You must have operated remotely from home, attended client queries and patiently addressed their concerns during the COVID-19 lockdown. But now that India is unlocking in a phased manner (Unlock 1.0), it is time to gear up and be prepared.
COVID-19 will be with us for quite some time (maybe a year or more). India’s COVID-19 curve is still rising and showing no signs of flattening are seen yet — particularly in Maharashtra and Delhi. Besides, in some parts of the world, the virus is recurring. Dr Mike Ryan, the WHO’s Emergency Director, has warned that coronavirus may never go away; which means it will turn to be an endemic virus. So, uncertainty is here to stay. Necessary care and caution will need to be taken to conduct the financial advisory business in a physical, brick and mortar environment.
Under these conditions reopening office, getting back to regular work routine and increasing interactions with clients would demand a different you.
Reopen offices and grow business taking the following measures:
Numerous studies have shown that maintaining at least 3-feet distance (6-feet for more effective results), using a face mask, and following strict hygiene standards is extremely important to contain the spread of the deadly pathogen.
You may use infrared thermometers to ensure no employee with visible conditions attends the office.
To minimise the possible impact of asymptomatic cases, consider allowing employees to work in rotation. When they are not attending the office, they can work from home.
In case you operate from an office located in a business park or a large commercial structure, to avoiding peak-time crowding weigh up flexible working hours.
As far as possible, reduce the number of client-meetings held at either your office or even a client’s residence/office. If a senior citizen client is visiting you or you visit him/her, take additional precautions to ensure his/her safety.
Prefer e-meetings via video conferencing apps and/or WhatsApp Video call, Facetime, etc. Stable internet connectivity is the only prerequisite for organizing such meetings. You might face some inertia initially from clients to download the online meeting app and do registration — but, you will have to convince them tactfully. Any person, who can download an app from android or apple device, will not find it difficult to follow the process with your assistance.
Technology is the way forward- to grow your engagement with your clients. During lockdowns, many investors who were reluctant to use technology for staying connected, accessing reports or even investing in mutual funds have experienced how useful the technology is for the first time.
Some benefits digital technology offers you and your investors:
- Less paperwork
- Saves time
- Offer flexibility and convenience in transacting
- 24×7 connectivity
- No biased in favour of or against specific investment options
- Greater transparency in operations
- Quick response system
- Extremely cost-effective for investors as well as advisors
- Less paperwork helps make the most productive use of spare time to keep up with the latest developments in the field of investing and finance and technology
To become more competitive and effective in your advisory, you may take advantage of Certified Financial Guardian (CFG) online platform presented by Quantum Cosmos (a Quantum Mutual Fund partner initiative along with PersonalFN).
Here’s what you get on the Quantum Cosmos CFG platform:
- A special training course called, the “Certified Financial Guardian” to sharpen your skill sets and deepen your knowledge about investing and finance domain. It covers modules such as ethics, investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, and more!
- An instant online portfolio reviewer that helps you review any portfolio comprehensively and almost instantaneously. You just need to upload the PDF file of the client’s portfolio obtained from CAMs/Karvy to get a system generated report within a minute.
- A comprehensive portfolio analyzer to assess how diversified the client’s portfolio is. It helps you go to even to the minutest detail including exposure to a specific mutual fund house, asset class, sector, underlying companies, market capitalizations (large-cap, mid-cap, small-cap), investment styles, to a mutual fund type, sub-type among others. And what it takes? Nothing more than a minute spared to upload the MS Excel file of your client’s portfolio and voila! You will get an actionable report in a moment.
- A Mutual Screener that lets you scan through various categories of mutual fund schemes viz. (equity, debt, and hybrid) and sub-category, options, (Growth and Dividend), Assets under Management (AUM) along with their returns in just one click.
- In-depth Mutual Fund Research Reports powered by the PersonalFN team that meticulously analyses thousands of schemes before offering any specific recommendation (buy, hold, sell) and ratings. The research reports give you access to top-rated mutual fund schemes (across categories and sub-categories). These research reports are delivered directly into your mailbox. Additionally, you can also share the reports with your clients (by signing in to your profile). Under tough market conditions such as the ones that prevail today, offering detailed research notes, not just recommendations, demonstrates your hand-holding approach towards clients and goes a long way in nurturing your relationship with your clients and developing a thorough understanding of them.
- Market Snapshots and Mutual Fund Performance Tracker to track routine events and get day-to-day updates. Although it’s not advisable to track markets or investments on a daily basis, since equities are meant for the long term, that facility is available for your convenience.
- A smart Asset Allocator to ensure that client’s asset allocation is in line with his/her risk appetite and the time-to-goal.
- Galore of best-in-the class online tools and calculators viz.SIP calculator, STP Calculator, Retirement Calculator, Crorepati Calculator, Real Return Calculator, etc. Additionally, you can download a variety of excel calculators like the EMI calculator, Education Planning Calculator, Marriage Goal Planning Calculator, Human Life Value Calculator to name a few. All these tools will help you spruce up your processes and advice plus also help investors with important calculations almost instantaneously.
- Mutual Funds news and Blogs to keep you abreast with the latest happenings in the mutual fund industry. Besides this, you will get access to a huge knowledge bank of articles to help you guide investors/clients prudently.
- Downloadable Guides, infographics, GIFs and videos that you can share with investors via email, WhatsApp to propagate, educate, and impress upon investors/clients.
- Access to booking list to help you keep track of client appointments.
- And as a loyalty program, under Jimmy ’s Vision Club — a Special Partner to CEO connect platform — to help you Financial Partners / Distributors / Advisors to cater to concerns on the Mutual Fund industry. You can write to Jimmy Patel, MD & CEO Quantum Asset Management Company, asking queries on the mutual fund industry’s trends, asset allocation, SEBI rules, policies, nomenclature pertaining to mutual funds, their taxation, GST, quantum products and investment philosophy and more.
The lockdowns have ended but the battle against COVID-19 may drag for long. Be any client, you need to show greater empathy towards them in these testing times.
Adapting quickly to the changing business environment should be your primary goal in weeks to come!