‘There’s a wealth of information available online on savings, investments’

  • admin@kashmirink.com
  • Publish Date: Dec 2 2017 1:45AM
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  • Updated Date: Dec 2 2017 1:45AM
‘There’s a wealth of information available online on savings, investments’File Photo

As ever more people in Kashmir show interest in investing in financial products, the need for increasing financial literacy is urgent. 

Mitali Mukherjee, co-founder of The MoneyMile, a personal finance advisoryfirm based out of Delhi has some ideas on how to go about it. She spoke with Ink

 

Are smaller cities in India adequately serviced by financial advisors and planners?

The penetration of financial services companies, advisories is certainly low in Tier B and C cities such as Srinagar. But the good news is that in the last few years, technology has negated a lot of these imbalances. So, now access to information, making informed choices, and saving and investing is much simpler because there is a wealth of information out there in the digital space.

 

For common people, which aspects of investing suffer most because of poor financial literacy?

I think we need to see this as a continuum. What does financial literacy mean, what does it lead to, why is it important? All these questions, I always connect with the same answer – a better life. So, financial literacy is a means for people, from all walks of life, to work towards their goals. And goals can only be achieved when you know how to get there. The more information we make available to people – about what saving and investing means, how to set goals, how to save for those goals, how to make sure they are spending intelligently – the better the fabric of our lives will be.

 

Given the paucity of financial planners in Kashmir, what should people do toensure their money is invested right?

It’s great that technology has made physical barriers redundant in this case. So, follow a basic process: think about what your two-year or 5-year goals are, then think about what your financial state is –how much can you comfortably save, are you employed full time or not – and then work out the investment option – mutual funds, fixed deposits, gold – that offers you the best returns, adjusted for inflation. Currently, the best option is equity and it has been for a long time. After all this, pick a company you are comfortable with and an investment programme that seems doable.

 

Does the state government have any role in creating awareness about financial investments?

At this point, the role of generating financial awareness is being led by agencies overseen by the central government, such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Association of Mutual Funds in India. Having said that, I think what the state could do is enable more grassroots engagement. People need to be made aware of what financial planning is, why it is important and what are the various elements one should look at while making an investment plan. Thereon, I think information is quite freely available and people can and should be encouraged to make financial planning and investment decisions that best suit the goals they have for themselves and their families.