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How to Choose a Financial Planner?

How easy is it to choose a doctor? or for that matter choosing a lawyer? One has to look out for various aspects when it comes to choosing any professional.  It isn’t that easy! It takes some time to evaluate the best available options, the same goes while choosing a financial planner.

how to choose a financial planner

Here are a few things which you should look out for while choosing a financial planner:

Check for CFP certification – CFP certification has become a need of an hour as more and more financial planners are opting for this certification to certify themselves and distinguish themselves from others. I personally know a couple of financial planners who can plan well than a CFP as they are more experienced even without a CFP certification. You might want to consider a planner who is more experienced than others, but it comes at a cost.

List of SEBI approved investment advisers –  A couple of years back SEBI started the process of registering these financial planners and advisers to bring uniformity in the way financial services are offered and also to improve investor confidence. You can find list of SEBI approved investors advisers –here. Here’s – How to Become a Registered Investment Adviser in India. SEBI is now asking for stock and IPO gurus who come on TV to register themselves. Indeed a good move to benefit investors and the whole financial community across India.

Fee only financial planners – Whom would you trust, someone who offers your free advise and sells you products for commissions or someone who charges you fees and doesn’t sell anything just for the sake of commissions. What do you think who’s better? Giving free advise which can harm your investment by making the adviser rich? or paying fees and not buying anything from the adviser? Think..

Take advise from friends and relative while choosing a financial planner – Your friends, colleagues and relatives can help you out in choosing a right planner, you can ask them for their experience with a particular planner.

Choose a financial planner who is more ethical – Ethics play an important part when it comes to money matters. Choosing an planner who is ethical over others is very important. Investigating the planners past performances and recommendations must be made. Spend time interviewing various financial planners. Reading financial planners blogs or even columns on new papers and magazines can give you an idea about the planner.

Other things to look out for – Many people who sell insurance in India also term themselves as planners and the fact is they want to sell you insurance and earn commissions. Be cautious. Some Mutual Fund distributors also call themselves as financial planners be cautious here as well. So one who offers you a free financial plan and also recommends few products – be cautious here again, take second opinion or use your judgement.

Brand names wouldn’t matter here try to find an adviser whom you can trust on and has proved to be ethical in the past.

Share your thoughts and experiences. Comment.


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