the 1st consideration
WHY CHOOSE FABIAN
your financial portfolio is as good as the consultant you choose
You can certainly do it alone when managing your finances. Mastering and planning your finances requires many hours of research and understanding. For most, it’s not worth the time and consistent effort. As you get older, busier and wealthier, your financial goals and options get more complicated.
A financial consultant can saves you time, helps you remain disciplined about your financial strategies and keeps watch over your overall financial portfolio.
When Choosing a Financial Consultant, it is
Important that you select someone that is...
#1 Full Time Consultant
You want your consultant to eat, breathe and sleep finances, always keep abreast with market updates and regulations, practices his planning skills regularly and spends time with fellow consultants or industry professionals most of the time. A part time consultant would probably gives you less attention as advisory and client servicing might not be his top priority.
You may call him a broker or independent consultant. Basically, he can get access to a full suite of financial tools across various insurance providers and investment fund houses. You need a broker to lay out the available options before you determine it to be an informed decision made, you wouldn't want to waste precious time shopping around and draw your own comparison. An independent consultant represents his clients and stand on their side, instead of representing insurance companies.
#3 Credentials & Licenses
Apart from the basic entry examinations (M5, M9, HI) that all financial consultants require, some professional financial certifications and licenses a consultant can advance into are Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). The CFP is generally considered the gold standard in the industry, as a consultant must have several years of advisory experience, takes an extensive academic course and pass a 6-hour written financial report examination to become a CFP. Once certified, he must complete continuing education and are held to strict ethical standards and practices.
#4 Offers Fee-Based Planning
A fee-based consultant has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of his clients. If you choose to go for fee-based planning, the consultant is only remunerated through consultation basis: flat fees according to specific types of planning, hourly rate, or as a % of the assets he managed. No financial products will be proposed, unless you ask for his recommendation. He usually provides comprehensive advice, including financial portfolio screening, estate planning, insurance planning, retirement planning, investment, education funding and tax planning.
A financial consultant's primary focus is to provide financial advice. On your secondary matters, if he could give you a personal introduction to a credible lawyer, a chartered public accountant, mortgage loan broker, remisier, property agent, healthcare professional, wedding planner, career recruiter, maid & caregiver specialist, etc, wouldn't it be great!
#6 The Right Fit
It is a long term reciprocal working relationship that you build with your financial consultant. Thus, you need to like and trust your consultant before you will entrust your personal finances and future to him. Most consultants will provide a free initial consultation session to share with you on his background, current practice and specialization. Chemistry comes into play during this session. Find a consultant who takes effort to understand your 'heart' facts and speaks your language, instead of one who uses financial jargons like TDSR, ABSD, inflationary adjusted rate of returns and carcinoma-in-situ.
It doesn't matter how well your coach can swim. If he can't train you to swim well, then, he is not a good coach. Likewise, it doesn't matter which pen your consultant uses, what briefcase he carries, what heels she wears, what luxury car he drives. If he can't make you be rich or attain financial freedom, then, he is not a good financial consultant.