'Life planning helped me be more emphatic'

By Ravi Samalad |  03-09-19 | 
 
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About the Author
Ravi Samalad is Assistant Manager - Editoral for Morningstar.in.

Mumbai-based adviser Yogita Dand narrates her experience of becoming a Life Planner.

What inspired you to start your own practice?

Way back in 2009, I was working as a CFO in a private company and felt saturated with the kind of work I was doing. I decided to pursue Certified Financial Planner (CFP) in order to sort my financial life. However, through my journey of learning financial planning right from December 2009 to January 2011, I realized that there were many people like me out there who needed financial planning as much as I did. This became my calling. I quit my job in March 2011 and started my practice.

What made you learn about life planning?

My first brush with this concept was when I attended ‘Money Quotient’ session addressed by Partha Iyengar at the Network FP conference. I attended it because it intrigued me. It was a wonderful workshop where we were made to play act and I realized that this is what is important during financial planning as it makes the client open up in a way that traditional financial planning does not. In 2013, Network FP invited a few of us to be a part of the two-day workshop with Kinder Institute of Life Planning in India. Since then there has been no looking back. I am truly glad to be a part of the Kinder Institute which is like a family to me. Incidentally, I am the very first Registered Life Planner from the Kinder Institute of Life Planning in India, having completed all the three levels of their course.

How has life planning helped you in your practice?

The five day EVOKE workshop at Hawaii was an experience in itself. In this workshop we were also being life planned ourselves. Life planning practically helped me to look at my life as a whole, made me more aware and self-confident and most importantly, it taught me to be emphatic and a better listener to all my clients without being biased or judgmental.

How has it helped your clients? Can you share a few anecdotes?

I got a call from a couple client who were already my financial life planning clients and the wife was keen to buy a 2 BHK home immediately while we had it in the financial plan for some years down the line. Normally, a financial planner would have sat down to see their financials and work a way out, but I realized that there was more to the situation. Upon listening and prodding the wife to speak and vent out her feelings, both her husband and I realized that she was not happy with her career at that moment and this outburst had nothing to do with buying the 2BHK flat after all. It was only with my life planning experience that I could at that moment get this out of her.

What would be your advice to someone who wants to learn more about life planning?

I would urge them to pursue it at the earliest because it will help them build a better and a long-lasting relationship with clients which will be beyond the monetary returns.

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