Book Review: The Wealth Wallahs

The Book ‘The Wealth Wallahs’ is written by Shreyasi Singh, former Managing Editor of Inc, India.

She does a fantastic job of covering the Wealth Management industry in India and getting perspectives -both from the client and the advisor’s perspective.

In the Indian context, a HNI (High Networth Individual) is one who has $1 Million of investable assets (excluding primary residence) and a VHNI (Very High Networth Individual) is one who has $5 Million in investable assets.

The Wealth Management industry is meant to handle the money/wealth of such clients.

The Book narrates the story of the Wealth Management industry via the lens of IIFL Wealth, which is now the largest wealth management firm in India.

Started in 2008, IIFL Wealth did a tremendous job of riding the wealth creation wave in India. India’s wealth has increased by $2.284 Trillion (Rs.15,24,227 Crores) between 2000 and 2015, making it one of the fastest growing places to make serious money.

70% of the clientele of IIFL Wealth are first generation entrepreneurs-think senior corporate personnel (CXOs etc), A list Celebrities (Bollywood,Sports etc),Startup Founders,PE investee firms etc

I found it wonderful how IIFL Wealth was created by three professionals who demanded ownership along with the normal salary/bonuses etc.

Its great to see working class professionals start companies,create jobs,provide world class products & services and have skin in the game.

The Book contains chapters on the perspectives of the wealthy towards money, how to spend it,how to raise children, on philanthropy etc which I found interesting.

What I found amusing was the attitude of the clients towards their wealth managers.

Most seemed to regard their wealth managers as product pushers for the sake of earning commissions.

As such, they had a relationship with two or more wealth firms.They did not trust their own wealth firm enough to go with their advise blindly. Every product they were pitched to was given to a competing firm for their inputs/critiques !

Also, the clients seem to have a low opinion of their own wealth managers.This is because entrepreneurs/business builders consider the process of creating wealth to be superior as opposed to “managing it”

Do read this Book to understand how the wealth industry operates.

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