I have done this post many times in the past…here is one more attempt.
When you require a PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISOR, you are looking for a fee only personal finance advisor. Let us see who are NOT pfas:
1. Your bank relationship manager: He is a paid employee who has sales target. Remember, I have said this in the past too – Wealth Managers have sales targets, not WEALTH targets.
2. Not your cousin who is working in a bank: No clue why people think that bankers understand personal finance. I can swear that if you see the way some bankers have messed their personal finances (and their wives and kids finances too) you will stay away from them.
3. Not the Central Banker: God, this is the worst person you can turn to. They may have been academically good once upon a time, but they live in an ivory tower and do not understand personal finance. If Central Bankers understood personal finance…well well if wishes were horses….!
4. Not your neighbor who is working in a mutual fund: if your neighbor /cousin/ friend works in a MF, that person knows something about that company. Finding you a right product? God bless you.
5. Not your life insurance agent: he is just a good sales guy who sees you as a ‘suspect’ and wants to convert you to a ‘prospect’….being pushed by an aggressive sales manager who is saying ‘if he is not your client, he is not your REAL friend’. After 1o years he will realise that he is a friend, and therefore not a client!!
6. Not your colleague’s wife: Personal finance has got a bad name – with zillions of people wanting to do it. So people masquerading as planners could just be salesmen with good vocabulary.
7. Not your agent: your agent at best understands all the products she has and understands you. So when you are feeling low about your EQUITY investments, she will pitch you debt. When you are feeling low about equity, and debt she will pitch you a leveraged real estate – remember real estate is a brilliant product these days. For the agent of course. The commission is on the size of the deal – the amount committed, not the amount invested.
And for heavens sake do not catch other investors, bankers, bloggers, writers, …and ask them for some advise. Unless they are trained to rip you apart and show you the mirror of your past, they CANNOT give you advise. Yes they can make statements which sound good, but you will not be able to use them. Well not in the way THEY intended.
So the best financial planner, sadly, is YOU YOURSELF. Execute online or through a person who will do it for you. Executionor need not be the planner.
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