Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund

First meeting with a Financial Planner: What to bring & what to ask/expect?

Dec 16, 2019
4 mins | Views 6223

It is usually said that one should never lie or hide facts from the doctor and lawyer. A third person who you need to be completely honest with is your financial planner. Selecting the right financial advisor is a tricky process. But we will make it easy for you with a complete laydown on what to ask or expect during your first meeting with a financial expert.

What you should ask

  • Credentials and experience

    It is important to know about the professional’s qualifications and necessary licenses needed to sell products or offer advisory services. Professional certifications such as CFP (Certified Financial Planner) can be a good starting point. Also enquire about the past experience or AUM (Assets Under Management) that he or she works with. If the advisor deals majorly with corporates or high net-worth people, then he or she may not be right for you (if you don’t belong to those criteria).

  • Services offered

    Clients should get clarity on the type of services offered by the financial planner. Some provide only advisory or wealth management services. It is better to go for a professional who offers a wider breadth of services such as taxation, budgeting, goal-linked investment advisory, estate planning, etc.

  • Investment Philosophy

    Understand the investment philosophy of the financial planner. Check aspects such as level of customization basis financial goals, risk profile and important life events or milestones.

  • Professional Fees

    It is a good idea to check about this aspect. One should check the fees being charged by the financial planner since that may significantly affect your investment decisions.

What you should tell

  • Financial Status and obligations

    Just like the doctor needs the entire medical history to make the correct diagnosis, a planner needs to know everything about your finances. This includes,

    • Earnings and income sources

    • Assets

    • Liabilities including debt, loans, etc.

    • Financial obligations

    • Previous and ongoing investments

    • Expenditure patterns

    In case if there is any major life event coming up (marriage, child birth, retirement) or if you are planning a change in your profession (such as becoming an entrepreneur) you should share it with the financial planner

  • Goals

    It is important to share a detailed list of goals (both short term as well as long term) with the planner. Do not give generic statements such as “I want a good lifestyle”. Turn it into materialistic or quantitative goals such as buying a 3BHK House in the next three years, sending your child abroad for further education, etc. Do not forget to assign a timeframe to each goal.

  • Objective and expectations

    What is the main reason that they are seeking the help of a professional expert? Clients need to clearly state their expectations from the financial advisor.

  • Risk taking abilities

    How comfortable you are with taking risk in investments is an important factor. The risk profile of the client plays a major role in making the financial plan.

The success of any relationship (financial advisor included) is trust and honesty. You cannot expect to achieve your financial goals, if you do not disclose all the facts. So, find the right advisor and bare your heart out. You will not be disappointed!

Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

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