Until a few months ago, Jayant Poogalia, an IT professional, thought he was saving enough for his money box. He had investments in various assets, including equity, real estate and gold. He thought he was doing good on his own until the size of his portfolio—in terms of the number of instruments as well as the amount—became too large for him to handle on his own.

That led him to a financial adviser earlier this year. Soon after he met Swapnil Kendhe, a Sebi-registered investment adviser, he realised that there was a difference between saving enough and saving right. While he was saving as much as he could, he was not saving right—the products he had and his risk appetite were not aligned to his goals. He realised his portfolio was heavily skewed towards real estate and debt investments. “The planner helped bring a method to the madness," said Jayant.

While his saving rate remains the same, the choice of products has changed—he has more equity now, though still limited when seen as a percentage of his portfolio. He plans to gradually increase equity exposure through mutual funds.

For Jayant, saving itself was never a problem. He followed the principles of “saving for a rainy day" and “living within one’s means" that he had learnt from his parents. In the 10-15 years of his working life before he got into a plan, Jayant chose to aggressively invest in traditional instruments such as Public Provident Fund (PPF), real estate and gold. Though he had equity investments too, it was not a large part of his portfolio.

“Jayant has always been a disciplined saver. Financial planning put a structure to what he was doing earlier. He had 22 different equity funds in his portfolio. We brought the number down to 7," said Kendhe.

While Jayant was happy with his equity returns, little did he know that he was not putting enough in the asset class. “I started investing in the markets almost unconsciously. I even managed to invest when the markets were reeling under the 2008 crisis and made significant gains," said Poogalia. He also bought real estate during this period. His wife, Priyanka Poogalia, doesn’t actively participate in the family’s finances.

The couple’s primary long-term goal is saving for the education and marriage of their 8-year-old daughter Trishla. “We have only one daughter and we want to do our best for her," said Jayant. Kendhe helped him realign his investments and move some of his debt investments to equity mutual funds. The planner also noticed that most of Jayant’s equity investments were in mid-caps, which are considered riskier than large-caps. He invests in large-cap funds for his goals related to his daughter. All his mutual fund investments are now into direct plans. “Though he was a DIY investor, all his mutual fund investments were in regular plans. We shifted him to direct plans which saved him a significant amount of money he was losing in commissions," said Kendhe.

His other long-term goal, retirement, is being serviced through a combination of PPF, which he already had, and mid- as well as large-cap mutual funds.

For his short-term goals of taking a vacation abroad in 2019 and buying a car, he invests in ultra short-term liquid funds and liquid funds.

While Jayant had term insurance before he met the planner, it was not enough. The sum assured was enhanced and he was made to surrender some of the traditional endowment and money-back policies he had. “One of the best parts of having a planner is that you don’t have to make calculations and a lot of decisions depend on these," said Jayant, referring to the surrender cost of policies. The planner also asked them to buy a basic family floater policy and get a high sum insured with a top-up plan.

Jayant now believes in marrying the basics of savings he learnt from his parents with the investment strategy of the planner. “Now he understands the basics of money management and practicalities of investing (like focus on asset allocation instead of returns) with more clarity," said Kendhe. Jayant feels he is now in control of his financial life like he had never been before.

Close