Pure Fee-only Advisors are Growing in Number! Your support is the reason!

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On Dec 9th, 2018, Fee-Only India, a community of SEBI registered pure fee-only advisors met in Bangalore (pictures below). As patrons of fee-only financial planning,  they invited Ashal and me. This is the third fee-only meet and the second this year. The first was in Sep 2017 at Mumbai, the second in March at Hyderabad. It delights us that pure fee-only movement is gaining traction quickly. You have been a great support in this. Here is a report of the third meet.

I keep saying pure fee-only because many, if not most of the SEBI registered investment advisors are impure, in the sense, they continue to earn commissions directly or indirectly from their relatives or friends. Nobody in the media is interested in exposing this. Narendra Nathan of ET Wealth is an exception. In his column on Monday he had mentioned this about fee-only advisers:

As the name suggests, these advisers don’t earn any commission from the products they recommend but earn a flat fee from the client. Since these registered investment advisers (RIAs) don’t earn commissions, there is no conflict of interest. However, make sure your RIA doesn’t run an insurance agency or mutual fund distribution in the name of relatives.

This is my companion piece to the above column published yesterday at ET Wealth: DIY investing is not everybody’s cup of tea 

What is fee-only India?

Fee-only India is a community of SEBI fee-only registered investment advisors (RIAs) that supports and mentors new RIAs and helps them get started.

Who can be part of fee-only India?

A SEBI registered investment advisor who gets no kind of commissions from any kind of product directly or indirectly can a part of fee-only India. Write to me (freefincal at Gmail) or write to Melvin Jopseh via his website finvin or contact Ashal Jauhari via Facebook.

My list of fee-only investment advisors

For the last five-plus years, I have been maintaining a list of fee-only investment advisors and I am proud that hundreds of readers are working with the advisors on the list.  Neither I nor Ashal, receive any kind of compensation for recommending these advisors. The list was just updated on Friday with the inclusion of M. Sudheer. Access the list here: List of Fee-only Financial Planners in India

Who can be part of the freefincal list of advisors?

An SEBI registered RIA who gets no commissions from any kind of product directly or indirectly and who does not charge a fee linked to clients’ assets can write for inclusion in the list. I also require that after SEBI registration you first work with at least 25 clients in the fee-only model.

You can become part of FOI first, get help to start advisory. The 25-client requirement might seem huge when you start out, but FOI can help you achieve this faster than you can imagine. I will also prepare content on how to use online resources for visibility.

The 25-client requirement is essential to help everyone: you, so that you are ready to face the demands of freefincal readers (and they are tough to please!); me, as my reputation is on the line, the readers, as they require an advisor with experience.


Piyush Khatri was the one who first wanted a coming-together of fee-only RIAs. Many members have helped newer RIAs complete their registration process, out of these Melvin and Swapnil Kendhe have probably helped the most. See the two guides published if you want to become an advisor:

How to become a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) in India

SEBI Registered Investment Adviser Application Process: step by step guide

Avinash Luthria organised the Bangalore meet.

The third FOI meet

The participation doubled in number this time!

fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore group photoStanding: From Left to right: M. Sudheer, V Brijesh, Shashi Singh, Abhishek Kumar, Avinash Luthria, Ajay Pruthi (who works with Melvin), N Jose, Chandan Singh Padiyar, Vikram Krishnamoorthy, Basavaraj Tonagatti (of Basunivesh), Swapnil Khendhe, Anshika Khende

Sitting: From left to right: Shilpa Wagh, Upasana Mondal, Sriram Jayaraman, Ashal Jauhari, Pattu, Melvin Joseph, George Kutty

Readers may be familiar with about half the names above as they are part of my advisor list, written guest posts here and have also shared their journey. Here are a few:

Fee-only Advisor Journey: Melvin Joseph’s determined struggle to the top

Fee-only Advisor Journey: Shilpa Wagh’s “money personality” lessons

Fee-only Advisor Journey: Vikram Krishnamoorthy’s organized rise to the top

Fee-only Advisor Journey: Chandan Singh Padiyar finds Inner Peace

Fee-only advisor journey: Swapnil Kendhe’s successful transition into a SEBI RIA

Fee-only Advisor Journey: Basu begins a new chapter in the Basunivesh story


Here are pictures taken by Sudheer during the meet.

fee-ony advisors meet bangalore -pattu
I gave an introduction
fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore Vikram
Vikram talked about financial planning for NRIs
fee-ony advisors meet bangalore Ashal and Vikram
Ashal joined in Vikram’s discussion
fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore participants
The participants

fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore participants another photo

fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore Ashal
Ashal talked about HUF and estate planning
fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore Ashal reacting to a joke
A lighter moment
fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore pattu
I spoke briefly about online visibility
fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore Ashal felicitated
Melvin presents Ashal a bouquet
fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore Pattu felicitated
And Vikram to me

fee-ony advisors meet Bangalore Melin Joseph

Melvin described his incredible journey

It was a productive day for everyone.

Why is your support the reason for the growth of Fee-only India?

All the old members of FOI have neatly established their advisory business, and it is growing at a robust pace. You, the reader is responsible for this. You choose them instead of commission-based advisor or relationship managers to work on money management. This kept them going. Their success is the motivation and inspiration for the new FOI members and nothing inspires like success!

Come, be a part of Fee-only India

Whether you are salaried or an entrepreneur, choose a pure fee-only advisor from this list. If you have just become a SEBI RIA, all you need is the competence to start a pure fee-only practice (if you don’t have it, why be an advisor in the first place?) There are plenty of advisor communities that will teach you how to bend the rules. If you like to remain true to yourself and run a clean advisory business, come be a part of FOI after you have become SEBI registered (above terms apply).

Logo of fee only india an association of fee only financial planners

We wish all new FOI members the best for starting their  practice

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About the Author M Pattabiraman author of freefincal.comM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the author and owner of freefincal.com.  He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras since Aug 2006. Pattu” as he is popularly known, has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management.  He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. Pattu publishes unbiased, promotion-free research, analysis and holistic money management advice. Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with numbers based analysis on topical issues and has more than a 100 free calculators on different aspects of insurance and investment analysis. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates  and associations(see details below). Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, TamilNadu Investors Association etc. Contact information: freefincal {at} Gmail {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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  1. Sir really appriciate your concern for the wellbeing of the clients , but why only mutual funds Life insurance agents also earn huge commissions but no one in this country is after them , the wellbeing of insurance clients is not sought to why only mutual funds . please don’t destroy our business please .

  2. Its a great article and thank you for sharing the FOI members list.

    Is there a specific advisor who caters specifically to NRIs?

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