Why did I use the word Retirement Planner and not Financial Planner? Simply because these days the terminology is changing and changing fast. Soon you will find Retirement coach, retirement planner, retirement communities, …remember in 20 years from now we will have the highest number of people over the age of 60 in the WORLD.
So Retirement Planning will be a good profession for a person to be in. So what do you look for in a Retirement Planner?
- Experience: Look for a person above 40 at least and who has been in capital markets for at least about 10 years – this would have taken care of bull and bear runs.
- How is he being compensated: I do think you should know whether he is a fee only planner, a commission based planner or a person doing a combination of the two. Nothing is right or wrong. I see good people in both the methods. For heavens sake, the guy who charges more is not better than the guy who charges less.
- What is the average ticket size of his other clients: ask him. If you have Rs. 10 crores to handle and all his other clients have about Rs. 30 lakhs to handle, you may be in wrong hands.
- Ask for his expertise / ability to hire expertise for things like making a will, requiring banking help (at some stage you will need assisted living perhaps).
- Tell him that YOU will run his recommendations past another planner or your friend’s son in law who is a derivative trader working for Goldman Sachs in NYC. Or tell him about your classmate who is headed for the top job at Sebi or any regulator.
- Do not negotiate on the fee: most professionals are touchy about this. If you think he is expensive, move on. Do not make an enemy out of him. In desperation he may say yes but end up harming your portfolio. Petty? Be ready for it.
- Can he explain his investment strategy to your wife. More importantly can your wife answer questions about strategy after he has told her all that.
- Does he specialize in any profession? say is he a planner for doctors? then go to him only if you are a doctor.
- Does he understand Income tax at the strategic level and at the operational level? very important. Many planners have no clue about RE taxation. Many cannot understand how fixed deposits are at a disadvantage and how debt funds help tax deferral for 20 years.
- What are your hobbies, who are your friends, and what do you do outside of work: shows the kind of company he/she keeps.
- What makes you unique? Or are you willing to be truthful in saying you are average? (you will soon see a post on celebrating average!!)
a good start !!
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