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Stuff Your Financial Planner Will Not Tell You

>> Friday, April 22, 2011

Not all financial planners are created equal. And they may be hiding stuff from you.

1. I am not qualified for the job.
Although Singapore requires all the licensed insurance agents to take the CMFAS papers, the papers are only the beginning of understanding insurance products. They do not cover how to develop a proper financial plan. It requires further pursuit of CFP or ChFC qualifications and continuous upgrading of new developments.

2. Your interest is not my top priority.
The remuneration system is commission based, which means that if no product is sold, the agent is providing free service. Hence, the top priority would be to sell something. This creates a serious conflict of interest.

3. I only look at insurance.
A comprehensive financial plan includes looking at estate planning, taxes, budgeting and risk management. However, most financial planners come from insurance company and only have insurance products available. Hence, they are narrowly focused will use only what they are able to sell to solve everything. And further, they can only be compensated through the sale of products and not advice.

4. I only understand what I sell.
In addition, as most financial planners come from a single insurance company, they only understand they company product and not what is available in the market. Perhaps, even if they do know, they choose to advise to avoid it. For example, ILPs versus purely investing in unit trust directly.

5. I cannot beat the market.
Many have the impression that financial planners are the experts to give super returns. They are bought in by their unrealistic projections of returns without questioning if it is reasonably achievable or is there better alternatives. True financial planning is to manage risk, investing suitability with the right asset allocation for the risk profile and not to take unnecessary risk to time markets to achieve high returns.

6. I will not be able to service you after the sale.
Being paid solely by commission, the agent has to sought after new business to feed himself. Unless you can endlessly purchase a new plan every meeting, do not expect the agent to provide excellent after sales service during claims.

Well, do look out for these points when meeting a financial planner or insurance agent.

7 comments:

Patrick See April 26, 2011 at 12:18 AM  

Not good enough.
Lack depth.
It is obvious the layman doesn't know how to choose a 'matured' FP.
Insurance agents are 'probably' financial planners by name! It is obvious they can't provide a full range of solutions nor investment vehicles

financial planning advisor August 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM  

It is necessary to understand the need for approaching a financial planning advisor. Clients should be clear about the financial goals that they need to achieve, as well as the specified areas to get expertise.

Lau August 16, 2011 at 7:14 PM  

FP Advisor, definitely, to maximize the efficiency, it would be ideal to already have an end in mind. But how many take planning their finances so seriously.

financial planners orlando August 24, 2011 at 5:26 PM  

A financial planner will meet with their clients and help them set their financial goals. We need to work with an financial planners Orlando to be able to move most of this money into accounts that won't be taxed until we withdraw funds to spend.

Guffyadons October 13, 2011 at 1:58 AM  

I think from the single insurance company financial planners, they only understand their company's products, not in the market.

Financial advisor Sydney

Lau October 13, 2011 at 9:36 AM  

Guffyadons, that is v true. In fact I have met many agents who do not even fully understand all their own co products as they only recommend that 2 or 3 popular policies and forgotten all others.

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