Market, product complexities necessitate investor education:Bhave

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New Delhi, Aug 5 (UNI) SEBI Chairman C B Bhave today underscored the need for investor education, with financial markets and products becoming more complex and a growing number of intermediaries making larger offerings.

"With a population of those who have larger resources to save growing day in and day out, there will be a larger number of investment products competing for their attention", Mr Bhave said inaugurating here the 'Financial Planning Congress.' Mr Bhave said everything about the selling agents was not fair and transparent, which could be misleading for a retail investor. Often, the investor does not have full knowledge of the product and can thus be misled by a selling agent.

He said the litmus test would be that the agent discloses to the customer the commission he is getting on the different products that he is selling. This will make the consumer wiser.

Mr Bhave said higher incomes mean that there would be more consumer products on offer and there would also be a growing number of products where he is asked to invest.

The phenomenal growth of the Indian economy means that there will be people who will grow exponentially and who can both save and spend. The competition for an individual's resources will be intense.

The answer to this complex issue is a better informed consumer where consumer and investor education will play an important role.

Mr Bhave said financial education was a continuing process and thus this is the need to have more and more training programmes for the intermediaries and consumers.

Mr Bhave said SEBI was willing to look at the problems which Self Regulatory Organisations(SRO) may pose to it, but clarified that SROs did not mean that the regulator would seize to exist. Both could go hand in hand, he said.

"There are too many SROs and SEBI is willing to enter into a dialogue with them", Mr Bhave said.

Entitled 'Financial Education for Indian Consumers whose responsibility is it?,' the event was a joint endeavour of Financial Standards Board India (FSBI) and 'Outlook Money.' Others who spoke at the inaugural sfunction included Mr Ranjeet S Mudholkar and Mr Sailesh Haribhakti of FSBI, Mr Ajay Bagga, Chairman Financial Planning Congress and Ms Monika Halan, Editor, 'Outlook Money.' The speakers said the need was for understanding productive assets, risk return profiles, assessing clients needs and coaching clients to move their wealth to more productive assets. It was, thus, necessaary to have a better appreciation of the markets, financial products and other related sectors of the business world.

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