People ask me what should a financial planner do?

Well if I were to write a book on financial planning, I could write a few chapters on this topic.

One thing however he MUST do is ask you a lot of questions – some painful.

For example when I talk to a new, unknown person who wants some kind of help in planning, some of the questions they find difficult to answer are:

How do you feel about begging? (Yuck!).

If you wiped out your portfolio whom would you turn to for food?

Will you be able to ask?

If you have enough money why are you working?

If your wife wants more time with you, will you quit your job? And let the trip to Switzerland vanish? What is more important – your wife’s ‘public posture of wanting time with you’ or her real stand of ‘a holiday in the Alps’?

When you know that you are not disciplined to control your spending, why do you go to a mall with your credit cards?

If you were to ‘help’ somebody, and that person took the money to spend on something YOU THOUGHT was frivolous, how would you react?

Have you ever stolen as a child?

Did you confess to your parents? If not, can you do it now?

Do you have much more money at age 55 than you thought you will have at age 22? If so why are you working?

Because you can afford a few more THINGs than your father (perhaps) do you consider yourself more successful or lucky to have been in a higher growth rate economy? ..why so many questions?

Because answer to all this SHAPE your attitude towards money. Not just what you have in the bank. Money to me is a commodity – and lets you buy what you THINK you need at a point in time.

Too bad it never asks you 30 minutes later whether what you did was sensible or not –

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  1. While these are good questions, I think the investor too should question the prospective financial planner just to ensure he gets someone knowledgeable and competent that’s worth the money and time. Personally, I’d prefer to see his own financial handiwork first!
    It’s at times annoying to meet half-baked CFPs that look like they themselves could use some professional help.

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