Guiding families along their financial journey
It is especially important for these clients to have a financial and investment plan that they can understand and execute. Many times, this group does not have a full grasp of U.S. tax regulations or how the investment landscape works. I want to provide an appropriate plan built to meet their needs and guide them in tracking their progress over time. I liken this to a journey, and every trip needs a roadmap.
Client education is a very important part of my practice. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet, or information that is slanted toward a specific point of view. I conduct a great deal of outreach in the Indian community through seminars that promote financial awareness. I also work on a pro bono basis with young people to help them plan for and fund their college education.
I also work with the Indian community in a variety of other ways, from involvement with the local Hindu temple to actively working as a volunteer for community events. My overall philosophy is to help the community in any way that I can. As our community grows and prospers, that will be personally rewarding in and of itself and, also, ultimately help my practice to grow.
- Reviewing an individual’s or family’s detailed personal financial situation, past and present, to help identify critical financial objectives.
- Working to establish client priorities for the future—protection needs, education costs, retirement planning, and investment planning, for example.
- Determining the degree of risk a client is comfortable with when it comes to their assets and investments. This risk profile or assessment is then balanced against both the need and the desire for clients to see asset growth over time.
- Identify the resources a client will need to meet their goals and outline a systematic program designed to enable them to meet specific future objectives.
- Offer solutions for reaching goals through recommendations of the types of financial products and investments that are suitable to a client’s specific needs.
- Monitor progress over time and update plan recommendations as needed. This should be a living process that can change as a family’s or individual’s circumstances change. Mid-course corrections might also be needed based on the market environment.
However, I am currently working with hundreds of clients or client families. Each circumstance is different. One client might be a recently married 28-year-old technology professional on a fast career track, and another might be an older small-business owner with college-age children. We want to help clients plan for every stage of their lives, customizing their financial plan and investment approach to meet their specific needs.
I am a strong believer in an overall actively managed investment approach. We take each client through a thorough risk-assessment process, create an investment plan, and then construct the individualized portfolio approach that we think will work best for them. It might be a blend of active and passive strategies, or it could be more heavily tilted toward one or the other.
In the final analysis, we are constantly monitoring the external market environment. We are looking at the asset classes being used for client portfolios, their allocation levels, and how the portfolio is working from a holistic perspective. If market conditions look to be turning very negative, we might recommend going to a 100% cash allocation. So, in that sense, even if a portfolio is a blend of active and passive investment vehicles, it is effectively being actively managed through allocation weightings to the various asset classes or sectors.
Where appropriate, we also can employ alternative asset classes and noncorrelated investments, so what we do is very different from a classic asset-allocation model. Ultimately, the most important consideration is constructing a client-specific portfolio that will help them meet their long-term financial objectives. I always tell new clients that the first step of the journey toward financial success is the most important one. We are there to help clients every step of the way on their financial journey.
Divam Mehta is the founder of Mehta Financial Group, LLC, located in Glen Allen, Virginia. He has a varied and extensive background in the financial-services industry, including experience as a research analyst with a multinational Wall Street firm, a member of the personal asset management division at a large bank, and a portfolio manager for a wealth management and investment advisory firm. Mr. Mehta says these experiences have helped provide “a deep understanding of the technical skills for building and managing client portfolios.”
After graduating from Florida State University, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and classics, Mr. Mehta went on to earn an MBA in finance and investment analysis from the University of Tampa. He also holds a Certificate in Investment Banking and International Macroeconomic Investing from the Swiss Finance School of Business. Mr. Mehta has attained the professional designations of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).
Mr. Mehta was included in Investment News’ 2016 “40 Under 40” financial advisor feature and has been profiled in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He has been a member of the Million Dollar Round Table and INVEST’s Executive Club. Mr. Mehta has been quoted in several national publications and has been a guest speaker and panelist at industry events.
Mr. Mehta and his wife reside in the Richmond area. He is actively involved in his Indian community. He also participates in programs to promote financial awareness within the Indian community and assists local parents with their children’s college application/financial-aid process.
Disclosure: Divam Mehta is a registered representative of INVEST Financial Corporation, member FINRA/SIPC. INVEST and its affiliated insurance agencies offer securities, advisory services, and certain insurance products and are not affiliated with Mehta Financial Group, LLC.
Post-publication note: Mr. Mehta has been registered with Cambridge Investment Research Inc. since 2017.
Photography by Chris Winton-Stahle