October 3, 2005


Bangaloreans need wealth managers to manage their finances now


THEY are young, have arrived in life and want to see their money grow. Many of them have engaged wealth managers to help them reach their goals. Some have ventured into territories that were till now largely unexplored by investors in the country.
   Buying apartments is passe; young people in Bangalore now want to invest in land. People are particularly eyeing plots sold by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) because risks are minimal. Bangaloreans are also thronging to Mysore. The other cities that are hot on their list of priorities are Poona and Chennai. A small yet growing number is putting their money into art.
   Says Sunil Kumar Nahar, a wealth management expert, “Wealth managers are becoming the one-stop shop for people who want to manage their finances well and see their money grow. They help investors build the right network — like getting them in touch with the right art gallery or finding prospective sellers for land and even manage their already existing estates. They soon take the place of counsellors.”
   Srikanth Bhagavat, wealth management expert, says, “People in our country are cagey about disclosing facts about their financial status. It
takes a couple of meetings to break the ice. Young people, particularly, nowadays need a professional’s help to manage their money because salaries are high.”
   Anil N, a senior executive in an IT company, says, “I wanted to buy some land but wasn’t sure of how to go about it. My consultant explained to me how a BDA plot would be a safe idea. It was expensive but now in just over a year, the value has gone up 50 per cent.”
   Sanjay Ketkar, another IT professional, has been interested in gold but was not sure how to go about it. “I asked my consultant and he advised me to invest in the scripts of a company that deals in gold. The general trend is that gold prices go up when oil prices rise, and I’m happy with my investment,” he says.
   Art as an investment is slowly but surely catching up. So when a crystal company announced the arrival of some limited edition products, the financial planner of Ambar Sur, a senior executive in a telecom company, advised him to check them out. “I liked one piece there that cost me Rs 8,000. In two years, its price has gone up to Rs 25,000. Now I’m looking at buying paintings,” he says.
   Says Arun L, who works in the Middle East, “Around 90 per cent of my investments are India-centric. But the major disadvantage for investing in real estate is credibility. Deals are so long-drawn and frustrating that patience runs out. The equity market is the best option, and online trading is a great help. But a threat for India in the near future is from other markets like Taiwan as NRIs like me find them as attractive as India. The Gulf is an attractive option for buying real estate.”

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