Pattu teaches Physics to IIT-Madras students and is a DIY evangelist when it comes to personal finance. FreeFinCal is a rich resource of excel calculators that can help you with your money decisions.
What started as an effort to optimize his own personal finance has now evolved into a popular & powerful platform. Let’s hear from the man himself about his journey and his plans ahead.
I started making Excel calculators for myself and soon had multiple variants of retirement and goal planning sheets. When I shared a retirement sheet at onemint, the response was electric! It is then I knew that there was a ‘market’ for such tools and the importance of keeping the sheets ‘open source’ so that I can feed off the comments. Freefincal was started off as a repository of calculators and is constantly evolving.
2. You are the DIY gang leader! What’s the suggestion to people who are scared of numbers / excel sheets?
It is unfortunate that I have such a reputation. No offense, but I think it is because the financial services industry is not mature enough to understand that even selecting a financial advisor requires DIY skills! DIY is inevitable! Therefore, people who have neither the time or inclination to handle numbers must understand what conflict of interest means, do some research on the types of advisors, how to choose one who works only for them and choose one FAST!
3. Any suggestions for a simple product design that’s simple and efficient? For the masses
The masses cannot think beyond returns! If one claims to have made an app that tracks mutual fund NAV during the course of a business day, it will sell well! That it is not possible is another matter.
So we will have to define what simple and efficient means. From a business point of view, returns and daily gains will sell. From a creative standout point, if the aim is to make a difference (not necessarily profits!), simple to understand insights about the goal-based investing journey is essential.
4. Any plans for the future of FreeFinCal? For example, once the reader is able to use the calculators, they may want to implement the decisions with your recommendations. Any plans to do that?
I do not recommend anything. The excel sheets cough up results based on user inputs. I am working towards making freefincal a mutual fund and stock analytics portal. I have no intentions to offer financial advisory. I do not enjoy it. To advise other people, you need sound sure of your advice. By training and temperament, I cannot do that. Also, many investors are not mature enough to understand that paying for financial advice does not guarantee ‘good returns’.
5. The top 5 calculators on your blog according to you?
Top 5 in terms of traffic,
a) financial planning template, b) PPF tracker, c) chit fund calculator, d) LIC surrender value calculator, e) FD calculator
Top 5 in terms of satisfaction:
a) financial planning template, b) SIP rolling returns, c) mutual fund risk-return analyzer, d) financial planning template, e) retirement bucket strategy simulator
Now that gives you an insight on what sells (a is the dark horse) and what does not!! 🙂
Thanks Pattu for the insights and wishing FreeFinCal continued success.
To explore FreeFinCal, start here.