What Do Indians Look For In A Financial Advisor?

Most Indians do retirement planning themselves, but if they want professional help, they can approach insurance agents, banks, mutual fund distributors, etc., for financial advice.

Outlook Money
November 11, 2023
Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

Sixty-seven per cent of Indians have a retirement plan in place. Still, only 16 per cent of them sought help from qualified financial advisors, according to the PGIM India Mutual Fund Retirement Readiness Survey 2023. This large gap between DIY (do-it-yourself) and professionally-aided plans means their financial strategies are not fully-proof. 


Of those who have a retirement plan, around half of them have written down their plan. Sixty-one per cent said they know the size of the retirement corpus they will need, and 39 per cent do not have a clear idea about it. However, the investors’ awareness regarding the corpus required has increased from 8-9 times their annual income in 2020 to 10-12 times in the 2023 survey. 

Financial Advisors
Financial Advisors

Fewer People Are Taking Financial Advice 

Although the role of a financial advisor is vital in retirement planning, who to select could be a big challenge. Only 30 per cent of the respondents said they took advice from others, of which 62 per cent relied on insurance agents. Overall, people who took financial advice have come down to 30 per cent in 2023 compared to 56 per cent in 2020.  

The survey shows that 62 per cent of the respondents take advice from insurance agents, followed by bank relationship managers at 48 per cent, and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)-registered advisors at the bottom, with only 10 per cent seeking advice from them.

The survey said friends and family influence three-fourths of those interviewed, and their recommendations significantly impact their planning. Around 76 per cent are influenced by friends and family, 47 per cent from colleagues, and 35 per cent from TV and social media.  

What Do Indians Seek In A Financial Advisor? 

Many respondents said they want to learn about money management strategies from financial advisors. Their numbers have increased from 24 per cent in 2020 to 54 per cent in 2023. The main objective of getting help from a financial advisor is to get good returns on their investment. 

Excessive information is also an issue. Many investors want their financial advisors to filter out the information for them. Three out of four respondents wish to have an advisor who is aware of the market conditions and products and can also offer the products and services.

Sixty-seven per cent of the respondents surveyed in 2023 want their financial advisors to have product knowledge and market awareness. Accessibility and good listening abilities are also some of their primary preferences. 

Employers’ Role In Financial Planning 

Although many people seek help from friends and family for retirement planning or do it themselves, employers can also significantly help. According to the survey, support from employers can help employees manage their financial anxiety, productivity, and financial planning.

Around 88 per cent of the respondents said they would feel motivated if their employers could guide them in retirement planning, 44 per cent said it would ‘strongly motivate’ them, and around 47 per cent feel their employer motivates them for retirement planning.

Even those who feel secure in their job say that employer’s support would increase their loyalty. The study finds that companies can create financial awareness to help reduce employees’ financial anxiety and earn their loyalty, which can help boost their business.  

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