‘index Funds Are Low-cost, Simple For Retail Investors To Understand’

Pratik Oswal, head, passive funds at Motilal Oswal AMC, says goal-based investing is the perfect type of investing. Glide Invest, the robo advisory agency that he has arrange, suggests portfolios for passive funds and is geared toward retail traders. Edited excerpts from an interview.


When did you begin Glide Invest?

 I used to be really working for an automatic wealth advisory platform within the US the place we had been doing fairly effectively. We raised a variety of enterprise capital, all of that. And once I got here again, I noticed the facility of serving to traders routinely spend money on financial savings into capital markets. I believe direct plans had been simply launched at round that point. But I noticed that there have been not that many merchandise obtainable within the market. That’s what prompted me to launch these passive funds. And that’s how  I’m right here and heading the passive funds business at Motilal Oswal AMC. 

We began engaged on this on the finish of 2019. The product is similar to a robo advisor within the US. But in contrast to the US the place there’s a market for wealth administration throughout totally different spectrums, wealth administration in India is pretty concentrated on the high, say, 1% or 2% of the inhabitants. You have to have the ability to make investments 30-40 lakhs to have the ability to get the providers of somebody who involves your own home or involves your office and provides you customized recommendation. And what in regards to the investor who needs to take a position say 10,000 or 20,000? There is not any assist. And that is going to be most of India’s inhabitants. So that was the form of alternative that we’re concentrating on. 

You supply index funds in your portfolios?

Yes, precisely. Index funds are used because the core of your portfolio, and it’s because they’re very long run. There’s actually not any want for traders to promote index funds, as a result of they don’t underperform the market. Obviously, you might have some monitoring error, however over time, it’s principally betting on market returns. So there’s no dangerous efficiency of index funds. They’re low value, and so they’re comparatively easy for a retail investor to grasp. So that’s why we’re providing these index fund portfolios. 

Index funds have constructed a observe report in India on the fairness aspect and debt aspect, what’s your pondering? 

On the debt aspect, to be trustworthy, there should not many index funds. So I believe you will note over the subsequent two or three years much more innovation occurring on the debt aspect. So far, the innovation has occurred on the held to maturity (goal maturity) form of debt funds which expire. And the issue with expiring debt funds is that, as a long-term investor investing for, say, 10-15 years, you’ll find yourself having a tax occasion when the fund matures. Then you make investments that again into debt funds. So we use these funds because the debt allocation. But in comparison with say about 4 years in the past, there are much more choices in the present day. 

So how do folks make investments by Glide? 

Glide make investments is primarily a business-to-consumer (B2C) app. Unlike most startups, we don’t spend on advertising and marketing. So a variety of the expansion that you just’ve seen is totally natural. The concept is that potential traders come to the app and answer just a few questions there. Those questions enable us to grasp the kind of investor you’re and, relying on that, we’ll supply suggestions. The second factor is when a buyer is available in with a sure aim in thoughts. I strongly imagine that goal-based investing is the perfect type of investing. Even retirement is definitely a aim, technically. And, we additionally account for a buyer’s danger profile. We advocate a conservative portfolio for somebody who just isn’t in a position to take as a lot danger and an aggressive portfolio the place somebody is ready to take much more danger. So it’s customized and low value. 

What type of AUM (property underneath administration ) or buyer base do you might have? 

We have about 40,000 clients proper now. We constructed that over the past year and a half. Most of those clients are already invested in direct plans in mutual funds. So that’s the section that we’re searching for. We additionally supply a platform on the app that helps you spend money on direct funds. 

You don’t settle for clients of Motilal Oswal group entities? 

If you’re already a buyer of Motilal Oswal broking or every other business, then technically you’re not allowed to even be a buyer or consumer of Glide Invest, as per Sebi rules separating distribution and recommendation. So we’re not in a position to onboard any clients who’re already inside the ecosystem, which has been a little bit of a problem as a result of these are clearly simpler to transform. AMC (asset administration company) traders can, in fact, be shoppers of Glide make investments. 

How do you preserve a form of a Chinese wall between the AMC and Glide Invest? 

The groups are fully separate. There can be some Motilal Oswal funds in our portfolio however we provide different AMC funds as effectively.  Our backend engine additionally affords some tax optimization. Your incremental investments will change, relying on the place money ought to go. So suppose tomorrow, you might have a 50:50 portfolio between fairness and debt and it turns into 60:40, routinely your recent investments will get deployed in debt somewhat than fairness. Most of our traders are SIP traders and therefore this sort of tax-efficient rebalancing works effectively for them. 

What are your costs? 

Currently, it’s free. But we hope to begin subscription plans over the subsequent 8-10 months.

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