(This column was first published on Value Research Online.)

Back in June, I had written about being sceptical about the financial product ads that investors come across. At that time, while referring to the extensive promotional campaign of an infrastructure fund, I’d said that a financial product that’s heavily advertised is more beneficial to the seller than the buyer. This is true in most cases. But thankfully, trends seem to have changed now with AMCs moving towards ads that are not pushing products or services, but are educating investors.

The ads I’m referring to this time are the recent ones from Birla Sun Life and Motilal Oswal. Got to give credit to both fund companies for the educative campaigns they’re currently running. Of course, they’re doing this under a SEBI directive than mandates fund companies to set apart a portion of their daily net assets for consumer awareness and education. SEBI wants this money to be spent in a way that will allow investors to benefit from mutual funds. And obviously, this will eventually be beneficial to the fund industry as well. But, from a simpler perspective, it’s good to see that the ad campaigns aren’t aggressively pushing products. The ads are telling investors how a change in their investment behaviour can make their money work better for them.

Sample these pieces of advice that the ads give out:

  • Give time to earn good returns
  • Emotions are for actors, investors need knowledge
  • There’s no such thing as easy money
  • Tips are for gamblers, investors need advice
  • Old fashioned methods work best – research, homework, questions, analysis
  • Research before you invest, not after
  • Buy right, sit tight
  • Trading is T20, investing is Test cricket

These are gems. They are the things that we, at Value Research, have been dwelling on for ages. And it’s fantastic to see them coming from the industry as well, which obviously has the means to achieve a wider reach. Each one of these pieces of advice holds true for investors who are genuinely looking to build wealth over the long-term. And it won’t be an exaggeration to say that they’re tenets that can be followed blindly.

Kudos to the regulators and the asset management companies. Double thumbs up!