Growth in AUM or Growth in Skills

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

What do you think is more important in the headline?

Think about it.

It is not a trick question. 

Many will say as long as AUM grows it does not matter. At least that how is they behave even if they do not say it. Some will say both are important, but few will say skills are important.  

It is true to a certain extent that it does not matter as long as AUM is growing. It is like there is just a tiny hole and it just does not bother us. We are able to sail fine. This is exactly what I am witnessing in our industry. 

Many are able to see the risks better than they can spot the opportunities. We all know that we must do something to address the risks as well as capitalize on the opportunities in front of us. Sadly, the sense of urgency is missing.

I can attribute the reason to the following: 

No Pain = No Action

The pain is not deep enough for you to see a world class surgeon. Some temporary fix or even doing nothing seems to work as AUM is growing. Do not let this be your Blindspot. These have caused the downfall of many and have caused many more to just become Mediocre. 

Two things have happened in the last 2 decades – First, people-built skills in product sales, and the transactional way of doing business. Some even moved to asset allocation and fewer to financial planning. The outcome was they grew their AUM. Second, they became complacent and have not built the skills that are necessary to thrive in the future. 

I truly believe the next few decades will belong to those who focus on building their skills. I have repeated this often – UnLearn and ReLearn.

Your AUM does not make you successful, your skills do. The skills required in the future need you to adopt a different mindset, adapt to change and learn things you might not be good at. 

By the way, if you have watched Game of Thrones (GOT), you know “WINTER is Coming”. I would say it is coming for all of us too.