Those were really painful days when investor called everyone dealing in Financial Product as Financial Advisor or Investment Adviser or Financial Planner. So people like me who have invested time and money to establish their practice with an aim to make clients life better were called, understood and believed to be synonym to someone who is an government employee, had affiliation in the name of wife who has entered this field to enjoy foreign trips, free meals in 5-stars and exotic Diwali gifts. When I poked details, it was grey area as regulators had no provisioning to “mark” an agent against adviser. They have guidelines to differentiate between Bank and a Non- Banking Financial Company or Mutual Fund Manager and a Pension Fund Manager but no regulations for us….. Until 20th Oct 2013….Image courtesy of kibsri at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Now Apple will call, conduct and hopefully taste as an Apple
SEBI came with Investment Adviser Regulation in Starting of 2013 – they gave 6 months to existing advisors/financial planners for registration. From 21st Oct 2013 no one can claim himself as Financial Planner or “Investment Adviser” or promote such services – if he is not registered with SEBI or applied for registration before 21st Oct 2013. So finally, life of investors will become simple – single question may answer lot of things –
“Are you SEBI Registered Investment Adviser?”
Who is Investment Adviser – SEBI’s definition?
“Investment Adviser” means any person, who for consideration, is engaged in the business of providing investment advice to clients or other persons or group of persons and includes any person who holds out himself as an investment adviser, by whatever name called.
SEBI included “Financial Planning” in the definition of “investment advice”. And important to note, they are not only regulating word “investment adviser” but act of advice, clearly mentioned “whatever name called” so be it “Wealth Manager, Life Planner, Investment Specialist, Retirement Planner, Wealth Coach, Financial Planner or WHATEVER creative name that you came across”. There are few exceptions but none for Financial Planners or any other serious adviser.
Infographics – Key features, Code of Conduct & how it’s beneficial for you
We have already applied for registration as Investment Adviser with SEBI – as a body corporate (Ark Primary Advisors Pvt Ltd). If your adviser is not registered with SEBI – ask him to do as soon as possible because ultimately this is going to benefit you as a client.