Be it academic or sports, the teacher or the coach deserves all the accolades for every success of their pupil, as without their help it would not have been possible for the apprentice to achieve anything. Therefore, each one of us crave for that mental support or encouragement in order to go beyond and achieve success to the very least. Even after the inception of internet, the importance of coach, mentor or teacher has been unmoved in the field of academics or sports, but the same cannot be said about investment or personal finance field. Investing for your future is nothing less than preparing you for the toughest test in sports or education, because one wrong foot and you are practically endangering your future life. Possibly being unaware about the fact of jeopardising your future or simply procrastinating could be some of the reason why an advisor is not treated with any deserving importance while taking any financial decision. But before you hand over your future to Google or any search engine, you may want to read below reasons and rethink as to why that may not be the safest bet for any of your financial decisions.
The technicalities: Google search engine might show irrelevant results as well. Not being technical here, but to simplify Google feeders are prone to using search engine optimisation to bring their website or info in the first two or three website links. In order to queue up their information, they take the help of keywords. So, when a user searches key words, the feeder’s website will be flashed first even though the information might be irrelevant. Lesson learnt here is that the information provided by the search is not verified or necessarily relevant. Hence, acting on such information is more like driving your car with one eye closed.
Difference between search and research: Google is simply a platform for all the information which is fed to it by the feeder. Therefore, it is not the owner of the information you see in it, rather the owner is the feeder or website owner who may or may not be an investment advisor. Likewise, there are immeasurable feeders who present their information but not to help you take the right decision. Searching means finding information but research means finding the right solution to your needs. Therefore, even though Google provides you with plethora of information the onus is on you to determine whether the information is helpful or noteworthy of taking the decision.
Lack of legal responsibility: Investment advisors are people with knowledge, expertise, experience and most importantly, are registered with relevant government authorities entrusting them with a responsibility of managing funds of the investors. As stated above, Google provides with information without knowing its legitimacy or truth. As a result, in case of failure, Google nor the government or court takes any responsibility. That is the reason why the investor awareness programmes are always issuing warning against opting for investment schemes spreading on the internet or mobiles.
Lack of updated knowledge: Google is a search engine run by its feeders, it shows what the feeders want to show. Google is neither a financial advisor nor a government spokesperson, hence the information available at its portal might not necessarily be latest or updated. Therefore, investing on the basis of outdated information could be fatal and destructive. Imagine if you bought a car without knowing the best one available in the market or without knowing the manufacturing company is winding up. This is what lack of updated knowledge could do. Hence, it is always wise to know all the options and latest developments available in all such options.
Options many but zero evaluation: In the earlier days the investment options were very limited with fixed deposit taking the driver’s seat amongst majority of investors, however in today’s date with so many options in mutual fund alone, it is not just difficult to choose but even more difficult to evaluate. Each investor has its own unique risk appetite, aspirations and income threshold, and opting for any investment options without analysing such factors is mere shooting with eyes closed. An investment option may be good for some but may not be ideal at all for some, hence following anything blindly is nothing but gambling of your future. Google will provide you with plethora of options but never with the right one for you unless you make research on your own.
(Viral Bhatt is the Founder of Money Mantra — a personal finance solutions firm)
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