The Trust Currency: Mastering the Art

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

A few weeks ago, I announced one of my challenging projects for the year – my 7th book, “The Philosophy of Money.” While I am diligently working on it (it’s not an easy one…no book is), there’s another project where I’ve made significant progress. I aim to release it by July 2024 or even earlier. I won’t leave you in suspense about the subject; it’s something close to my heart, and you’ll discover it as we move forward. To be candid, I’m a bit uncertain about the title, and I would love your suggestions and inputs on crafting a solid title.

As a writer, embarking on each new book is akin to embarking on an expedition into uncharted territory. It’s a journey filled with excitement and anticipation, where ideas germinate, stories unfold, and insights emerge. The canvas of this new project is particularly special to me, as it explores themes and topics that resonate deeply with my own experiences and passions. In the chapters that unfold, you’ll find not only the fruits of research and reflection but also a piece of my own intellectual and emotional journey. The crafting of each sentence, each paragraph, and each chapter is a labour of love, with the aim of delivering a work that not only informs but also inspires and engages you to use this (work) in your daily work and life.

In the realm of finance, data is abundant. Numbers flood our screens, charts crowd our reports, and forecasts attempt to paint the future with varying shades of confidence. Yet, despite the ocean of information available at our fingertips, one of the most potent tools in a financial professional’s arsenal remains surprisingly simple: the art of asking questions.

But how many do you think master this art?

I can confidently say – only world class ones…


Consider the difference between these two inquiries:

   1.    What are the projected returns of this investment?

   2. What underlying factors are influencing the projected returns of this investment?


While the first question seeks a straightforward answer, the second delves deeper. It prompts a discussion about market dynamics, company fundamentals, and external forces, painting a comprehensive picture that is invaluable in the world of finance.

Good questions, like the second, stimulate critical thinking. They urge us to challenge assumptions, evaluate risks, and consider alternative perspectives. In essence, they hold the power to transform information and data into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom.

The Catalyst for Trust:

Trust, in the financial world, is paramount. Trust is the most valuable currency we have. Clients entrust their hard-earned wealth to you, hoping it will grow, provide security, and perhaps even shape legacies. However, trust isn’t solely built on the back of impressive credentials or robust portfolios. It’s forged through conversations. It’s forged through an emotional connection. It’s forged through genuine interest and care.

By asking insightful questions, you can not only gather necessary information but also demonstrate genuine interest in understanding a client’s goals, fears, and aspirations. Such questions might include:


•    What does financial success look like to you?
•    Are there financial commitments in the future that keep you awake at night?
•    How do you envision your life in retirement?


These questions transcend the transactional nature of money, bridging the gap between numbers (plans) and personal dreams.

The point here is great questions make people think, reflect, and engage in a deeper level of conversation. They can inspire creativity, foster innovation, and drive a more profound understanding of the world around us. By challenging assumptions and encouraging exploration, great questions open the door to new possibilities and perspectives, leading to more meaningful discussions and insights. Whether in education, business, or everyday life, the ability to ask thought-provoking questions is a powerful tool for growth and change.

A significant part of what you do is to help clients go deeper into their own thoughts – to help them figure out what’s truly important to them… to help them understand their relationship with money…and then to help them discover the intersection of money and their life (to help them align the use of their money with what’s truly important to them).


Setting the Stage for What’s Ahead

As we delve deeper into this book, we’ll explore the myriad questions that world-class financial professionals have in their repertoire. From those that illuminate the intricacies of global markets to those that unearth the nuances of individual financial behaviours.

But before we dive into those specific questions, it’s essential to grasp the underlying principles that make a question truly effective. These principles aren’t just about financial acumen but also about human psychology, communication, and relationship-building.

In the book, we’ll dissect the anatomy of these world-class questions, learn from real-world scenarios where they made a difference, and equip you with the tools to harness their power, whether you’re navigating the turbulent waters of global finance or guiding a client towards their dream future.

By the end of our journey, you won’t just be armed with a list of questions. You’ll possess a deeper understanding of why they matter, how to employ them, and the profound impact they can have on your career and the lives of those you help.

Welcome to the transformative power of asking the right questions.

I am super excited to get this one in your hands…

Are You?