Do I need a financial Planner?

Here was a man turning 63, he had retired about 3 years ago, wife was CXO and about to retire in 2 years time. He had a net worth of about Rs. 5 crores (including his own esop) and a spare house in Chennai. Currently it was given on rent and he was staying in Bengaluru with his wife – daughters were married and well settled.

A very familiar story for me – have met many such happy story people asking me ‘do I need a financial planner’. I look at the person and then formulate my answer..but generally it goes like this:

  1. Do you want to spend your time and energy doing the strategic part of the financial planning: do you want to sit and worry about asset allocation, reallocation, insurance, etc. OR are you willing to get somebody else to do it?
  2. Do you really understand risk: the previous time I spoke to his CXO wife, they were not convinced that they need any medical insurance. However, they saw her father need hip and knee surgery and it was so nice to fly him to a foreign location because his World Bank job covered medical treatment in any part of the world for self and spouse, for a life time.
  3. Do you honestly understand markets? If you have any aspiration of picking stocks, mutual funds, etc. over the next 10 years at least, do you want / need help?
  4. Can you be objective in your decision making? really?
  5. Do you chase returns (I do) even when the extra money will do nothing special for your life? Is investment a game or is it a tool to a nice, good, comfortable living?
  6. Do you feel it necessary to talk about your portfolio, children not taking interest in your investing, etc. with somebody?
  7. Do you enjoy all the paper work of the very long list of investments that you have? Seriously speaking, I hate that.
  8. What happens if you or your spouse die? Or incapacitated? Or are lying in Coma? who will handle it?
  9. How well done is your documentation?
  10. Remember there are a lot of resources available today for the DO-IT-YOURSELF investor, how inclined are you to do it?

So he started introspecting and said “I may have been capable about 3 years ago -I had a secretary to fill forms, make photocopies, send things by courier, etc. However, today my body is not willing to do many of those things. I know I cannot get ‘clerical’ help on hire the way I get a driver or a gardener. I also know that some of these things are better discussed and finalized (OK Subra  I owe you coffee).

Subra, my documentation surely worries me. I have done a lot, but would like somebody to certify that it is fine. My portfolio needs a lot of pruning (thank you, I will come down from 27 schemes to 3), but do I still need a full time financial planner? I have no goals to achieve…

I said “Look it is not an all or none game. See for what activities you need a planner. Even the pruning that I did for you is a FP activity. Documentation, is critical. I know you do not have clerical support and your wife is somewhat similar – in fact she takes ‘dheerga sumangali bhava’ too seriously. She is hoping to die before you , and has not clue about money. So do go to a planner, ask him for his menu card, and do a ala carte service picking.

You may not need many things, but you might find somethings useful…so go and pay that Rs. 45k – remember the first meeting is free!!

 

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5 Responses to “Do I need a financial Planner?”

  1. In my opinion financial planner is needed for atleast 6 out of every 10 earning people, as many people fail due to lack of planning..

  2. What’s the relation between point 3 and a good financial planner???

  3. I do spend much of my time and energy doing the strategic part of the financial planning. After researching a lot I decide.

  4. Nice Article . we always Need a Financial planner to secure our Wealth. always keep in mind doctor can’t do work of teacher and teacher can’t do work of doctor. so if we are form finance background we can secure our self
    if not than we have to hire a financial planner to secure our self form inflation

  5. How to get good financial planner?

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