What really decides the quality of financial advise that you get? I guess it is simple..it depends on the questions you ask. So what questions should you ask?

Let us ask Google Maharaj for advise?

Well you will see some 23,824 answers to this question, and it is likely that you will pick the first second or third one. So Google wasted 23,821 pieces of search on you. Poor Google.

When was the last time you asked a professional for advise and immediately had it verified by Google? How many times should a doctor, dentist, or a CA tell you that it takes 5 years to get a degree and lots more effort to tell you what to do and not just type ‘why should i buy a bamboo toothbrush’ on Google? Please give some respect to the professional. Or bloody hell go to another professional.

The problem starts with the following:

  • not knowing where to find the correct adviser
  • asking a completely ill informed parent about investing
  • responding at the last minute to the HR threat of deducting tax if investments are not made
  • not knowing how to fill a paying in slip, forget investing basics.

Given such a background he/she starts the financial journey with dad’s friendly uncle / chacha / mama who is a dyed in the wool LIC agent who says “you want to save Income Tax..but an endowment product” having bought that they come to Subramoney.com and find that they have bought a product with an IRR of 5 in a country with inflation of 9. Welcome.

Now, they have a very poor view of the financial adviser. DESERVEDLY SO. Most of them do not deserve the money that they get. The 97% of the advisers get the remaining 3% a bad name. Well, I maybe slightly wrong with the ┬ánumbers – it could be 98 and 2?

So Mr. Circumspect will go to Google Maharaj and ask ‘Is Classic Endowment Plan a ULIP?” (remember Subra said no ULIP?)..and will buy a classic endowment again. This time from Hdfc Standard Life. After all his bank RM did not have a classic endowment, so this had to be bought through another agent. Sad so far?

Well worse. He is confused (blame Google Maharaj), and his school which made him learn by rote the 125 countries, capitals, currencies, latitude and longitude did not teach him anything about finance. So he starts reading a few websites, and still does not know what to do.

Welcome to Financial advisory. If your adviser can manage to do these 3 things:

  1. Make you feel he is well qualified to give advise on financial planning, he has done his job. Here I am not bothered about his academic qualifications. CA, CFA, MBA, BE, SSC – does not matter, do you feel comfortable?
  2. He does a pretty long session in asking you your financial goals, dreams, what you cannot achieve, what you must do…blah blah. My homeopathy doctor spent 3 hours asking me about myself. And this after I had spent about 5 hours writing about myself in my own handwriting. Oops some of us are old fashioned and believe in touching the patient, feeling the pulse, seeing the tongue, eyes, hearing the heart, ..before we even know what to say. Anybody saying ‘ha I know the exact product for you’ is like a doctor writing a prescription before seeing a patient.
  3. What he says should be easily understood by your 10 year old son/ daughter, and you should feel confident of being able to repeat all that he said – well in essence not in real terms.

if he can do these 3 things, he is a good adviser. If he cannot do this, search.

I will charge you a search fee!! Oops Google Maharaj…sorry I am entering your territory…..

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  1. I told lic office to surrender policy based on my advisor review. his response

    kon advisor?
    jyada se jyada kya pada likha hai?
    CA hi hai na?

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