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Free Advice

>> Sunday, August 1, 2010

I read with a sigh of resentment this blog post from Tan Kin Lian's Blog.

A reader sent 10 insurance benefit illustrations and asked to analyse them, and recommend which plan offers the best value. Mr Tan asked if he is willing to donate $50 for each analysis and never heard from him since.

Such is the consumer market in Singapore.
1) Looking for FREE advice. If the advice is free, is it good advice? If one is willing to pay a doctor for medical advice, are you willing to pay a financial planner a fee for financial advice?
2) Offering the best value may not be in the client's best interest. There are many pro and cons for various products, do you even need them in the first place? Value is in the eyes of the beholder. In my opinion, advising without first understanding the client has no value at all.

This has further reinforced my view that to succeed, just give the customers what they want. Sell them based on the "best value" (which in reality involves massive amounts of mis-selling) without listening to proper needs at all. Give them the quality of free advice since that is all they are looking for.

Heroes die young. The majority of consumers for this industry just isn't looking for good financial advice and are not willing to pay for it either.

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