I had fun recently speaking to Hansi Mehrotra, The Money Hans. I enjoyed watching her interesting and funny videos and her focus on spreading financial literacy which is what we at The Happionaire Way strongly believe and support. Here's my interview with her.
Yogesh Chabria: Hansi, a pleasure having you for this interview and am sure we will learn a lot from you.Tell us more about yourself and what you do.
: After a career in investment research and consulting for the wealth management segment, I decided to quit corporate life and turn to financial education. I have set up a financial content business, in which I create educational content customized to different audience segments - beginner retail investors, high net worth investors, and professional investors/advisers.
When did you realize this was your passion?
My ‘aha moment’ came during the 2008 global financial crisis, when I heard financial advisers asking some basic questions. I realized the educational standards for financial advisers are pretty low globally, especially so in Asia. It took me a few years to get myself financially secure before I could quit and do something about it.
What drives you the most in life?
I would say striving to do meaningful impact work.
Share some examples of how your work has helped people and changed lives.
Throughout my career, I was responsible for researching new products while the main research team covered the mainstream asset classes. I enjoyed meeting some really smart people who would come up with innovative structured products and new asset classes.
But I would keep asking very basic questions and keep bringing it back to ‘what’s the view investors would need to hold to justify buying this product, and what’s the probability of that scenario turning out’.
With this approach, I kept cautioning wealth management clients in Australia against structured products. The result was investors didn’t lose anywhere near the money that other so-called sophisticated markets like Singapore did. It may not have changed lives, but when you hear stories of investors losing life savings, maybe it did.
I now want to apply the same approach for retail investors in India. I want to be on their side and ask product and service providers these tough questions, so that retail investors make more informed financial decisions.
What is the importance of financial literacy?
Health and wealth are the most important things anyone should care about. So everyone should be health and financially literate to understand the choices they are making on a daily basis. Financial literacy would ensure people save, invest well, don’t borrow too much, take adequate insurance etc.
What are some challenges your face? How do you handle them?
The biggest challenge is reaching out to the public and then to engage them. While people may know the importance of money, they don’t necessarily distinguish between good and bad advice.
According to you what is your biggest achievement till date?
I am proud of not knowingly selling any toxic products in my two decade career in financial services during a time when the public has lost trust in the industry.
What makes you happy?
Knowing I am doing my best to do the right thing.
What is the importance of happiness for success?
It’s one of the most important factors apparently. I recently saw a Ted talk which said, contrary to the common view that success leads to happiness, it’s actually the reverse - happiness leads to success.
Do you consider yourself to be a happionaire? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Happiness is not a destination...it’s a way of life. It’s an ongoing effort. There are some days when I lose perspective. The important thing I talk myself back to the happiness path.
What are your future plans?
Thanks and we wish you all the best with this beautiful journey called life!