Col Goyal On Army Discipline In Investment

Let’s know all about Lets Invest Wisely in this exclusive email interview By BizNewConnect editor B N KUMAR with Col RAKESH GOYAL (Retd) .

BizNewsConnect: You were in the Army. Which corps/regiment? Please tell our readers something about your experiences

Col Rakesh Goyal: I served the Army  in the Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Corps, commonly known as EME. My experiences have been characterized by sacrifice, development, camaraderie, and the acquisition of abilities and traits that can be applied in contexts far outside the military.

BNC:  What made you enter the financial services industry? Is it because of family business?

RG: I always had a genuine passion for finance, economics, and the workings of financial markets. I joined this industry primarily to assist Armed Forces personnel in achieving their financial goals, whether it’s investment planning, retirement planning or estate planning

BNC:  Dealing with the financial markets requires a lot of financial discipline. Do you think your Army experience is helping you a lot?

RG: Oh, without a doubt! I was taught to march to the beat of the drum while I was in the army, and now that I am in the financial markets, I am attempting to ensure that our investments do not miss a beat either!

My military experience has had a significant impact on my financial discipline. The unpredictability of financial markets is similar to the chaos I had to navigate while serving in the military, whether it was sudden attacks or crises. Both require a cool head and adherence to well-organized plans. My financial strategy is based on the military maxim, “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.” Extensive market research, analysis, and contingency plans are the cornerstones of my strategy.

Financial agility naturally translates from adaptability, a key survival skill in the military. I have developed the ability to quickly adjust strategies in response to market surprises. The ability to change course in the marketplace is priceless, just as it is important to adapt tactics on a changing battlefield. 

Both domains recognize the importance of teamwork. Collaborating, networking, and picking the brains of financial professionals help to create a support network in finance, just as the power of a unit defines the army. The support I received from my fellow soldiers in overcoming obstacles and celebrating victories is similar to that of the financial community.

The army’s standard practice of risk management also extends to financial risk-taking. My gut instinct, honed in the army, directs me to seize opportunities amid market turbulence, similar to making quick decisions in combat situations.

Following budgets, controlling emotions, and making consistent financial decisions are examples of how discipline, which was developed in the army through rules and routines, is now demonstrated. I have learned how to be mentally tough by learning to accept wins and losses, which has given me the ability to remain cool under pressure in volatile market conditions.

In essence, my financial journey and army experience have converged. Lessons in planning, adaptability, teamwork, risk management, and discipline I learned while serving in the military have helped me better understand how to approach the financial markets. I find humor in the change from military tactics to financial strategies as I travel down this dual path, using growth portfolios and research reports in place of grenades and rifles, respectively.

BNC: Trust and credibility are the mainstays of financial services. And many people get trapped with scamsters and lose money. What kind of care and due diligence should investors do before they deal with any financial consultant or service offerings?

RG: Yes, in the world of financial services, credibility and trust are paramount. Investors should exercise a financial tango of due diligence to avoid falling prey to con artists and financial disasters.

Credentials Check: Just like you’d ask a dance partner for their credentials, inquire about the consultant’s qualifications, certifications, and affiliations. Honest professionals are proud to demonstrate their abilities.

Research the consultant’s track record. You would not dance with a person who constantly falls down, right? Similarly, avoid those with a history of questionable practices.

Trustworthy Tune: Listen to the music or, in this case, testimonials and reviews from other clients. Positive experiences are like a well-choreographed routine; they show the consultant’s ability to deliver.

Slow Dance Approach: Watch out for consultants who push you to make decisions quickly.  A hasty decision could result in financial stumbles, just as a dance move can result in a slip.

Transparency Tango: An honest consultant is forthcoming about costs, dangers, and possible outcomes. If they are being evasive, it is like dancing with a masked partner; you are not sure where you are going.

Financial choreography: Request a detailed plan or approach. An effective routine makes sure you and your partner are on the same page and working to achieve your financial objectives.

Regulatory Rhythm: Make sure the consultant follows all applicable laws and regulations. It is similar to dancing at a real ball; the chances of ending up in a con artist’s waltz are lower.

Emergency Exit Moves: Talk about how to leave the partnership if necessary. Knowing your dance floor exit strategies will help you avoid awkward situations, just as knowing your financial exit moves will help you avoid getting stuck.

Referral Waltz: Take advice from trustworthy sources seriously. It is similar to asking friends with good moves for dance recommendations.

Gut Feeling Groove: Finally, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. It’s like sensing an offbeat rhythm; it’s best to find a new partner.

BNC: What is your advice to beginners of investments?

RG:

  • Educate Yourself: Take time to understand basic investment concepts such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and diversification. Knowledge is your best tool

Set Clear Goals: Determine your financial objectives and time horizon for investing. This will guide your investment choices and risk tolerance.

Start Early: Time is your ally. The earlier you start investing, the more your money can grow through compounding.

Diversify: Spread your investments across different asset classes to reduce risk. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Start Small: Begin with an amount you’re comfortable with. As you gain confidence and experience, you can increase your investment.

Stay Patient: Investments may fluctuate in the short term. Focus on long-term goals and avoid making impulsive decisions.

Avoid Emotional Decisions: Don’t let fear or greed drive your investment choices. Stick to your strategy, even during market volatility.

Regularly Monitor: Review your investments periodically and make adjustments as needed to align with your goals.

Seek Professional Advice: If needed, consult a financial advisor for personalized guidance tailored to your situation.

Remember, every investment comes with its own set of risks and rewards. Your investment strategy should align with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.

BNC:  Can you please list 10 DOs and Don’ts?

 Answer

DOs:

Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about different investment options, financial markets, and basic investment principles before you start investing.

Set Clear Goals: Define your financial objectives and time horizon for each investment. Having specific goals will help guide your investment decisions.

Diversify: Spread your investments across different asset classes (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) to reduce risk and increase potential returns.

Start Early: The power of compound interest can significantly amplify your gains over time. Start investing as early as possible to benefit from this effect.

Invest for the Long Term: Keep a long-term perspective and avoid making impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations.

Regularly Contribute: Consistently contribute to your investments, even if it’s a small amount. Regular contributions can help you take advantage of market fluctuations and build wealth over time.

Research: Thoroughly research any investment opportunity before committing your money. Understand the company, fund, or asset you’re investing in.

Seek Professional Advice: If you’re unsure or need personalized guidance, consider consulting a financial advisor. Their expertise can help you make informed decisions.

Review and Adjust: Periodically review your investment portfolio and adjust it to stay aligned with your goals and risk tolerance as circumstances change.

Stay Patient: Investments take time to grow. Be patient and avoid making emotional decisions during market ups and downs.

DON’Ts:

Invest Without a Plan: Avoid investing without a clear strategy and set goals. Random investments can lead to poor outcomes.

Put All Your Eggs in One Basket: Avoid concentrating your investments in a single asset. Diversification helps reduce the impact of poor-performing investments.

Chase Hot Trends: Avoid investing solely based on the latest fads or market trends. Stick to a well-researched plan.

Overreact to Market Volatility: Avoid making hasty decisions in response to short-term market fluctuations. Stay focused on your long-term goals.

Borrow to Invest: Avoid taking on high levels of debt to invest, as this can amplify losses and increase financial risk.

Neglect Risk Management: Don’t ignore the risks associated with your investments. Understand and manage the potential downsides.

Time the Market: Avoid trying to predict market movements. Market timing is challenging and can lead to missed opportunities.

Let Emotions Drive Decisions: Emotional investing can lead to poor choices. Keep emotions in check and stick to your investment plan.

Overtrade: Excessive buying and selling can lead to higher costs and lower returns. Be mindful of transaction fees and taxes.

Forget to Monitor: While a long-term perspective is important, it’s also essential to periodically review your investments and make adjustments when necessary.

Remember, every investor’s situation is unique. These guidelines can help you make informed decisions, but it’s important to tailor your investment approach to your individual goals and circumstances.

BNC: Automation is transforming many aspects of finance. How does Lets Invest Wisely use automation to streamline administrative tasks, allowing more time for strategic decision-making in managing clients’ portfolios?

RG: The entire process of back end management, client engagement, working out the investment plans, processing the investments, and monitoring the investments by the clients is automated and online. The entire process is paperless, and geographical separation is not a hindrance at all. 

BNC: How does Lets Invest Wisely ensure that its technology infrastructure provides up-to-the-minute insights to clients regarding their  holdings 

RG: Lets Invest Wisely has a website through which a client can login and check the status of their investment details. They can also track the progress of their financial goals online through this login. Moreover, we have our own app, Lets Invest Wisely, through which the latest details of all investments can be tracked, including financial goals. Further, this app also provides the flexibility to initiate all the transactions (purchase, redemption, etc.) online by the clients themselves, making it totally transparent and with full client control as well.