There were two board meetings that I knew of being held in India on March 29, 2012.
One was of the internationally well-known and profitable Goldman, Sachs. It was the first time in the firm’s 143 year old history, said the news reports, that the meeting of the Board of Directors was being held in Bombay.
Goldman has been the subject of numerous articles, though the tone has changed over the years. It used to be that people spoke and wrote about the firm in hushed tones and in awe. The haloed partners made millions, their traders were always right, their clients were lucky to have a firm of such magnificence and good standing as their clients. Of course, that was before the Teflon started wearing off and people saw Goldman for what it was. An octopus, wrote Barron's, with its tentacles wrapped around its clients sucking away at will.
The other firm was Quantum Information Services which held its 108th board meeting and helped create www.equitymaster.com and www.PersonalFn.com
Neither of these web sites and businesses is internationally known. And we certainly don't have the muscle power of the large financial firms - local or foreign. But we "keep on keeping on" - to use the words of a dedicated social worker who is helping millions of women across India lead a better life.
---------------------------- Raise your voice before this turns into yet another scam! ----------------------------
When millions don't even have food to eat, our government is thinking about bailing out multi-millionaire CEOs!
Is this government really made up of our representatives or is it on the payroll of those corporate giants?
We at Equitymaster feel strongly about this cause, and thus have started an Urgent Poll where you can read all about this and cast your vote to make your voice be heard!
We strongly recommend every Indian, who wants to make a change, to take a look at this.
Click Here to read more and cast your Vote... Before it's too late!
To serve or to severe
Our views of the financial world have not changed much: most are in it for their personal wealth creation. A client with an Rs 10 lakh PMS account needs to be converted into a client who can generate Rs 10 lakhs of revenue every year for the firm. How? By flipping the client's hard earned savings in and out of various products. Every flip generates a commission. If the client makes money, that is his good fortune. Ifthe client wipes out his capital following all the trading recommendations and "don't miss this deal" suggestions, that is acceptable. Hey, why was the client stupid enough to come to us in the first place?
But our "business" objective is a little different. Yes, we all need a fee or a commission from advising a client. But we must earn that fee because we give good advice to the clients - advice based on what is good for the client.
Our fees must be a by-product of that focus on the client.
The fee cannot be an end in itself.
That has not been a good business model and it may take another 10 years to prove itself. Though my gut is it will happen sooner.
Every time there is a scandal in the financial world, our "warnings" over the methods used by many other financial firms attracts attention. People who have been mis-led by others start to call us. And some become clients. They wonder how such a firm can exist.
Wasn't that the original reason for our existence: to serve customers? But times have changed.
The people we elect, rule - they don't serve their electorate anymore. What happens to the people is not relevant.
The doctors suggest various tests because they may get a fee from the hospital or laboratory. What is good for the patient is not relevant.
The fund manager may buy a share of a company because there may be something extra for him along the way. Whether that company is safe enough to invest his client's capital is not relevant.
"When you give us the budget for the next year", I told the committed team," do not focus on how you will make profits. Give us a budget that captures how you can serve your clients well and hire more people if you need to. We are patient. We believe that what we are doing is right. And we will support you."
What do you think many of the financial firms discuss at their board meetings:How to best look after your money? Or how to channel your money into their pockets?
Suggested allocation in Quantum Mutual Funds (after keeping safe money aside)
||Quantum Long Term Equity Fund
||Quantum Gold Fund
(NSE symbol: QGOLDHALF)
|Quantum Liquid Fund
|An investment for the future and an opportunity to profit from the long term economic growth in India
||A hedge against a global financial crisis and an "insurance" for your portfolio
||Cash in hand for any emergency uses but should get better returns than a savings account in a bank
||Keep aside money to meet your expenses for 6 months to 2 years |
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