A passion for research, a devotion to transparency and the promise to put client interest first, Armstrong Capital Advisory, a privately owned investment management firm, started its journey in 2010 with a mission to bridge the gap between where their clients are now financially, and where they want to be.
Excursion of Armstrong
At the very beginning, they realized that there was something missing in the way individuals investments were managed. Financial services industry was concerned only with selling their financial products and did not give an advice seeing the holistic picture of all the Investments done in the past. So, they evaluated the gap and bridged it with their financial plans, plans that take into consideration all the past investments and existing commitments and then, Armstrong advise and execute that to build a long lasting relationship with their clients.
They devote a lot of time gathering information from their clients, analyze it and then craft a financial plan. Then, the companies reline their investments with their client’s expectations and life goals. While making the plan Armstrong takes into consideration all existing financial commitments, long term saving and surplus. Armstrong also give their clients ideas of how much their vacation budget should be how much the lifestyle should spend be how much of home loan should be affordable and how much percentage of the salary should be saved.
When the company was born, they have seen that Entry Loads were abolished and the revenue earned from Mutual fund distribution was not enough to cover the cost. With keeping cost under control as key initiative, they worked out of shared office; they shared admin resources that helped to keep cost under control. Armstrong operated very lean with a 3 people team to start with. On the business front, the company is focused of recurring deposits, corp fixed deposits bonds that has helped them survive. Later as the client base and business grow, Armstrong expanded their team, they kept investing the revenues earned in the business, employing people, investing in software and investing in marketing.
The Fascinating Businesswoman of Armstrong
Manju Mastakar is the Director of Armstrong Capital Advisory. She started her career in the stock markets of Mumbai in the year 2000. After that, she worked with various brokers like Rosy Blue securities, Motilal Oswal, MF global as dealer, relationship manager. Later in the year 2007, she came to Bangalore and worked with HSBC and ASK wealth advisors.
She has seen that, industries were going through a very bad time and there was lack in employment , so she decided to start her own firm. She became empaneled with service providers like RR investors and Phillip capital as their sub broker and started doing Mutual fund and Direct Equity Advisory. Afterward, in 2010, she started Armstrong Capital Advisory.
“The basic motive behind starting Armstrong and continuing it was that the way wealth management was dealt it the back end was not very encouraging. All the organizations were focused in getting the big buck quickly, selling insurances, selling structured products and I felt it’s necessary to build up the relationship, understand the needs and then offer a solution” – Manju asserts.
Astonishing Ideas with Well-executions of Strategies
At Armstrong, they don’t sell products; they identify all requirements and sell solutions. They first evaluate the ROI (Return on Investments) that the client is getting, then they evaluate the ask rate of Interest that clients are paying. Then, they draft an execution plan which they spread across 1-2 years, try to gear up the investments and make a strategy to build a corpus to pay off the clients debts. Many times, Armstrong meet up with first time investors, so they educate them about market risk and gives the clear picture of client’s investments.
At the firm, they have only 1 plan and 1 prospective through the wealth creation journey. They focus on establishing the trust factor first before they start a relationship. Producing an excellent track record is not enough, a client’s trust and confidence is engendered by the totality of their experience. Therefore, Armstrong strive themselves to deliver the best advice according to the client’s needs. No matter what the size of the investment portfolio they make sure to deliver the same standard of advice to all their clients.
“The real value of an investment advisor will only show up when things start to go wrong and what corrective actions were taken to rectify the situation. These factors differentiate us from our competition and we continue to grow.”- Manju asserts.
Armstrong always believes that the marketing is a continuous exercise and never dependent on references, they did cold calling, meeting, follow up and acquired customers where else many of our competition relied only on references to build their client base. The company also did a lot of primary research on the funds that they recommend they do not judge the funds by past performance; they have their own parameters to white list mutual funds. That differentiates and generates alpha performance for them.
For Armstrong, client’s interest always comes as a first priority. Their moral obligation weighs out the commercial obligation unlike competition they never recommended any high revenue earning short term solutions. At the moment, with a strong foundation, Armstrong’s business is growing progressively. Their clients are sticking to the committed amounts for investments and keeping adding more. Armstrong has an annuity based business model and revenue keeps growing year by year. They analyzed that, the penetration of mutual funds in the financial saving of India is merely 3%, thus, this offers huge opportunity for Armstrong’s growth.