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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mom turns financial adviser

Planning for her new born baby led her to the world of investments and advisory business.
Ahmedabad based Jigisha Shah who has done B.com and LLB from Gujrat University was a typical Indian housewife who had become an expert in managing her household budget smartly. After the birth of her son Harshil, Jigisha and her husband started thinking about their son’s education and future expenses. Unlike their other friends, who had invested in fixed deposits for their children’s future, Jigisha and Nikhil had decided to opt for different approach so that they could earn higher returns in their investments and secure better future for Harshil. Both of them started studying about other investments like mutual funds, insurance, equity market, CDs, bonds etc. through libraries and internet.
Very soon Jigisha developed a keen interest in personal finance. Drawing inspiration from one of her friends who was a financial adviser and a member of MDRT, she decided to become a financial advisor. “I thought if my friend can, why I can’t”, she added. She started her career with LIC agency in 2003 and later in 2008 she took mutual fund distribution. Recently, she has acquired CFP certification.
She entered mutual fund distribution at the time of global economic crisis. As a result, Jigisha found it very difficult to convince people to invest in mutual funds as many people had lost their faith in mutual funds.
However, her husband and family members extended their support during her initial days. Her first client was her own brother who invested in an equity fund. Her sister in law also started a SIP with Jigisha. These two investments gave her confidence when she needed it most. After a few months, she started getting references from friends, family members and existing clients. Now, Jigisha is a well-known IFA in Ahmedabad managing around 250 clients. At present, she manages assets under advisory of Rs 7 crore.
Her husband helps her in back office work and marketing.
Jigisha took social media route to expand her business. She is active on Facebook and Twitter.She also runs an opinion poll related to personal finance on Facebook where she is getting a good response.
Jigisha has also created her own blog in order to keep in touch with her clients. Through her blog, she shares financial news, updates her clients about upcoming schemes and posts motivational financial quotes.
Jighsha says “I always try to educate clients through my knowledge and experience and give them space and time to think about investment they are going to enter into.”
Jigisha doesn’t charge any upfront fees from her clients but is planning to do so in the near future. She wants to expand her advisory business by adding services like housing loan, credit card, real estate, arts and other products.
She feels “The financial advisory business in India is in a nascent stage. Many people don’t understand the importance of the professional advisors. They think they can manage their money on the own. The need of the hour is to recognize financial adviser as a professionals just like doctors."

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