models. Economic variables will keep changing.

Analysis, study, learning will be constant. Advice based on rational thinking is essential and maintaining a deep relationship with clients a must

You need to keep adding value to the relationship

My learnings in recent years on driving a collective movement for the IFA fraternity

It has been challenging to reach IFAs across the length and breadth of the country.

Not having a full fledged office and staff has been a constraint

This has been made up by the voluntarily time , effort and contributions of some devoted members

Our evolution is in a similar when you compare with the developed markets like USA in1980-90. However regulators in these developed markets had greater belief in the market economy and in competition then. This does not appear to be the case now in India.

Greater opportunity for the IFA community to grow exponentially with a supportive regulatory framework. Hence the need for all to come under one platform - Maybe Amulization as Nilesh Shah has put it.


Content is prepared by Wealth Forum and should not be construed as an opinion of HDFC Mutual Fund.

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