Myth Busted: Indians are happy to pay for ‘good’ financial advice

Published: January 6, 2022 at 7:00 am

Last Updated on January 6, 2022 at 8:26 am

Many advisors and personal finance enthusiasts believe that “Indians are not ready to pay for financial advice”; “products and associated advice should be “pushed” with incorrect expectations ” and the like. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Indians (like any other person from any other country and like any other sensible buyer) are more than happy to pay for “good financial advice” ( = competent + trustworthy).

Naturally not everyone is willing to pay and most people want free advice. This is not the problem. The problem is when a financial advisor looks at this group and extrapolates that no one is willing to pay.

If we open a high-end fine dining restaurant, we cannot expect the same footfall as a neighbourhood mess. It is our job to showcase our product before the right people. This is where many financial advisors struggle.

Join over 32,000 readers and get free money management solutions delivered to your inbox! Subscribe to get posts via email!
🔥Enjoy massive discounts on our robo-advisory tool & courses! 🔥

Many of them don’t seem to have clarity on who their target audience is. And yes, they need an audience first to whom their credentials and expertise must be consistently showcased.

Both the buyer and service provider must appreciate that affordability is just a point of view. A person with an income of about Rs. 25, 000 a month will feel that a fee of Rs. 25,000 is “too much”. Whether this is an informed opinion or not is another matter.

On the other hand, a person with an income of Rs. 25 lakhs will not hesitate to pay a fee of Rs. 1 to 1.5 lakhs for financial advice. Again, whether this is an informed decision or not is another matter, but there it is!

So a new financial advisor should aggressively indulge in market research to appreciate who will pay at what price point and then consistently cultivate that particular audience.

How does one do this? Spend time in a forum like the Facebook group Asan Ideas for Wealth. Appreciate the kind of problems investors have. Try and solve their problems without holding back and without expectations.

Write about their problems, tweet about them, create videos, podcasts. Impress journalists on Twitter. Contribute quotes and articles to news media. Set up an impressive web presence.

Ring the right bells and bang the right drums to let the right kind of audience know that you exist and watch the enquiries flow!

To appreciate what we mean here is the first lecture of our course: Increase your income by getting people to pay for your skills!

So how do we know that “Indians are not ready to pay for financial advice” is a myth? Here are some diverse examples of how advisors in our list of SEBI registered fee-only financial planners are regularly getting clients.

  1. Avinash Lurthria charges an hourly fee (the total fee would typically be upwards of Rs. one lakh) and focuses on high networth clients. He is able to attract a few clients a month with a consistent display of expertise in various news media outlets. When readers see your credentials and your competence, they will not hesitate to pay. Naturally, the number of clients would be few but Avinash has the right expectations and is clear about his business vision.
  2. Swapnil Kendhe gets regular clients via his website, social media presence and articles.
  3. Vikram Krishnamoorthy does not write much or post on social media but has an excellent web presence and client referrals.
  4. Melvin Joseph a pioneer in fee-only advisory fires on all cylinders: articles, social media presence, news media presence, referrals etc.

There are many more examples:  Chanan Singh Padiyar is a well-known name in Asan Ideas for Wealth, S R Srinivasan is active on Reddit. Many of these planners are also well known in NRI circles and forums and also engage in corporate outreach.

In Aug 2019, 412 readers participated in a survey: Are clients happy with fee-only financial advisors? We repeated the survey in May 2021 and 685 investors rated their experience with SEBI registered fee-only advisors. By now we are confident that well over 1000 clients are working with these advisors.

One might argue the above-mentioned names are exceptions and not examples. That fact is, investors are ready to pay, but not just to anyone. So only the “exceptional” will thrive. There is no point blaming the buyer when the fault is with the service or with the marketing.

So if you are struggling to get clients, tell yourself, “investors are not yet ready to pay me; How can I showcase my talent before the right audience to change this situation?”

Do share this article with your friends using the buttons below.

🔥Enjoy massive discounts on our courses, robo-advisory tool and exclusive investor circle! 🔥& join our community of 5000+ users!
Use our Robo-advisory Tool for a start-to-finish financial plan! More than 1,000 investors and advisors use this!
New Tool! => Track your mutual funds and stock investments with this Google Sheet!
We also publish monthly equity mutual funds, debt and hybrid mutual funds, index funds and ETF screeners and momentum, low-volatility stock screeners.
Follow Freefincal on Google News
Follow Freefincal on Google News
Subscribe to the freefincal Youtube Channel. Subscribe button courtesy: Vecteezy.
Subscribe to the freefincal Youtube Channel.
Follow freefincal on WhatsApp Channel
Follow freefincal on WhatsApp
Podcast: Let's Get RICH With PATTU! Every single Indian CAN grow their wealth! 
Listen to the Lets Get Rich with Pattu Podcast
Listen to the Let's Get Rich with Pattu Podcast
You can watch podcast episodes on the OfSpin Media Friends YouTube Channel.
Lets Get RICH With PATTU podcast on YouTube
Let's Get RICH With PATTU podcast on YouTube.

  • Do you have a comment about the above article? Reach out to us on Twitter: @freefincal or @pattufreefincal
  • Have a question? Subscribe to our newsletter using the form below.
  • Hit 'reply' to any email from us! We do not offer personalized investment advice. We can write a detailed article without mentioning your name if you have a generic question.

Join over 32,000 readers and get free money management solutions delivered to your inbox! Subscribe to get posts via email!

About The Author

Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over ten years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter(X), Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
Our flagship course! Learn to manage your portfolio like a pro to achieve your goals regardless of market conditions! More than 3,000 investors and advisors are part of our exclusive community! Get clarity on how to plan for your goals and achieve the necessary corpus no matter the market condition is!! Watch the first lecture for free!  One-time payment! No recurring fees! Life-long access to videos! Reduce fear, uncertainty and doubt while investing! Learn how to plan for your goals before and after retirement with confidence.
Our new course!  Increase your income by getting people to pay for your skills! More than 700 salaried employees, entrepreneurs and financial advisors are part of our exclusive community! Learn how to get people to pay for your skills! Whether you are a professional or small business owner who wants more clients via online visibility or a salaried person wanting a side income or passive income, we will show you how to achieve this by showcasing your skills and building a community that trusts and pays you! (watch 1st lecture for free). One-time payment! No recurring fees! Life-long access to videos!   
Our new book for kids: “Chinchu Gets a Superpower!” is now available!
Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower
Both the boy and girl-version covers of "Chinchu Gets a superpower".
Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision-making. We made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, what would it be if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but to any aspect of life? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So, in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parents plan for it, as well as teaching him several key ideas of decision-making and money management, is the narrative. What readers say!
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower (small version)
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower!
Must-read book even for adults! This is something that every parent should teach their kids right from their young age. The importance of money management and decision making based on their wants and needs. Very nicely written in simple terms. - Arun.
Buy the book: Chinchu gets a superpower for your child!
How to profit from content writing: Our new ebook is for those interested in getting side income via content writing. It is available at a 50% discount for Rs. 500 only!
Do you want to check if the market is overvalued or undervalued? Use our market valuation tool (it will work with any index!), or get the Tactical Buy/Sell timing tool!
We publish monthly mutual fund screeners and momentum, low-volatility stock screeners.
About freefincal & its content policy. Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance developments. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News. Freefincal serves more than three million readers a year (5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified with credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish paid articles, promotions, PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions will be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
Connect with us on social media
Our publications

You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingPublished by CNBC TV18, this book is meant to help you ask the right questions and seek the correct answers, and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantThis book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at a low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner.

Your Ultimate Guide to Travel

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover-new This is an in-depth dive into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, and how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically, with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step. Get the pdf for Rs 300 (instant download)