Who is the best financial planner in India?

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.

best financial planner in IndiaAs 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.

69 Comments

  1. Very nice post sir..just one doubt..My sister lives in US (green card holder, applying for citizenship). Can she invest in indian mutual funds market for long term (considering she will get US citizenship later). All that we need is a bank account and pan card to open the account na sir? Can we do that or will there be any problem?

    Reply
    • Raj-NRIs can also invest but only few fund houses allow from such US resident. Check with respective AMCs and then go ahead.

      Reply
  2. Hii Basavaraj Tonagatti,

    I think mutual fund is one of the best financial planner in India level.
    Being new to the blogging world I feel like there is still so much to learn. Your tips helped to clarify a few things for me as well as giving..

    Reply
    • Alvina-Mutual Fund is the product not an individual or robo adviser.

      Reply
  3. hi basu,

    really good and true article!

    but how to start learning in finance.Can you tell me where to start from?

    please guide.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Abhee-There is no such rule that you must start from HERE. However, by understanding your requirement, you can slowly start learning.

      Reply
  4. Seems that all the financial planners are alike. Thanks for the honest opinion.

    Reply
  5. thanks for sharing the summery of all financial planners at one place and also for mentioning various aspects of financial planning. this is the first article I have come across that gives a honest opinion on financial planners.

    Reply
  6. Very useful info.

    Reply
  7. Spot on Man,
    a regular follower of your blog!

    Reply
  8. Very very precise written !!!
    I have more respect for you for this self hitting exposing written !!!
    Great!!!!!!!

    Reply
  9. Sirji,

    What a beautiful article! Purely genuine and no bias.

    Majaa aa gaya padke.

    You have given me the confidence to be my own best financial advisor, thank you very much.

    Reply
  10. Perfectly told. All individuals should acquire knowledge through various means and decide what is best for them.

    Reply
  11. WOW what a helpful advice. I enjoy your BLOG . It helps . Thanks

    Reply
  12. Thanks Basavraj for your post.. it has given me helpful info…

    Reply
  13. Hi Basu!!
    Since long time I have been planing to invest in MF but not able to do so…reason being availabelity of lots of online platform and choosing among them.
    I had decided to use MF utility as I believe in DIY but then I received a call from my universe from aditya birla group, claiming they also provide direct mode of investment with nominal fee. I wanted to have your suggestions regarding following methods of investment:-

    I) using platform like my universe/funds India and have a small transaction through them, which then creates a “folio” with the mutual fund. Then, use this Folio to make further transactions on the mutual fund website directly.

    II) using MF utility, but not getting good feedback about it.

    iii) going direct through AMC, but this is not possible for me due to my working hours.

    Reply
    • Pankaj-Nothing is FREE. If you need something to earn, then either take the PAIN to visit AMCs (ONETIME) or use platform like MFU and Investza. Postponing your investment just for the sake of online platform is not right for YOU. If you are so eager to invest, then you might have took the help of adviser of some online platforms like fundsindia.

      Reply
      • Thanks for reply, can you comment on the services provided by the zip-sip my universe platform.

        Reply
  14. Bro, your post is paradoxical in nature….you yourself is selling insurance, mutual funds etc through quickbima, fundsindia and comparepolicy & earning commission on sale / lead generation. You are posting guest posts from your sponsors i.e. indirect promotion…And interestingly you are pointing finger at other bloggers…You should PREACH What you PRACTICE.

    I remember your post on HDFC retirement plan wherein you gave long gyaan on how some agency approached you for review and then you ripped apart their product to showcase that YOU ARE THE HOLIEST MONK ON THIS EARTH.

    You are also running a PAID MEDIA with PAID CONTENT…You, bemoneyaware, freefincal, relakhs,my investmentideas etc have formed a group of self appreciation bloggers. Its like you lick my blog and i will lick yours..

    Please have courage to post this comment.

    Reply
    • Amit-Why you use the same IP address and pretend to be a different blog commenter 🙂 Don’t do such silly things, at least on my platform. Earlier you commented with the name Sanjay and now with Amit. Courage to post this comment? I love to expose such readers who try to act in a different name. That is why with courage (More than YOU), I am publishing this comment. Let now the readers decide it. I asked in my reply to your comment (In the guise name of Sanjay) that show me a content which I wrote with the money received. But you failed to reply to that. Now with another name, you are trying to say the same thing. Be matured BROTHER 🙂 Such things will work with politicians.
      Regarding other bloggers and me, I don’t have any love or affection. It is their duty they are doing and I am doing mine. At the end of day if you not feel value addition from any bloggers, then you are FREE to stop visiting. But the reality is the bloggers you mentioned are truthful to their profession and I respect them than such pseudo readers 🙂

      Reply
      • You keep blocking me therefore i have to change my name because i cannot change my IP address or ISP. Please don’t block me i will comment with my original name. It is not a good practice to block commenters. It is not a tehelka expose that commenters are changing name. I hope you will not block me this time..I am commenting with my real name.

        Please answer the points shared by me on your commission for lead generation, insurance and mutual funds sale. Also if you are posting a blog from your sponsors (check following link) then it is PAID MEDIA only

        http://www.basunivesh.com/2016/05/06/multiple-health-insurance-policies-claim/

        Reply
        • Sanjay-Blocking YOU? If that was my intention, then why I DARE to publish your comment? Check the post end note. I specially mentioned that the particular post is for knowledge sharing. I have not took money to publish that. However, advertising their product on a regular base is entirely different thing. Read our Copyright and Disclaimer policy. Including Google or anyone advertising on our platform means it is you and they to decide. I am no longer responsible for that.
          You are confusing on your own and trying to say that with pseudo name of what you did is fine. Be mature 🙂

          Reply
  15. Your post is paradoxical in nature. you yourself is selling mutual funds, insurance etc through fundsindia, quickbima, comparepolicy etc and earning commission for lead generation. Laughingly you are making mockery of others. You are allowing posts of your advertisers on your blog and in past if i remember correctly you gave a big GYAAN on how some social media agency approached you for review on HDFC Pension policy and then you ripped apart their product.

    Please clean your house before sharing all this GYAAN and stop being IDEALISTIC.

    Reply
    • Sanjay-The organizations you named are advertisers on my blog and including google. Bloggers running ads means for generation of income but not leads for myself 🙂 Allowing advertisers post? Check anyone post where I have written that I took money and written about them. HDFC Pension? Check of what I wrote?? I said they approached me, but I rejected. Hope you understand how blogging works. Also, I exposed bloggers. That is where I said that if someone say they are running a blog for social service, then he is the biggest liar.
      Hope I cleared your misunderstanding of running ads on blog 🙂

      Reply
  16. Hit the nail on the head!!!No..I am not surprised one bit..Time and yet again Basu,,how do you do it????

    P.S: I’m not a false com mentor or an indirect supporter of Basu..these are my genuine views.

    Reply
    • Ashok-Thanks for your appreciation. No special tactic but I love to expose the things 🙂

      Reply
  17. Hi Basavaraj,

    I have a doubt related to gifting money to my wife. It is clear that there is no limit to gifting or transferring money to wife’s account but if she invest this money further in mutual funds or bank FD will it be termed as evasion of taxes or is it fine with taxation laws?

    Reply
    • Gaurav-You can gift any amount to your wife. But let us say she deposited in FD or invested in MFs, then such return will be clubbed with you. You can’t escape from this.

      Reply
      • Does that mean that I have to show (the interest) as my income and pay taxes accordingly… or Is it OK if she files ITR showing this as her income?

        Reply
        • Gaurav-If she earn anything from the gift amount, then it is YOU who have to show it in your IT return.

          Reply
  18. If a financial planner say something to people about financial planning, you will get 9 out of 10 who will disturb the financial planning of financial planner itself. This is India and no need of financial planning. Waqt pade baka to gadhe ko bole kaka. Illiterate persons are more literate than financial planner this is fact then why u need financial planner. In India 127 crores population and 1.2 crores people submitting their Income Tax return then why there is need for financial planner. The most common tendency in Indian people is that “Chodo na yaro financial planning khavo piyo aur aish karo.

    Really this happening in India when government is unable to force the people to file income tax return to half of the population, then what will do the financial planner. Financial planners are the best in their offices only.

    Somebody says this is negative reply. Hakikat me yahi hota hei baki sab dikhava hei.

    Today’s date : 2nd May 2016.

    Reply
    • Dilip-The problem here is the GAP between common man to so-called FINANCIAL PLANNER. Common man feels he can’t afford and planner in no way looking for common man. Because his concern is NRIs and HNIs.

      Reply
  19. Excellent and honestly written post. Thanks for enlightening many aspects of financial planning. I am learning a lot from your blog. Thanks.

    Reply
  20. Nice one Basunivesh. Like u indicated bloggers claim they are doing social service. If you see my blog, I indicated I have started this blog to earn money 🙂

    Reply
    • Suresh-Thanks for your views. But my point to those who claim to be writing for social service but hiding the main purpose of blogging 🙂

      Reply
  21. Good summary of all the financial planners available.
    Shouldn’t parents find a place here – they tell their children, what to study,where to buy house, get married.

    Reply
    • Priti-Thanks. Yes, parents too never going to be a true financial planner for us. Nice point.

      Reply
  22. Well explained…. As usual Sir 🙂

    Reply
  23. Dear Basu,
    Great write up !! You hit the nail right in the head!!! That’s the only reason I am your ardent reader!
    Amazing GOD bless you and may your tribe increase!!
    Thanks again

    Reply
  24. Sir,

    I want to invest Rs 400000 Immediately for higher return . Tell me how and where I should Invest

    Reply
      • Sir I can invest for 15 years

        Reply
  25. Basu ji, you are very straight forward in expressing your point of view. If not DIY, an investor / client must acquire knowledge to ask relavent questions and completely understand what the professional is advising. Well done (Y).

    Reply
    • Saranya-Thanks for endorsing my views. Yes, I agree with your addon.

      Reply
  26. Dear BASSU……

    Evergreen honest hard truth……..HEARTILY CONGRATS…………..
    only from you we can expect these disclosure………YOU again proof
    urself ….that only YOU CAN DO THIS…………..keep it up …….may the
    ALMIGHTY BLESS YOU & YOUR FAMILY………….

    Reply
    • Shivani-Thanks for your wonderful cheerful words and your blessings on we 4.

      Reply
  27. As I said already its an excellent article with genuine views. Keep it up sir.

    Reply
  28. Super pieces.Very honest one.Congrats.
    You shd be yr best investment advisor.

    Reply
    • Suketu-Thanks and request you to spread this post with all your known.

      Reply
  29. Dear BASA
    Thanks for the wonderful article regarding to select a financial planner in real sense. I am your regular reader and took your advise on several matters. Recently, I got confused about to purchase a retirement plan or alternatively invest in PPF for tax free and safe return. Kindly, write a comparative article on this situation.

    Reply
    • Nitin-Thanks for your kind words and also providing me a tip to write a post. I will surely come up with a post on this.

      Reply
  30. It’s common to discount insurance agents or mutual fund distributors as sellers only and project them as incompetent or always fooling the investors but I beg to disagree with this. There are very good agents in all fields and there may be others who have cleared the exams and hold certifications but that does not mean that everyone holding a certification is practicing only as the best advisor would practice. By using the same yardstick one should have been completely assured that the highly qualified professionals in any other field would deal with him only in his interest and would follow ethics but that is not the story. So more than the qualifications what is required is qualities and there are no measures for that except experience of the person.

    Reply
    • DBDESAI-I not pointed any professionals here. I just pointed some loopholes and what an investor or buyer of financial products must aware. The solution is DIY (Do It Yourself). That is what I pointed.

      Reply
  31. You have written a hard but a true fact

    Reply
  32. Well written and probably the best advice ever given!!
    Thank you.

    Reply

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