Imagine a platform for investments where you do not need to worry about whether the market or the MF office is still open.
What are the trading timings for the stock markets in India? When can you walk into a mutual fund office and invest in mutual funds? Obviously, you can only trade when the market is functioning between 9 am and 3.30 pm. Similarly, you can only walk into a mutual fund office and execute transactions when the office is functioning, which is typically between 10 am to 5 pm. What if you want to invest in mutual fund because you just got a credit amount into your bank account at 6 pm on Friday? You will typically have to wait till Monday morning, talk to your advisor and then walk into the mutual fund office and submit your application for an equity fund along with your cheque for the amount. But, what if all these timings could really cease to matter very soon? Here is how…
Welcome to the anywhere and anytime financial market
The legendary investor Warren Buffett rightly said that to be successful you have to work hard for your money but if you really want to be wealthy then you have to make the money work hard for you. Imagine a platform for investments where you do not need to worry about whether the market or the MF office is still open. You just log into an online platform on your computer and execute the buy or sell trade. Of course, the actual execution may happen on the next day but as far as you are concerned you have done your job. You have transcended the constraints of time and place and managed to execute your financial transaction at the time and place of your choice.
This is a dual advantage for you. Firstly, you can execute the transaction at the time of your choice; that is whenever you are free. You do not really have to worry about whether the mutual fund office is open or whether the market is functioning. You just open your system, punch in the details and the order is logged into the system. Execution is then just a matter of formality. You can also execute anywhere. It is immaterial whether you are at home or office or attending a wedding. You do not even need access to a computer or laptop since these days you could download this entire platform on an App and execute all your transactions from your smart phone itself.
How to make an informed decision anytime and anywhere?
That is the logical next question. You obviously cannot talk to your advisor in the midst of the melee. Also, you do not have access to all your existing investment documents. There is a solution which the platform can offer. Imagine that the platform assists you at two levels. Your entire financial plan and the details of investments held by you are clearly documented and stored in the platform itself. That means you can access your portfolio and your plan 24X7 from any part of the world. So, your portfolio reference point is always available with you. Now the bigger challenge is getting the right advice before investing.
That is where machine intelligence comes into play. Did you know that there is a way of getting advice that is entirely free of emotional bias? That is called algorithm driven advisory. This is not some black box program throwing up esoteric solutions based on a methodology you do not understand. The algorithms are designed to help you make an informed decision. It is based on the use of big data and many years of expert research to tabulate all the investment opportunities on one side and then again use big data to mine and create a picture perfect investment-needs profile of yours. When you combine the two you have a neat solution. All that you have to do is to click a button to say OK. That is surely a lot simpler.
Monitoring and rebalancing my portfolio when required…
So you have managed to get advice at the place of your choice and invested at the time of your choice. Can you also monitor your investments at the place and time of your choice? The answer is an emphatic “Yes”. When we talk of monitoring, we not only refer to the portfolio evaluation but also whether the portfolio of investments is in tune with the original financial plan. Has any sector outperformed? Has any sector underperformed? Have valuations become too steep. The beauty of having such a big data driven platform is that it not only helps you with such analytics but also gives you the answers. What should you do if you are overinvested in a sector? Which funds can you shift out of and which funds can you shift into? How to rebalance your entire portfolio mix and then execute with the click of a button? All these can be done from the comfort of your chair!
The big question, therefore, is can this kind of a platform do everything which can be managed by human advisors? The difference could lie in the use of big data. That could be well be the future of investing!(The writer is CIO, Angel Broking)