19 Aug Young Turk Nitin Ghadge
Dombivli near Mumbai is a small inconspicuous town. The speciality about Dombivli is the enterprise of the people living there. And that includes Financial Advisors. When it comes to following best practices this small township can beat the metros too. Nitin Ghadge is one such IFA from Dombivli who takes his profession very seriously and follows all those processes that are needed to be successful. He follows best financial planning practices while most of us focus on ‘returns’. In times like these his philosophy stands vindicated. His clients are happy because they are chasing goals and not returns. He educates his clients before taking them on board. And of course there is no “free lunch”. His clients pay him for this time, education and coaching. And this is not for a few clients. He has 170 clients who pay him fees and he has a target of taking that number to 500 clients. Nitin is a health freak and works out with the same intent that he shows while serving his clients. Perhaps the values of focus and determination come from his work outs. Nitin is a sponge when it comes to learning and training. Despite his busy schedule he never lets the change of learning / training slip away. He believes he is the best asset and investing in the best asset is the obvious thing.
Nitin Ghadge with age on his side has a long way to go and clearly qualifies as our “Young Turk”.
In a free wheeling discussion Nitin describes his background. What made him join this profession and what gave him the conviction to charge fees and how he succeeded. I am sure simply by reading this interview you will be able to pick up valuable points to enhance the quality of your practice.
1) What is your background?
I am a commerce graduate. I played for my college cricket team. I worked with icici bank, Cosmos bank, Sanghvi reality, ICIC Prudential Life Insurance. Total work experience is more than 8+ years.
2) Why you chose this profession?
Earlier when I was working with ICICI Bank , I realised that people need professional advise because bank employees were selling high revenue products to most of their clients.Even tough I achieved my sales target during those days but still I was not satisfied with my job. One day i read about CFP Certification in the newspaper and that caught my fancy and I enrolled into the course and decided that I will start my own practice.
3) What made you to charge fee when others do not charge?
I do not charge fees for advisory. As a practice I first educate my clients and have regular education and coaching programs for them. I charge them for such programs. I feel without education investing is not fair both for the advisor as well as the client.
4) What were your learnings along the way?
Financial Advisory is a very noble profession. Every day I have to learn new things that helps me to enhance my client’s life. I keep studying what senior and successful Advisors do in their practice. Learning from successful practitioners has been the cornerstone of my success.
Earlier I faced lots up challenges while doing my practice. Those days nobody was ready to pay professional fees. So I decided that I will create value for my clients and will never give free value added service.
I met many people and educated them about how financial planning will change their lives.
Gradually things began to change and people got convinced to pay fees for the value added service.
In July 2010, I started my practice and it took me 12 months to get my first paid client. He gave me 10k for financial education. After 1 month I gave him my report. He got impressed with my work. That client is still with me and he is paying 50k fees to me.
5) Why do some believe it is not possible to charge and what practices do you follow that you think has made you successful.
First thing IFAs need to have a strong conviction that they are giving their clients the best possible service. Many IFAs don’t want to lose clients and they do whatever clients tell them but that is not the best service. The client comes to us because we are experts and if we agree to what they want then we are not doing our job well. We need to tell them what is right for them. Following the Financial Planning process with the clients is the bedrock that can help people live a good life. I show them this path and prescribe the best possible way for them to follow.
I invite my clients to my office. I never go to meet them at their office. When they come to my office I get to spend time with them, understand their needs and educate them program for them. This would not be possible in their office in the manner in which I have designed my education program. When I call them to my office they respect me when they realise that I have designed an education module for them. If you set your right practices then things will change automatically.
People are searching for professional advisors and many IFA are not able to provide them the professional service that they are looking for.
You need to decide your target audience, have the best intent for their well being and do all that is required to satisfy their needs. Ironically revenue flows the moment you serve people in a genuine manner.
6) What are the 3 key factors to your success
The 3 key factors to my success are
a) Intention : The intention to provide massive value to my clients and to keep their interest foremost is the foundation
b) Conviction : Conviction in markets, conviction in compounding, conviction in asset allocation and conviction in Financial Planning has played a vital role in my journey
c) Last but not the least nothing happens in isolation. One requires a mentors, employees, vendors etc to make a system work. But the most important single factor if I have to name one is that of my business partner Dhanashree Sagare who has been absolutely amazing in this journey and it is only together that we have been able to come so far.
7) What is your long term vision?
Currently we have 170 paid clients and we want to achieve 500 clients in next 5 years. Also we want to collect 70-80 lakhs fees revenue from our clients. We never focus on AUM. We want to educate millions of people and help them to achieve financial freedom in 15-20 years. I also believe in training myself regularly and work with professional mentors