IndiaP2P Blog

Responsible content on personal finance & economics that makes you smarter about money.

Practitioner Interview Series: Ep. 2 - Financial Advisory as a profession with Mr. Zohar Batterywala

Mar-28-2022


Blog Image

 

Mr. Zohar Batterywala is a financial advisor, who has been serving his elite clientele for over a decade in their financial planning services and is widely regarded for generating wealth for his clients. He services a variety of clients ranging from NRIs to domestic investors. He is based in Vadodara, Gujarat.

In this interview with Mr. Batterywala, we trace his professional journey and the trends he has witnessed in the retail investing landscape over the last decade.

IndiaP2P: Tell us about how you came to become a financial advisor?

Zohar: I started my career journey in 2004 as an Insurance advisor. My frequent visit to Vadodara Stock Exchange (VSE) developed my interest in the stock market. By observing and speaking with people there, I began to understand the workings of the market and it was almost love at first sight. There is a certain special energy in this business which I felt, I also saw people making good money. Given all this, I joined a broking firm and began to manage a suite of activities ranging from key accounts to client networking. Subsequently, I became a dealer and began punching orders for investors thereafter becoming a relationship manager.  

In these years of work, I learned how the market operates, how to spot opportunities and risks, more importantly, I began to understand how to profile clients and build portfolios that suited them best.

 

IndiaP2P: So during this journey what were changes you witnessed in terms of rules and regulations, technologies, investor's behavioural change etc?

Zohar: Many changes - big and small. While regulation and technology have evolved along predictable lines; the behaviour of investors, perhaps not so much. The psychology of most investors has remained unchanged still. They are still chasing the unrealistic targets, "zero to hero” which turns them into “hero to zero" i.e. acting in extremes. I have seen new investors get carried away and undertake leverages trades simply because things appeared rosy - most of these traders lose money because people often discount thinking about the risks. On the other hand, you have people with investable funds who will not look beyond FDs because they don’t want to take any risk at all. There is no risk-free return. Investors need to think about both risks and return and not just one of them.

 

IndiaP2P: How would you say investment products have evolved over time keeping in mind the growing retail investor base?

Zohar: Overall, investing has become more accessible due to technology, and of course, the variety of products has also gone up which is good for retail investors. Personally, I encourage my clients to look at stocks plus fixed income instruments but then there are takers for longer investments and sometimes riskier ones like crypto as well.

My recommendation to clients is to first understand their savings patterns, create an investment pool and then depending upon their profile invest between 20 to 40% of their investable funds into higher-risk assets and the rest into lower-risk assets. 

And of course, my job is to maximise returns within a defined risk level.

IndiaP2P: How do you bucket investments into low and high risk?

Zohar: Essentially, my job is to understand every client’s risk level and maximise returns. This management of risk comes from

a) selecting the correct investment opportunities

b) creating smart, diversified portfolios, and

c) Monitoring and timely basis churning of the portfolio.

 

IndiaP2P: So what will be your general advice to the investors? How should one go about investing?

Zohar: My general advice to the investors is not to put all money in one place which surprisingly takes some education and convincing. I tell my clients, as per his or her earnings, age, expenses etc. she should not invest more than 25 to 30% in the stock market and the remaining in safer investment with highest possible returns. 

Diversify your investments across ETF, MFs, FDs, Peer to Peer Lending etc.

 

IndiaP2P: Is there something you wish retail investors understood better?

Zohar: One thing I fear is the fact that a lot of new investors - there are millions who have recently started investing, especially in the stock markets - are yet to see any downward cycle or crisis such as the one we saw in 2008. Markets went down from 23,000 levels to 8,000 levels.

New investors have not seen how entire portfolios and livelihoods were wiped out then and there is always a possibility of a similar crisis repeating. One needs to be prepared for such events, no matter how unlikely they may seem.

Retirement planning is another thing I feel Indians don’t focus enough on often leading us to be dependent on our children in old age. I have seen many people think that their savings pool will be enough without considering inflation and other economic trends. Investing right is a critical component of retirement planning.

 

IndiaP2P: What could be your advice for the individuals seeking a career in the financial advisory space?

Zohar: I think it’s important that you feel responsible for your client’s money and enjoy the process of investing. It’s also critical for financial planners and advisors to be updated with new investment options and changing regulations. I have seen many financial advisors who may have expertise or interest in one product such as the stock markets and end up allocating a larger than the ideal proposition of their client’s portfolio towards it, simply because they find it more comfortable. A good financial advisor must always be updated with all options and design investments from the point of view of the client and client only.

Other Blogs


Illusion of Diversification in Stock Market

Dec-02-2022


illusion-of-diversification-in-stock-market

We must have all come across the term diversification at least once by now. Doesn’t matter if we invest in the stock market or not, the term has been fairly used for quite a while, across multiple mediums. But what does diversification in financial terms really mean? To describe it in simple terms, diversification refers to the practice of spreading out one’s investments in order to limit the exposure to a specific type of asset. This concept helps in reducing the volatility and overcome the fluctuations that are common in the stock market. Importance of Diversification Diversification acts as the ultimate safeguard against the risk of a single investment bucket performing poorly or failing completely. For instance, if you had invested all your hard earned money in the stock market, then there are chances that you might lose out on your empteen capital due to the stock market crash. Now when you diversify your investments across multiple asset classes, some might fall...

READ MORE

Why Real Estate Investment Is Not Always A Good Choice

Nov-12-2022


why-real-estate-investment-is-not-always-a-good-choice

Owning real estate could be a huge step towards financial independence for many Indians.But to consider it a better investment than putting money in the financial markets may be short-sighted. The income generating property narrative starts to make sense when many investors end up renting their house instead of selling it i.e. purchasing an income property to imitate their parent’s past decisions, or buying a rental unit because they weren’t sure what else to do with their money. The misconceptions in the real estate industry being deeply rooted in the minds of the investors might prevent them from making a financially sound decision as they tend to ignore the potential risks. This article covers the actual facts and fictions of the real estate industry to avoid being saddled up in the future with an illiquid investment.Land prices will always continue to rise is just an assumption The ever-increasing population of the world gives credence to the myth of continuous...

READ MORE

Personal Budgeting Strategies to Improve Financial Health

Oct-07-2022


personal-budgeting-strategies-to-improve-financial-health

We often hear the term budget or budgeting in the context of corporations, projects, governments, and even creative endeavours. It is an essential planning activity that tries to ensure that we don’t run out of resources to survive and achieve our goals.     Budgeting is just as important in your personal life. Most of us ‘budget’ our spending and expenses almost all the time but did you know that there are ‘budgeting strategies’ that you could use as useful mental frameworks?   First, let’s recap by saving and budgeting is important.   Savings help plan short-term goals: Savings goals need not only be long-term in nature. Instead, you should have short-term goals as well. Be it to purchase your much-awaited gadget or a long-pending trip, short-term saving targets shall help you accomplish your goals.   Answer to a better future: Savings is the key to unlocking a better future. Be it to purchase a...

READ MORE


News & Announcements

  • 30 Startups to watch in Feb, 2022

    Read More
  • High-Yield investment platform IndiaP2P r....

    Read More
  • IndiaP2P raised funds from Antler VC

    Read More
  • Antler VC funds IndiaP2P

    Read More
  • Alternative Retail Investment Platform, IndiaP2P, delivers 17 per cent a year returns

    Read More
  • How to save during inflation and rising prices?

    Read More
  • IndiaP2P delivers >17% p.a. returns

    Read More
  • The peer-to-peer approach of IndiaP2P

    Read More
  • Funding news: IndiaP2P raises funds from Antler VC

    Read More
  • Emerging fixed-income alternatives for retail investors

    Read More
  • Business leaders ready to create history

    Read More
  • 4 retail investing trends investors should not miss

    Read More

Have more questions? Click here to schedule a quick call with our investments team

CHAT WITH US

Start Investing