I have been writing this blog for over 3 years now and one of the most common queries that I get from readers is whether I provide any Financial Planning services. Let me be upfront about this at the start – I do not provide such services in the way they are normally understood, nor am I a SEBI registered Financial Planner. In fact, I have absolutely no intention of being one too as I do not see this as my profession.
However, I do provide a service to select people who approach me directly. I have given the acronym of HELP to it. The expanded form is Holistic Engagement in Life Planning. In this post I will explain about this service and explain as to how interested people can avail of my services for this. As I have explained in several posts of my blog, life planning must precede financial planning. As an individual or as someone responsible for your family well being, you will need to plan the important life events as well as the lifestyle choices you want to maintain. Note that the typical financial planning process assumes that people will by and large plan for typical goals such as children’s education, marriage, own retirement etc. I find this a completely unsuitable way of doing things as the life of each individual is unique and needs to be catered as such.
So what is HELP then? As I said, the starting point is to take stock of your life in terms of where you are today and what are your dreams as a family – individually and collectively. So if you are a family of 4 with two teenaged son and daughter, your dreams could look like this when you are 42 years old :-
- Son wants to take up a career in Bio technology, daughter wants to be a film maker.
- Your wife is 38 and gave up her career for her kids 10 years back – she now wants to open up a boutique of her own in the next 3 years.
- You are interested in starting your Consultancy practice by the time you are 50 and for that you need to be financially independent.
- All of you like travelling and want to take a domestic vacation every year apart from short trips and also an international vacation every alternate year.
The idea of HELP is to bring out these life goals and lifestyle choices clearly, so that it can be determined what kind of financial support these would require and how can that be organized. Yes, the last part will involve financial planning but it will be in a very different way than just how to buy MF through SIP etc.
As I said, I have provided HELP to several people and all these were people who have approached me after reading my blog. Some examples will make interesting reading:-
- Advised a Colonel in Indian army as to how he could fulfill his dream of migrating to Canada in a teaching role.
- A software professional in Kolkata was worried about longevity of job and worked out an alternate plan should such an event occur.
- Got several people started on building a stock portfolio from scratch.
Note that in all of these cases, the people already had a financial plan made through a SEBI accredited Financial planner but they were not happy with their life and lifestyle.
The question that will definitely be asked is why am I the right person to do this? Let me start by giving some background of myself :-
- BE in Computer Science & Engg from Jadavpur university, Kolkata in 1986.
- PGDM from IIM Calcutta in 1988, with major in Marketing and Systems.
- Overall experience of 30 years plus, 27 years in regular corporate roles and nearly 3 years now in my Consultancy practice.
- I have worked almost entirely in the software services and BPO space.
- Have worked as a CXO for 15 years plus, nearly half of this in 2 publicly listed companies.
- Lived in Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad besides having travelled widely all through the world for my work.
- Have been financially independent since 2014 and writing a blog since 2015 June. The blog has had views in excess of 3.5 lacs till date.
- My daughter is BE from BITS, PGDBM from XLRI and working in a Consultancy firm now. My son is in his final year at BITS, doing a dual degree – Msc Maths + BE in Computer Science.
- I am associated with helping students in career counselling for Engineering / MBA.
- Am in the Hyderabad panel for IIMC admissions.
I believe in the Indian context, I am one of the few people who are able to deliver a service such as HELP. This has been proven by the 10 situations where this is done.
So if you are interested in knowing more about this, how do you get started? Well, the first step will be to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest to avail of this. I will then ask a few questions over mail to assess your current situation and then we can have an introductory call. After this I will let you know if I can do this for you and what will it cost.
Typical duration for the complete exercise is 1 month, with 2 interactions over phone per week and there is a one time cost initially. Yearly reviews after first year will be 25 % of the year 1 costs.
If you reach out to me, do not get offended on my inability to take you up ( if that happens ). I am doing this to add real value to the lives of the people and therefore cannot spread myself too thin.
Look forward to hearing from some of you – believe me, your life will undergo a serious transformation once you go through this exercise.