Motilal Oswal has a mission—‘Save the investor’. Seriously?
Jason Monteiro | 08 August 2013
A YouTube video posted by Motilal Oswal is being tweeted and shared by many financial advisors, distributors and planners. The video starts off by saying ‘The Man from Motilal Oswal is back’ (a silly copy of David Ogilvy’s The Man With the Hathaway Shirt ad). ‘The Man’ is given the task to bring back retail investors to the capital market. His job is to tell them to buy right and sit tight. In his quest, he comes across Indian investors who have supposedly churned their own portfolios or followed hot tips or were looking for quick results. He gives them advice such as buy and be patient, investing is like test cricket not a Twenty-20 match and that tips are for gamblers and investors need solid advice.

This would sound hypocritical to many who have had the benefit of seeing the other side of Motilal Oswal. Read this article in Moneylife site and you would come across an article with over 50 comments, where an investor, a retired army officer, narrates his harrowing tale of how his life savings got wiped out at Motilal Oswal, his victory in consumer courts and how the regulator took the brokers’ side despite clear grounds of fraud and forgery by Motilal Oswal. (Read: Wiped out by Motilal Oswal, shunned by a callous SEBI & ministry, the 78-year old's fight continues) The investor, Wing Commander (retd) CR Mohan Raj opened an account with Motilal Oswal Securities (MOSL) on 14 February 2006. Three months later, by 26 May 2006, his investments got wiped out. He had become a victim of unauthorised trading. He mentions that he signed “NO delivery instruction slips and yet my stocks were sold.” It turns out that the power of attorney used by Motilal Oswal to exercise the transactions turned out to be forged.
In our survey on portfolio management schemes (part of the cover story due to hit the stands on 9th August), around five investors mentioned that they lost money in schemes of Motilal Oswal. Do a web search and you will come across many more complaints on online forums. Probably, ‘The Man’ needs to counsel his company’s own wealth managers and investment managers on how to give ‘solid advice’. But with deep conflict of interest, such advice would be rare. Wonder what the mindless financial planners, advisors, distributors sharing the video have to say