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The stage is set

The stage is set for the intelligent saver to become a new kind of mutual fund investor, but can you figure out how?

The stage is set

For any revolutionary change to happen, a large set of conditions have to come together and finally, the revolutionaries themselves have to realise that the conditions are ready and they have to only move ahead and act. Are you ready to switch to a revolutionary new way of being a mutual fund investor?

Let's step back and see what the situation was in the time before this revolution. Even though you may have felt that you could make any kind of investment at all, in reality you had very little freedom. If you wanted to invest, someone had to tell you what to do. This could be someone from an organisation like a bank or an individual whose business was to sell financial products. You had no way of getting independent information about where you should invest. You had no easy way to deal personally with the procedural part of investing, the filling of forms and the deposition of cheques and so on.

However, the worst aspect was that you were completely dependent on the sellers to decide what to do. Sellers only sell products, but the investment process must start and end with you, your financial needs and the course that your life is taking.

This time it's different
That was the past. Now things are different. With the rise of digital banking and direct transactions in mutual funds, a whole new approach to investing becomes possible. The procedural parts become simple and reliable without depending on anyone. You can transact directly over a computer or a phone, invest in funds or redeem them or take any other action directly, without involving anyone who has any motivations different from yours.

However, that only takes care of the procedural part, the 'how'. What about the more important 'why' and 'what'? As I've become fond of saying, that's where Value Research comes in. Or rather, our new set of features and services for the serious, goal-oriented investor: Value Research Premium.

We'll come to features later because even though we have a big list of features and tools that we have created, Premium is not about the features but what it does for you:

  • Provide a way for you to articulate your goals clearly.
  • Suggest a set of investments and a pattern of investments for those goals.
  • Verify that your existing investments fit the goals, and suggest changes if they do not.
  • Continuously monitor your investments to make sure they are heading for your goals, suggest changes if any are required.

Let's take a guided tour through an overview of the features that will ensure that you will meet your financial goals:

The headline features
Portfolio Planner:
These are custom portfolios that are suggested to you as part of your Premium membership. The algorithm that we have evolved takes into account your goals, your income, your saving capacity and a number of other factors.

Analyst's Choice: Often, investors want to choose their own funds for some particular investment purpose. There are about 1,800 available to you and even with the help of our rating system, it's a lot of work to zoom in to the right set. However, that won't be a problem for you because as a Premium member, you will have access to Analyst's Choice. Instead of the 36 official types of funds, we have created eight investor-oriented categories which match precisely with actual financial goals that you have. In each of these, my team of analysts and I have carefully selected a handful of funds that will serve you with the best outcomes.

Portfolio Analysis: Only a few members are starting their investing from scratch. For most of you, a big question is whether your existing investments fit into your goals? This is often a hard question to answer because there are a lot of implications of switching old investments, not the least of which is taxation. In the Premium system, you can get an evaluation and a suggested fix-list based on our expert teams' inputs.

Plus plus
Of course, those are just headline features. There are a lot more that will help you keep track of your investments, returns, diversification, taxation and practically everything else that will help you achieve your financial goals. Some of them are:

Customisable alerts: You can set alerts and warnings for the mutual funds and stocks you are interested in and get notified when something happens.

Download fund/stock cards: Concise, printable reports on every single fund or stock

Export to Excel: Whatever data you see on the screen, you can download it in Excel format to analyse it further in any way you like.

As most of you would have realised by now, unlike the rest of Value Research Online, Premium is a paid service. If you think about it, the fact that Premium is a paid service is an advantage. Everything costs money and what would you rather have - an open and transparent deal, or something that is intricately tied to getting you to invest and transact?

The mutual fund investing revolution is here, are you going to be a part of it?