When we look for any service, then our first priority is to go for the BEST. The same applies while we hire a financial planner. We look for the best financial planner in India. Let us see who is this rarest of a rare financial planner.
As I said above, when we look for any service or need to buy something, then our priority is to choose the BEST and at the same time be cost effective. However, when it comes to financial planning advice, then it is hard to say who is the best financial planner in India. Because from an insurance agent or the NSC agent to SEBI registered investment advisers, all claim to be your best financial planner . In the middle of this zone, you will find mutual fund advisers, stock brokers, bloggers, CFPs, or even CAs.
Let us start to find the one among all those of who is considered as best financial planner in India for YOU 🙂
1) Insurance Agents-They are typically SELLERS. They hardly concentrate on your requirement. If they have so much concern to you, then will sell you only Term Insurance. But they have to run their show. So they combine insurance with investment. Look for your opportunity in the name of safety, tax saving or forced selling and grab the business. So the conflict of interest will be there.
They may have a big office set up. Claiming to be something different image. But at end SELLING of endowment or ULIPs are their main motive. Hence, stay away from them.
They are not called the best financial planner in India for YOU.
2) Mutual Fund Advisers-These are somewhat improved salesman to insurance agents. They advise one thing always. Separate insurance with investment. Therefore, they always advise you to buy term insurance and invest in mutual funds. I completely agree that one must not combine insurance with investment. However, whether mutual fund products solution for everything? Why not hey sell debt products and why they force you to buy NFOs, ELSS or some specific funds? It is again conflict of interest.
It is again the conflict of interest to sell the product, which suits them, but not to YOU. They may approach you with the name called IFA (Independent Financial Adviser). I don’t know who found this. I still not able to understand of from whom they are independent. Because they usually associated with some companies or products to sell. Then how they be designated as Independents? So it is best to stay away from their advice.
3) Certified Financial Planners-I am saying it proudly that I also belong to the community of CFPs. This certification is given me everything. I started my journey of blogging and learning everything related to personal finance only when I started to study CFP. When you go through the profile of CFPs, you find that they are usually mutual fund advisers or insurance agents. To enhance their knowledge and to get the recognition in a crowd, they complete this wonderful course.
I belong to this community of CFPs. So a person with CFP designation is considered as the best financial planner in India for you? NO. They are improved version of agents or advisers. They may know more than the first two of them I mentioned above. They may make you aware about few terminologies called compounding effect, real return, inflation, and IRR or XIRR.
Many such CFPs earlier used to practice fee-based planning. However, after SEBI RIA regulations, they stick either to fee-only planning or purely into selling. So now, it is hard to say that if you meet a CFP, then he will be your best financial planner in India. He may be either a pure seller or a fee-only planner.
For your information, I am CFP but not a SEBI registered investment adviser.
4) Charted Accountants or CAs-They are actually qualified tax consultants. However, few of them also sell the financial products. Especially they are agents of an insurance company or mutual fund advisers. They claim to be your one point solution for your doubts. However, in reality, they plan for your tax in such a way that they earn income from their tax planning advice and from the products they sell you in the name of TAX Saving. Also, keep in mind that a qualified tax consultant may not be your personal financial planner.
Hence, he will not come under as the best financial planner in India.
5) Bloggers-You will find many bloggers who claim to be experts in personal finance. What qualification will they have to claim so? I don’t know and there is no such yardstick that once you complete this or that course, then you be an expert blogger in personal finance. Because Mr.Pattu who is in the educational field write a blog on personal finance, which I follow regularly. Hence, there is no such yardstick to say that one must be an expert blogger to write a finance blog. So do you feel you have to follow bloggers blindly? NO.
Many of them are doing this profession as a side business to earn something extra. In some cases, they work exactly like paid media. It is called paid content. Therefore, it is hard to get unbiased advice from bloggers. Including me, all bloggers intention is to get more traffic to his or her blog. Revenue of their blog depends on this traffic. Therefore, if a blogger claims that he is doing it as a social service, then he is the biggest liar of the world. All are running behind fame and money. If someone claims that don’t follow his/her blog, but follow a particular blog, then my simple question to him or her, why he or she writing a blog? If someone claims that they are running a blog to do social service, then my simple question to him/her, why they are running ads on their blog?
Nowadays, bloggers started to sell also. Bloggers provide the link on their portal and whoever buys the products by clicking, they earn the commission. So now, few bloggers turned to typical sellers. It is exactly like buying a product from insurance or other product comparative portals.
You may gain knowledge to some extent. However, you can’t say a blogger as a best financial planner in India. Because financial planning involves many data sharing and personalizing the things as per you. This can’t be possible on the public platform called blogging.
6) Financial Planning Seminars-Usually, these are conducted again by anyone of the above-mentioned class of people. Why they conduct such seminars? Because they have to enhance their service to the next level and to grab the customers. I promoted Mr.Pattu’s seminar when he conducted that in Bangalore. Because it was exactly like non-profit set up. However, the rest of the so-called seminars are nothing but promoted by some insurance companies or mutual fund companies. These companies need advertisement and these experts need money to conduct. Therefore, it is like a win-win situation to both to garner the clients.
What they preach? Usually, basics of financial planning. If you ask them specific doubts of your personal difficulty, then they give you contact details to contact them personally. It works exactly like a dentist or a hospital conducting a free health check up camp 🙂 Therefore, they never be your best financial planners in India.
7) Media experts-Who are they? They are nothing but the same species mentioned above. Why they appear in the media? Just to garner their publicity stunt. Media run such shows to garner their TRP. Therefore, it is like a win-win situation for both of them. They run some question answer sessions. However, be careful, because it is around 20-25 minutes of the show. To what extent they read your question is the biggest concern. Then it is like a doctor giving you a prescription without knowing the patient.
So don’t expect these shows or experts that they turned out to be your whole life best financial planner in India.
8) SEBI Registered Investment Advisers-As per SEBI regulations, if you are giving advice by accepting the fee, then you must do only advising but not selling. What is the intention of this regulation is separate the advisory with selling. Good intended regulation. But miserably failed.
Currently, there are around 367 RIAs. Among these, 55% are individuals and 42% are corporates. The remaining 3% are registered under the category of “others”.
Many of these SEBI registered investment advisers suddenly changed their company’s name. Why? Because they have to separate advisory with a selling of products. They need a big name called SEBI REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISERS. In reality, many of such SEBI registered advisers doing selling business under the name of their spouse or within a family. They register themselves as SEBI registered advisers. Run selling activities under the umbrella of their family. So it is like a win-win situation. Mr.A register with SEBI as a fee-only planner and run the selling business under his family. Regulatory issues over and selling continues as usual.
They are just making a mockery of this SEBI rule.
9) Banks-Earlier, banks used to give you the service of only BANKING. That’s why we used to BANK them heavily as your guide in money matters. After the regulatory sanction of selling financial products through them, they are the most dangerous species above all. Because they know, your financial transactions and they know how much cash or deposits you have with them.
Nowadays, when you visit a bank, you will find a smart looking guy who is ready to help you. He will show you all help at your feet as if the bank ready to scarify everything for your sake. Then they open the box by starting conversations like, “Instead of FD, why not you invest in XYZ insurance product or ABC mutual fund product?”. They finally close the sell and the executive will assure you that he will be with you forever. However, he himself don’t know of how for how long he be in that position or in the same bank.
Then who is that rare species called “best financial planner in India”? IT IS YOU!
Whoever of the above-mentioned species claims themselves as they are the best financial planners in India for YOU, the reality is you must learn on your own. This is what I preach to all my clients when they contact me. This is the one and only one long-term solution to save your money from miss-selling. Otherwise, they look at you as an opportunity and miss-sell you. It is no their fault. It is your fault that you yourself created an opportunity to miss-sell them. Therefore, it is miss buying from you. Hence, you no longer in a position to blame them alone.
Hence, considering all these probabilities of miss happenings, I suggest you to start to learn on your own. Personal finance is not a rocket science. However, above said species complicated it for YOU. Because they want you must rely on them. Don’t do that. I know it can’t be achieved in a day or two. However, it is not a difficult task also.
Take control of your money. Be your own “Best financial planner in India” for yourself. There is no other solution left for you. Buying wrong products and then blaming middlemen is not helpful to you. Stop blaming others. Take the responsibility of your money. This will work out forever.
Note-By mentioning all above professionals, I am not degrading them. Nor my intention is to doubt their service. However, this is the generic idea of what I found among each such professionals related to finance. Hence, there may be few who are genuine, customer centric. But the hardest part is to find such rare species. Because all of them claim they are best financial planners in India.