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Category: Practice management

Now Manage Client Privileges Easily on IFAnow

Now Manage Client Privileges Easily on IFAnow

ifanow_section_privilges_gif

We are excited to launch the latest version of IFAnow. Introducing Client Privileges. This has been a sought after feature request from lot of advisors.

With this, you can now decide which client should be given what access. You have an option to fine tune the customization to a very granular level.

For instance

  • You may want to prevent some clients from adding or updating financial portfolio or goals.
  • Or you may want to show Premium sections only to your top clients. This feature allows you to hide sections at a client level very easily.

Settings > Section Privileges

Six Steps Of Managing A Fee Based Practice On IFAnow (Reference: SEBI Consultation Paper)

Six Steps Of Managing A Fee Based Practice On IFAnow (Reference: SEBI Consultation Paper)

Yesterday SEBI released a consultation paper on proposed amendments to RIA Regulations. This is a follow-up to earlier consultation paper released in Oct-16 to which SEBI has received numerous comments. Looks like, most of the proposals will go through.

SEBI for one has made it clear that it wants both, RIA and MFD to co exist but with a clear demarcation of the services each can offer. It is now obvious that if you wish to offer value added advisory services, then you have to seriously look at registering as an RIA. MFD on the other hand will have to restrict their offering and deal with disclosure norms.

At IFAnow, we have always been thinking proactively on how the regulations may shape up and we try gearing our product development towards the same. Our goal is to always keep you ahead of the curve. One such module is Billing & Invoicing.

Important to note that the scope of this post is not to answer all questions around the way forward, but rather look at how one of the core challenges of an RIA practice, viz calculating & collecting fee can be handled via technology. For further analysis of SEBI paper, you can read Sadique Neelgund’s post here.

We’ve outlined a six steps process on how you can manage your Fee based practice on IFAnow:

  1. Register as an RIA: This is amply clear. To collect fees, you have to register as an RIA. The right model (individual vs corporate) would depend on your current structure.
  2. Define fee structure: In IFAnow, our Billing & Invoicing module allows you to define your fee structure. Whether you want to charge a fixed fee, variable fee, separate fees for direct and regular plans, one time or recurring, monthly/ quarterly or annually, slab wise or flat, you have all the options.
  3. Add clients: You can add your clients and add all their data on IFAnow. Right from personal profile, risk profile, goals to financial portfolio.
  4. Create Plans: You have an option to generate holistic financial plans from the platform. Whether it is doing goal based planning or provide analysis of cash flow, networth, insurance planning etc. You can do a lot of things. You can simply use the billing module without writing plans too.
  5. Generate Invoices: Having set the fee structure and done the planing, You can create invoices instantly.
  6. Collect fees: You can use our fee collection feature to get the fee auto debited from the client’s bank account. We do this via NACH mandate and a Tri-partite agreement. You can download the same from here and here. We charge a 5% convenience fee.

For further queries reach out to support@futurewise.co.in

BIG Update – Introducing Advisor Dashboard – One place for all your data

BIG Update – Introducing Advisor Dashboard – One place for all your data

planner_dashboardHaving all the important data at your fingertips can help in making you a super efficient advisor. Sadly, most of the time, this data is scattered across different software, excel files, diaries, e-mail, post it notes etc.

We understand that and we’ve tried to solve that!

Introducing Advisor Dashboard – A single place to access all your important data, instantly. Be it upcoming asset maturities, outstanding tasks, upcoming meetings, important action items or simply viewing your business growth, we’ve got it all covered.

Here’s an exhaustive list of what the Advisor Dashboard has in store for You:

  • Practice Level
    • Total client count
    • Client added in last 30 days
    • Total AUM
    • Total SIP book
    • Manage and track your business goals
  • MF Analytics
    • Recent purchases, Redemptions, Reversals and Rejections
    • Category wise AUM breakup
    • Top AMCs
    • Month wise Gross Sales, Redemptions and Net Sales
  • CRM
    • Tasks and activities
    • Meetings
    • Action plans
    • Sales pipeline
  • Maturities & Renewals
    • SIP, Insurance, FD etc.
  • Financial Planning
    • Upcoming client goals
  • Miscellaneous
    • Upcoming birthdays
    • Minor turning major
    • Recently logged in clients
IFAnow launches Advisory Fee Billing. Here’s everything you want to know about it.

IFAnow launches Advisory Fee Billing. Here’s everything you want to know about it.

Fee based models are now increasingly becoming a hot topic of discussion among IFAs. Not just the RIAs but even non RIAs are seriously looking at fee models.

Why this trend?

  • Clients showing growing acceptance towards fee charging
  • Gradual shift from distribution to advisory services requires advisors to spend more time on quality work thus commanding a fee
  • SEBI increasingly focusing on fee based models

Moreover, clients and prospects are gradually becoming aware about direct plans. In such case, if you have a fee based system in place, you can then offer direct plans too and charge a fee.

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Variable fee

We’ve been watching this space closely and strongly believe that fee based model will have to be looked upon by financial advisors as a serious offering.  Now, there aren’t too many options when it comes to calculating fees and collecting the same. Couple of ones that are currently there charge a bomb and require you to shed your identity by becoming their sub brokers.

We believe this HAD to be solved. We’ve spent last few months building a comprehensive advisory fee billing system. We’ve kept in mind the Indian context while building this out.

Here are some of the key features:

  • Complete flexibility to add your own fee models
  • You decide the fee amounts and charging frequency too. Want to charge a monthly fee? We’ve got you covered
  • Charge AUM linked fee or fixed fee. We take care of average AUM calculation
  • We take care of auto debiting the fee from your client’s accounts too, thus reducing friction
  • Slab based charging. Create your own slabs
  • Option to charge different fees for regular and direct plans
  • Not just MF, you can add multiple asset classes like stocks, FD, insurance products etc.
  • Further customization of fees at a client level

Process Flow:

  • Once you decide to go ahead, we send you a tripartite agreement that you need to sign with your clients. We send you a debit mandate that you need to get signed from the client.
  • Once done, you decide the fee structure you want to charge at a client level. The invoices are automatically created for you.
  • You then intimate us to debit the client’s account. We in turn send an auto debit notification to your client.
  • Next working day, the fees are debited.
  • We then payout the fees back to you.

Important: Please note that you should have an RIA license in place if you want to use this feature.

Questions? Call us on 022 2895 4777 or email @ support@futurewise.co.in

Our thoughts on the IFA industry and some predictions

Our thoughts on the IFA industry and some predictions

our-thoughts

A lot has been written about the flurry of regulatory changes the MF industry has witnessed of late. It all started back in 2009 when I joined the industry. SEBI did the unthinkable back then. Later, it was the introduction of direct plans, RIA regulations, emergence of robo advisors (some will make it big and quite a few are bound to shut down) to name a few. There has been a lot of hue and cry, of course. But if you look back now it all feels like connecting the dots. While some dots are yet to be connected, read – reduction of TER, which is imminent. The picture is clear. Regulator wants the distributor to become advisor. He wants you to stop focusing on commission and start focusing on fees.

Now this has some repercussions. I see the following shift happening in the near future.

Distributors coming together
At the ground level there are already serious discussions happening between distributors looking at joining forces. It may not be easy. How do the costs get divided? How does the work get divided? But it’s a step in the right direction.

Shift to platforms
Distributors, big and small, will move to platforms. The current incumbent platforms are largely “distribution” oriented. They will have to reorient themselves to the growing advisory needs and thus become “advisory” oriented. New age platforms with an “advisory” DNA could pose a challenge to the incumbents. Make no mistake; “distribution” will be a key factor. But the advisors will need new age tools to attract and retain clients. Over period, distributors will become RIAs and let the distribution be handled by the platforms.

The AUM may stop mattering!
Take the case of a distributor “A” having an MF AUM of Rs.100 crores. He manages 100 client families. His 90% income is from MF trail. Now look at another distributor “B” who has an MF AUM of Rs.50 crores. He manages 200 client families. His 60% fee is through MF trail and rest is divided between general insurance, life insurance, stock broking and FDs. Now what if the 100 clients of Mr.A insist on a flat fee and shift to direct plans? This poses a serious threat to the overall topline. But Mr.B is better off because of the larger number of client base and a diversified offering. I feel, the shift will be from – big ticket low volume transactions to small ticket high volume transactions. Distributor will have to make money off a lot of smaller services.

Productizing your services
A good idea to mitigate the trail fee would be to productize your service. Some options could be having a flat fee services like comprehensive financial planning, investment planning, consolidation & tracking of multi asset portfolio. This will require some processes to be set in place. Fee charging, something most distributors have never done, will have to be done, ideally via online payment gateways. The launch of the UPI platform has opened up newer and easier ways to transfer money in a frictionless manner.

Move to fee based
Distributors should start acclimatizing clients to fee based services. The move won’t happen overnight. You will have to start small, may be with a smaller client base and then spread out. There will be friction early on. Some clients may move out. That’s where productizing of service may help. Define the scope of work clearly, have a transparent price and just make sure you focus on your deliverables.

Big ticket clients move to direct
Come October, the CAS (consolidated account statement) may raise eyebrows for some of your clients. Especially the big ticket clients. A high commission amount may not augur well with some of them. Most of the big ticket clients are surely aware about the direct plans but the absolute number printed in the statement may just provoke them to discuss direct plans with you.

Multi product strategy will be imperative
Moving to multi product selling may be a good strategy. Product here does not just mean general insurance or FD. Think about will writing, return filing, PMS, financial planning and so on. If you aren’t good at it, partner with someone. Your clients/prospect should get a feeling that you are not just a MF distributor but rather a one stop boutique that offers complete personal finance solutions.

RIAs will be omnipresent 
If charging fees is the way forward, then becoming an RIA is something that will have to be considered. While distribution + advisory may seem like a lot to deal with, believe me, the earlier you adopt, the better off you are.

Technology will be the key
A lot of what has been said above will need a robust technology platform that is built to address these very needs. The need for a strong billing and invoicing system that is able to calculate % of AUM on a quarterly basis and auto debit the customer’s bank account via an NACH mandate is just one of the critical things the platform will have to do. Then there is need for a strong CRM, multi asset reporting tool, financial planning and so on. Figure out your strengths and look out for the right platform to align with. Think about how you can productize your service through one of these platforms.

What are your thoughts on the IFA landscape? Do share in the comments section below.

9 Free Tech Tools Successful Financial Advisors use. Which ones do You use?

9 Free Tech Tools Successful Financial Advisors use. Which ones do You use?

It is heartening to see Financial Advisors across the country opening up and embracing technology. I have been interacting with lots of advisors lately and my analysis is on the basis of these interactions. Some of them use quite a lot of tools while some of them use at least one or two.

Before you think it is only the young advisors or the ones who are tech savvy or the ones living in bigger metros who are embracing these tools, well – you’re mistaken.  I’ve seen advisors in tier 3 cities, both young and old using these tools effectively. 

What’s driving this behavior?

My analysis suggests the following reasons:

  • It helps them become more efficient
  • It helps them standardize processes
  • They are able to impress their clients
  • They like trying out new technology tools
  • It saves cost & time

Is it too late for me to start using them for my practice?

It’s never too late. Besides, these tools were never available until 2-3 years back. So, I encourage you start getting used to them at the earliest. 

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This IFA could not prevent his client from stopping an SIP of Rs.1,50,000. What about you?

This IFA could not prevent his client from stopping an SIP of Rs.1,50,000. What about you?

This is a true incident which happened to me couple of weeks back. As part of our study circle (yes, I am part of one) I keep interacting with lot of IFAs. I met one such IFA who seemed to be visibly worried. I asked him: “What happened?”. “Kya batau Ronakbhai, ek bada SIP stop ho raha hai.” – came the reply

I asked “How come”. He said, “Client had an emergency and wanted some money immediately. I told him that he also had some Insurance policies and he could get a loan as well. But he was adamant.”

On deeper thought I realized that it is because mutual funds are perceived to be very liquid. Unlike FDs or insurance policies. So, in an emergency the first thing that comes to their mind is to liquidate the mutual funds.

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6 reasons why Excel is not the best tool for writing Financial Plans

6 reasons why Excel is not the best tool for writing Financial Plans

We are increasingly seeing lots of financial advisors opting for FutureAdvisor after having used excel sheets for making financial plans. They are quite frank about why they want to shift to online financial planning software like ours. We thought we should write a blog post to highlight some of those points we found were common. This post is dedicated to all those advisors:

1. Excel is tedious and time consuming:

Making a comprehensive plan that is inter linked and with scenarios can be difficult. A Financial Plan has various sections like Goals, Income, Expesnes, Risk Profile, Cash Flows, Networth, Analysis of current portfolio, Insurance Planning, Tax Planning, Loan management, goal tracking, asset allocation, assumptions etc.

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