SME Times News Bureau | 29 Aug, 2023
In an exclusive
interview with SME Times, Certified Financial Planner Col.
Rakesh Goyal (Retd) said that Trust
and credibility are the mainstays of financial services. And many people get
trapped with scamsters and lose money.
Excerpts of the
Question1. You were in the Army. Which corps/regiment? Please tell our readers
something about your experiences
I was stationed in the
Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Corps, commonly known as EME. My
experiences have been characterized by sacrifice, development, camaraderie, and
the acquisition of abilities and traits that can be applied in contexts far
outside the military.
What made you enter the financial services industry? Is it because
of family business?
I always had a genuine passion for finance,
economics, and the workings of financial markets. I joined this industry
primarily to assist Armed Forces personnel in achieving their financial goals,
whether it’s investment planning, retirement planning or estate planning
Dealing with the financial markets requires a lot of
financial discipline. Do you think your Army experience is helping you a lot?
Oh, without a doubt! I
was taught to march to the beat of the drum while I was in the army, and now
that I am in the financial markets, I am attempting to ensure that our
investments do not miss a beat either!
My military experience
has had a significant impact on my financial discipline. The unpredictability
of financial markets is similar to the chaos I had to navigate while serving in
the military, whether it was sudden attacks or crises. Both require a cool head
and adherence to well-organized plans. My financial strategy is based on the
military maxim, "Proper prior planning prevents poor performance."
Extensive market research, analysis, and contingency plans are the cornerstones
of my strategy.
Financial agility naturally translates from
adaptability, a key survival skill in the military. I have developed the
ability to quickly adjust strategies in response to market surprises. The
ability to change course in the marketplace is priceless, just as it is
important to adapt tactics on a changing battlefield.
Both domains recognize the importance of
teamwork. Collaborating, networking, and picking the brains of financial
professionals help to create a support network in finance, just as the power of
a unit defines the army. The support I received from my fellow soldiers in
overcoming obstacles and celebrating victories is similar to that of the
The army's standard practice of risk management
also extends to financial risk-taking. My gut instinct, honed in the army,
directs me to seize opportunities amid market turbulence, similar to making
quick decisions in combat situations.
Following budgets, controlling emotions, and
making consistent financial decisions are examples of how discipline, which was
developed in the army through rules and routines, is now demonstrated. I have
learned how to be mentally tough by learning to accept wins and losses, which
has given me the ability to remain cool under pressure in volatile market
In essence, my financial
journey and army experience have converged. Lessons in planning, adaptability,
teamwork, risk management, and discipline I learned while serving in the
military have helped me better understand how to approach the financial
markets. I find humor in the change from military tactics to financial
strategies as I travel down this dual path, using growth portfolios and
research reports in place of grenades and rifles, respectively.
Trust and credibility are the mainstays of financial services.
And many people get trapped with scamsters and lose money. What kind of care
and due diligence should investors do before dealing with any financial
consultant or service offerings?
in the world of financial services, credibility and trust are paramount.
Investors should exercise a financial tango of due diligence to avoid falling
prey to con artists and financial disasters.
Credentials Check: Just like you'd ask a
dance partner for their credentials, inquire about the consultant's
qualifications, certifications, and affiliations. Honest professionals are
proud to demonstrate their abilities.
Research the consultant's track record. You
would not dance with a person who constantly falls down, right? Similarly,
avoid those with a history of questionable practices.
Trustworthy Tune: Listen to the music
or, in this case, testimonials and reviews from other clients. Positive
experiences are like a well-choreographed routine; they show the consultant's
ability to deliver.
Slow Dance Approach: Watch out for
consultants who push you to make decisions quickly. A hasty decision
could result in financial stumbles, just as a dance move can result in a slip.
honest consultant is forthcoming about costs, dangers, and possible
outcomes. If they are being evasive, it is like dancing with a
masked partner; you are not sure where you are going.
Financial choreography: Request a detailed plan
or approach. An effective routine makes sure you and your partner are on
the same page and working to achieve your financial objectives.
Regulatory Rhythm: Make sure the consultant
follows all applicable laws and regulations. It is similar to dancing at
a real ball; the chances of ending up in a con artist's waltz are lower.
Emergency Exit Moves: Talk about how to leave
the partnership if necessary. Knowing your dance floor exit strategies
will help you avoid awkward situations, just as knowing your financial exit
moves will help you avoid getting stuck.
Referral Waltz: Take advice from
trustworthy sources seriously. It is similar to asking friends with good
moves for dance recommendations.
Gut Feeling Groove: Finally, trust your
instincts. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. It's like
sensing an offbeat rhythm; it's best to find a new partner.
What is your advice to beginners of investments?
time to understand basic investment concepts such as stocks, bonds, mutual
funds, and diversification. Knowledge is your best tool.
- Set Clear Goals: Determine your financial objectives and time
horizon for investing. This will guide your investment choices and risk
- Start Early: Time is your ally. The earlier you start
investing, the more your money can grow through compounding.
- Diversify: Spread your investments across different
asset classes to reduce risk. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
- Start Small: Begin with an amount you're comfortable
with. As you gain confidence and experience, you can increase your investment.
- Stay Patient: Investments may fluctuate in the short term.
Focus on long-term goals and avoid making impulsive decisions.
- Avoid Emotional Decisions: Don't let fear or greed drive your
investment choices. Stick to your strategy, even during market volatility.
- Regularly Monitor: Review your investments periodically and
make adjustments as needed to align with your goals.
If needed, consult a financial advisor for personalized guidance tailored
to your situation.
Remember, every investment comes with its own
set of risks and rewards. Your investment strategy should align with your
financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
Can you please list 10
DOs and Don'ts?
- Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about different
investment options, financial markets, and basic investment principles before
you start investing.
- Set Clear Goals: Define your financial objectives and time
horizon for each investment. Having specific goals will help guide your
- Diversify: Spread your investments across different
asset classes (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) to reduce risk and increase
- Start Early: The power of compound interest can
significantly amplify your gains over time. Start investing as early as
possible to benefit from this effect.
- Invest for the Long Term: Keep a long-term perspective and avoid making
impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations.
- Regularly Contribute: Consistently contribute to your investments,
even if it's a small amount. Regular contributions can help you take advantage
of market fluctuations and build wealth over time.
- Research: Thoroughly research any investment
opportunity before committing your money. Understand the company, fund, or
asset you're investing in.
- Seek Professional Advice: If you're unsure or need personalized
guidance, consider consulting a financial advisor. Their expertise can help you
make informed decisions.
- Review and Adjust: Periodically review your investment portfolio
and adjust it to stay aligned with your goals and risk tolerance as
- Stay Patient: Investments take time to grow. Be patient and
avoid making emotional decisions during market ups and downs.
- Invest Without a Plan: Avoid investing without a clear strategy and
set goals. Random investments can lead to poor outcomes.
- Put All Your Eggs in One Basket: Avoid concentrating your investments in a
single asset. Diversification helps reduce the impact of poor-performing
- Chase Hot Trends: Avoid investing solely based on the latest
fads or market trends. Stick to a well-researched plan.
- Overreact to Market Volatility: Avoid making hasty decisions in response to
short-term market fluctuations. Stay focused on your long-term goals.
- Borrow to Invest: Avoid taking on high levels of debt to
invest, as this can amplify losses and increase financial risk.
- Neglect Risk Management: Don't ignore the risks associated with your
investments. Understand and manage the potential downsides.
- Time the Market: Avoid trying to predict market movements.
Market timing is challenging and can lead to missed opportunities.
- Let Emotions Drive Decisions: Emotional investing can lead to poor choices.
Keep emotions in check and stick to your investment plan.
- Overtrade: Excessive buying and selling can lead to
higher costs and lower returns. Be mindful of transaction fees and taxes.
- Forget to Monitor: While a long-term perspective is important,
it's also essential to periodically review your investments and make adjustments
Remember, every investor's situation is
unique. These guidelines can help you make more informed decisions, but it's
important to tailor your investment approach to your individual goals and
Automation is transforming many aspects of finance. How does
Lets Invest Wisely use automation to streamline administrative tasks, allowing
more time for strategic decision-making in managing clients' portfolios?
entire process of back end management, client engagement, working out the
investment plans, processing the investments, and monitoring the investments by
the clients is automated and online. The entire process is paperless, and
geographical separation is not a hindrance at all.
How does Lets Invest Wisely ensure that its technology
infrastructure provides up-to-the-minute insights to clients regarding
Lets Invest Wisely has a website through which a
client can login and check the status of their investment details. They can
also track the progress of their financial goals online through this login.
Moreover, we have our own app, Lets Invest Wisely, through which the latest
details of all investments can be tracked, including financial goals. Further,
this app also provides the flexibility to initiate all the transactions
(purchase, redemption, etc.) online by the clients themselves, making it
totally transparent and with full client control as well.