Expense Account, Mint
No, this is not about what this column expects the new government to do for financial sector reform. It is assuming that these are going to be fast-tracked, and along with new products and services, consumers of financial products will bear the burden of too much choice. In his book The Paradox Of Choice, sociology professor Barry Schwartz links excessive choice to consumer misery. He shows how too many similar-looking options actually cause consumers to freeze and prefer status quo to taking any proactive decision. While in the US the number of mutual fund schemes outnumber listed stocks, India is getting there with at least 1,500 funds and investment-linked insurance plans. This number is set to balloon in the next five years as more firms line up at the Indian doorway to get a piece of the vast Indian financial products market.