Updated: Jan 9, 2021
Many of us think that they don't. Is it really so, let us find out...
Last couple of months has been quite stressful for most of us in our job, profession or business. There are instances of unpredictability on all fronts which is making things go out of control for the people, governments, administrations, businesses, investments, global economy, etc. This uncertainty is making things go seriously bad at various levels of economic, social and political activities across the globe. We are temporarily closed has been showing up on the official pages of most of the offices and businesses being active on social media like Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.
The COVID19 pandemic has played havoc in our lives and lifestyles. All sorts of bad news are floating around everywhere in different media. There has been salary cuts ranging from 20-50% from business to business, layoffs in some, non-payment of wages, rents, EMIs, business closures, complete disruption of economic activities, are the order of the day. They are the discussion points everywhere. ‘How do we get out of it?’ This is something that is there in everyone’s mind of late and everyone is trying to find answers to all their miseries and to support their families and businesses that they are in.
In the time of this information age and smart technologies, many investors feel that they don’t need an advisor simply for the reason that Google and financial websites and apps offers all sorts of information needed for selecting any investment in any asset class be it equities, fixed income, gold, real estate, etc. Smart Technologies bring smart solutions like Robo-Advisories have also made investment possible using smart simulations done through Robots or computers. This ease is a big enabler for investors but we tend to forget that human behaviour is just not about mere simulations or calculations but it involves human emotions. These emotions make things complicated when they face uncertainties while investing. There are several researches which have proven this across the world. Investors tend to behave irrational during tough, uncertain and testing times which were pretty evident yet again during this COVID19 pandemic and its aftermath. This behavioural aspect can’t be addressed with simulations and smart technologies available till present.
Since early March this year, I have been receiving phone calls from my clients, friends and family members who are in the middle of this turmoil and have been at the receiving end. Their salaries are cut, some are put on the bench, some being laid-off, business are closed since late March, investments are down, savings are depleting fast, expenses getting piled up for the coming months post the lockdown is over and many more serious consequences which are yet to unfold because of this pandemic. This is a period of absolute distress for many of us.
These are the times when the role of a financial advisor becomes even more prominent. These are the times when an investor is most likely to commit mistakes which may have far reaching consequences for their investments and eventually on their future financial security. This is because the chances of an investor taking irrational decisions are high because of stress and unforeseen circumstances. This increases their anxiety resulting into wrong decisions and only a financial advisor can help them rather protect them from making an irrational decision. Being an independent observer to the investor’s circumstances, he helps them in taking informed decisions. He remains neutral to the investor’s situation without involving personal emotions in his advises but surely helping them under these testing times and saves them from major financial losses that can be catastrophic to their financial well- being in his absence.