When we set out to build 1 Finance, one of the things we had the most clarity on was that the current landscape of personal finance advisory in India is highly inadequate. Undoubtedly, this is not due to a lack of interest on the part of the people — most are interested in learning about the avenues that open up with financial planning, but they are faced with an overwhelming abundance of financial instruments and an absence of sophisticated tools or qualified advice to compare them. And most importantly, what we found lacking was a way to locate instruments that are compatible with an individual’s traits and financial goals.
We wanted to use our decades of experience and learnings in the financial services sector with our work at the Marwadi Chandarana Group, and were well aware of how the traditional advisory process currently operates. It follows a straitjacketed model of profiling investors like you as conservative, balanced or aggressive based on superficial parameters and unreliable or invalid questionnaires. Advisors tend to recommend strikingly similar asset allocation strategies to people who fall within the same category without any care for a closer look at who you are or what your other financials may be.
After a close study of behavioural finance research that’s only reinforced our experiential learnings, we are certain that good financial advice must include a holistic look at your finances — your expenses, cash flows, liabilities, insurance, etc. — along with your disposition and level of comfort with the choices before you.
We also realise how crucial your personality traits can be when it comes to your financial outcomes. Traits such as discipline, impulse control, curiosity, and so on, play a key role in how you interact with money — and we believe that to make better decisions, you need to identify the traits you’re more inclined towards in the first place. Acceptance is, after all, the first step to recovery.
The online assessment tools currently out there operate with the sole purpose of selling a financial product to the customer. Besides, they are usually based on half-baked recipes and do an incomplete job. With this in mind, we set out to both address loopholes in the traditional advisory process as well as close the gap in the market.
Our MoneySign® assessment framework assesses your financial behaviour and identifies the inherent traits that guide your choices in order to help us deliver suitable advice. While we’re extremely proud of the final outcome, it wasn’t easy getting here, and we had our fair set of challenges. We always had a clear line of reasoning for classifying our users based on financial personalities, but what wasn’t immediately evident was how exactly to characterise those personalities. Extensive research and stacks of scientific literature left us bogged down with ideas. Eventually, after lengthy internal conversations and several brainstorming sessions, we were able to outline the MoneySign® profiles and map out what their respective journeys to financial well-being would look like.
Our assessment is also rooted in our careful analysis of available research in evolutionary biology, behavioural science and personal finance management, but another challenge we faced was corroborating this information and methodology. It took us time to locate the right psychologists who could analyse the framework, check its completeness, and assist in creating a user-friendly format for evaluation.
The MoneySign® assessment you see today has been through multiple iterations, has been honed for efficiency, and now comprises a succinct set of questions with results that cut through technical jargon and complex concepts. This is followed by a detailed report with customised suggestions based on your personality and a holistic view of your finances, which are meant to help you secure long-term financial well-being.
We’re thrilled to have completed this leg of the journey and have MoneySign® in place — and it’s most exciting to see the kinds of responses pour in now that it’s out in the world. Of course, it’s only the first step, but we’re happy to have begun this journey towards democratising financial advice. We’re counting on your feedback to strengthen our framework, and we hope it meets your expectations. We look forward to having you on board and hearing your thoughts.