The importance of finding a good financial adviser
A good financial adviser will be a superb investment. They will work with you to produce a robust financial plan to carry you through your working life and beyond into retirement in financial security.
A bad adviser could jeopardise your future by taking unnecessary risks with your money or persuading you to invest in products which end up making them rich at your expense.
This is an important choice and it is worth taking the time to ensure you make a good one.
There is often a lack of trust in advisers and that is perhaps not surprising in an industry which has been blighted by scandals and shady operators offering bad advice. Don’t tar all financial advisers with the same brush though. There are plenty out there who propose a valuable client-centred service which puts the customer’s needs first. You just need to seek them out. In this post we show you how to choose a financial adviser.
How do you find a good financial adviser in Asia?
It is important to take your time and ask the right questions before you entrust a financial planner with your hard-earned savings. Never engage anyone without having taken the time to talk to them about their approach and their working methods to satisfy yourself that they are the right fit for you.
To help, we’ve put together this handy list of five questions to consider when vetting potential candidates to ensure that you find the right financial planning partner for you.
1. Is the financial adviser independent?
Fact: if an adviser is tied to a particular financial institution they cannot offer unbiased advice. In this scenario the chances are that recommendations are made with commissions in mind. The products proposed are likely to be in the financial adviser’s interests but not necessarily the best choice for you.
Independence is important to ensure that advice is based on your needs and that you are offered a range of options to choose from.
2. Is the financial adviser client-focussed?
Any advice you are given should be based on a comprehensive fact find carried out to determine your current financial circumstances, future plans, needs and objectives. An assessment should also be carried out to determine your tolerance to risk. You should ask any adviser you are considering to explain the methods and tools they use to find out this information and how they apply it to put together a comprehensive financial plan to cover your needs in terms of both wealth creation and wealth protection.
3. Does the financial adviser have a track record?
While a doctor or lawyer must have undergone specific training to earn the right to their title, just about anyone can call themselves a financial adviser. The term is widely used to cover a range of services and, sadly, doesn’t provide any guarantee that the person knows what they are talking about when it comes to financial planning! That’s why you should choose an adviser or company that has a solid track record. Are they well established? Can they provide testimonials from happy clients? Do they have a professional-looking website? These are the kind of questions to ask to satisfy yourself that you are working with someone proficient with relevant experience.
4. Is the financial adviser accessible?
Giving and receiving financial advice requires trust and trust is built through effective and regular communication. We all know the frustration of calls and emails not being returned and not having access to the information that we need. Check out the channels of communication used by any adviser you are considering working with.
Will you have 24/7 access to your portfolios and policies and regular, ongoing contact with the adviser? How often do they review client portfolios? Are they available for ad hoc questions? You are looking for someone with whom you can develop an ongoing relationship so choose someone who is proactive when it comes to communication.
5. Do you trust the financial adviser?
You are going to be sharing extremely personal information with your adviser from your earnings and plans for the future to your relationship status and dreams. It is imperative that you trust them. If you have any niggling doubts about an individual’s trustworthiness, you should definitely go with your gut and explore other options.
And finally…. a red flag to avoid when choosing a financial adviser
If someone is offering to define your financial plan and manage your investments they probably aren’t going to be doing either role well. Financial markets are hugely complex and understanding them is a specialised job best done by those with expertise and resources dedicated to doing just that.
Good financial planners will concentrate on defining your financial goals and working out how to achieve them but appoint a reputable wealth manager to manage your investments and savings. Do ensure that you clarify this before choosing your adviser.
If you are looking for an independent, client-focussed financial adviser in Asia, Infinity could be the solution. We have built a strong reputation across the continent for professionalism and trustworthiness by always putting our clients first. Our highly qualified advisers have helped thousands of clients plan and invest for a secure financial future.
Why not contact us and see what we can do for you?
A leading provider of expat financial services and wealth management services across Asia.