In just over two years, Dhruv Rajani’s Imperial Wealth Services has emerged as one of the most reputed Wealth Management firms in Goa. Dhruv started his firm in 2014 and has today built assets under advisory of Rs. 180 crores in mutual funds and total assets under management of Rs 200 crores.
Let’s trace Dhruv’s journey in MF advisory.After completing his MSc in Investment Management from UK, Dhruv took up a job at an Investment bank in UK as a trader in Indian equities. “My interest has always been in financial services and I worked in UK for a year trading in Indian Equities.,” recalls Dhruv.
While Dhruv had the option of joining his family business, he chose to follow his passion as he wanted to make it big in the financial services industry. He started exploring and sensed an opportunity in the Wealth Management space and thus started Imperial Wealth Services in 2014. Dhruv says that his father has been a great source of encouragement and support in making his dream come true.
Being new in the industry, Dhruv’s first challenge was client acquisition. His initial clients were his friends and acquaintances who became a source for referrals. Today, Imperial Wealth Services manages 350 investors who are a mix of Corporates, Retail and HNIs. Dhruv operates his firm like a boutique Wealth Management firm which focuses on goal based investing and risk assessed investing.
Of Rs. 200 crore AUM, a large share (70%) of his assets are in Fixed Income assets. Besides retail and HNIs, Imperial Wealth Services also has Corporate clients who invest in Fixed Income products. “Institutional investors look for stable returns and thus we advise them to invest in Fixed Income funds as they are less risky. We have around 5-6 corporate clients and we manage their treasury,” says Dhruv.
Dhruv had sensed an opportunity in debt funds when he realised that interest rates were set to go down. “Interest rates have been coming down. So, if any investor had locked-in his money at higher rates, the investor would have got good returns post tax returns now. Corporate investors look for safe returns with time horizon of three years, so Fixed Income is the best option.”
Besides Corporates, Dhruv has been actively recommending debt funds to retail investors. He shows them the performance charts of debt funds vis-à-vis FDs to make them shift to MF Fixed Income products. From his experience with retail clients, he says that a typical investor specially in Goa are conservative and doesn’t believe in taking risks but at the same time wants to beat inflation. While Dhruv has been championing the cause of debt funds among retail clients, he also makes them apprise of the risks. “A common notion in India is that debt funds are completely risk-free. This perception has to change.”
While SIP has been a popular route to invest in equity mutual funds, Dhruv believes that retail investors should invest contemplate on lump sum in debt funds. “If one must adopt SIP route, I would recommend investing in equity funds only. SIP is a must for every investor. We recommend clients to invest preferably lump sum in debt funds.”
Dhruv does a thorough analysis of the macro environment and chooses his funds accordingly. “We are in constant touch with Fund managers and their teams which helps us take informed decisions and plan investment patterns/strategies accordingly”.
Having reached 200 crore AUM in a short span of time, Dhruv believes that the next phase of his company’s growth will come by focusing on the youngsters who have a higher disposable income. Dhruv and his team are sowing the seeds of investments in young minds. His team conducts financial literacy programs in colleges and institutes where they teach students the importance of starting early. “We conduct at least two investor awareness programs in a month across various age groups but our focus is on generating awareness among youngsters who have age by their side and thus can take risks by participating in equities. In fact, most my retail clients are youngsters right from 18 years of age.”
Interestingly, Dhruv started investing when he was only 17 years old and he has seen the fruits of his investments. He wants to pass on this wisdom to youngsters so that they can inculcate the habit of investing early in their careers.
Having said that, he says that youngsters are more aware of the investment options available today than the older generation.
Dhruv has tasted success because of his passion to be independent. Dhruv’s journey can be best summed up by this quote. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” - Paulo Coelho