April 21, 2020

I Had No One Else To Follow: An Account Blow-by-Blow

Lovaii Navlakhi
Founder & CEO, International Money Matters Pvt. Ltd

The year 2001 was just ending

When Money Matters began

9/11, tech bubble was trending

Would this start-up be an also-ran?

The early days were supposed to be tough

But since the business purpose was clear

The focus was sharp enough —

Educate clients; don’t prey on their fear.

I wish I’d known at the age of 28

The concept of saving & investing —

But it was only when I was 38

That I first heard of financial planning.

Clients asked me in year one

“Shouldn’t you be charging a fee?”

That’s how the thoughts begun

Of what indeed was meant to be.

I was new to this industry

Wasn’t running a business for long

No one else gave me company

No choice, I had to be strong.

The concept was new

The year 2003

My time now had value

The business model was based on a fee.

I needed to find the reason

Why the money was being invested

It had to span many a season

As their patience was often tested.

Then came the advent of CFP

What I was doing, it did match

Soon it was time to “Yippee!”

I was in India’s first convocation batch.

The fee models changed often enough;

The problem clearly was in my mind;

I thought the going would be rough;

That acceptance of the new fee would be a grind.

I realised soon enough though

I had to show the value

When the client shelled out dough

And deliver what was due.

What stood out indeed clearly

Clients paid their fees – they must

Markets good or bad – yearly

Only if you’d gained their trust.

For knowledge, I had a deep yearning

Leaving no stone unturned

To ensure perpetual learning

Even if the midnight oil was burnt.

Numbers indeed were a fascination

Whether it was for 401k or a Plan529

To do a dollar-based calculation

I thought the client had to be only mine.

What dawned on me after a while

Was that I just didn’t know enough

(We spoke in kilometre, they in mile)

 Making recommendations there, I could muff.

That’s when I jumped over the fence

And changed my approach internationally

Connecting with their local advisors made sense

For the overseas client if I thought rationally.

The objective was clients’ interest first

Followed by our team’s learning

That was enough to quench our thirst –

The focus wasn’t first on our earning.

The number stuff was getting boring

I needed to understand investor behaviour

Calculations were easy to do even while snoring

The CeFT course was indeed a saviour.

Human behaviour remains the same

Across geography, culture or race

Understand the mental wireframe

Is what excites me – now in first place.

Coming to the end of the poetry

What you’re possibly wondering

“What’s the moral of this story?”

Or is it just aimless meandering?

I’m happy I started 18 years ago –

(You possibly think that I ramble)

Think – I had nobody else to follow

No choice but to lead by example.


5 Thoughts to “I Had No One Else To Follow: An Account Blow-by-Blow”

  1. Trupti Muralidhar says:

    A poetry can be written on a dry and formal subject like Advisory business is just too amazing.
    Lovaii Sir truly emotional and inspiring. Words are so aptly chosen making the whole poetry session of 2 decades of creating a passionate corporate business into a movie running in front of ones eyes.
    The Title is the best and so was the climax…………………you inspire.

  2. Manish Jain says:

    Simple and lucid description of your journey. Beautiful.

  3. Mamta Khanna says:

    This poetry is telling my story too. I am in same boat.
    Very nicely written.

  4. GEETHA says:

    You have very well expressed your journey through this profession very precisely.

    I fully agree with you when you say, “The objective was the clients’ interests first” and “The focus wasn’t first on our earnings”

    CE, ie., to practice the Mantra, ‘learn and learn and learn….’ is the only way to stay afloat in this profession.

    Thanks for sharing you thoughts…

  5. Zoeb Kamdar says:

    A long journey – told in a simple, well and light way !

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