Why does Mrin Agarwal advise against seeking financial advice from CAs or insurance agents? It’s a matter of debate and concern for ICAI and it’s Members.
On December 7, 2022, ICAI filed a complaint with the Deccan Herald about an article titled “Don’t rely on insurance agents or CAs for financial advice” that was published on December 4, 2022. The article was written by Mrin Aggarwal, who seems to be a Director at Finsafe India Pvt Ltd.
ICAI has stated in it’s complaint that “It is quite unfortunate that a reputed Newspaper like the Deccan Herald has published the aforesaid article containing disparaging remarks against Chartered Accountants which caused immense damage to the credentials of CA profession. Chartered Accountants are experts in the areas of finance & related matters and are qualified & competent to examine and comment on the financial statements of any entity. Many of them are certified investment advisers and portfolio managers registered with SEBI. The adverse comments made in the article are, therefore, unfounded and uncalled for, which has tarnished the reputation of Chartered Accountants in the eyes of the public.”
Further, ICAI has requested Deccan Herald to take appropriate steps for suitable publication in it’s Newspaper to dispel the adverse opinion expressed in the said article, to clear the doubts in the minds of the readers, without prejudice to the rights of the ICAI to pursue its legal remedies against the publisher and the author in accordance with the law.
For your convenience, we have reproduced the paragraphs from the Article that make derogatory references to the CA profession, as under:
“For long, investors have relied on insurance agents and or chartered accounts (CA) to provide financial advice. However, neither of them is really equipped to do so as they are not certified or have deep knowledge of various markets. CAs are tax experts whose guidance needs to be taken only for tax related matters. A CA does not know how to evaluate a fund or how to create a financial plan.”
“A financial planner can give a deeper perspective and exact calculations on insurance needs, retirement corpus and investment planning. Just like the CA’s role doesn’t end by just filing taxes, a financial advisor’s role is to handhold investors through various market cycles, especially during downturns.”
“Another advantage of financial planners is their focus on goal-based plans and not on specific products, unlike agents who would push the latest product or CAs who can give opinions on a product but do not really know if it is a fit in your portfolio. Financial planners can also tailor investment strategies based on customer needs.”
Given this background, it’s encouraging to learn that the ICAI has adopted a mature stance and will be following up on the matter as appropriate.
We have a firm conviction that the pursuit of excellence is the only path to success in any profession or professional endeavor. We do not endorse any kind of language that demeans other professions or people who work in those professions.
When working in finance, one’s success is frequently contingent upon the state of the economy more generally. Due to the inherently cyclical nature of the industry, nobody can claim to have any long-term success stories as a result of their work.
In spite of this, professionals working in the financial sector have the ability to construct a solid reputation for themselves and achieve long-term success if they continue to prioritise excellence. It is essential to keep in mind that the key to success is not underestimating the efforts of others but rather one’s own effort and commitment to achieving their goals.