“Do I really need a financial advisor? I think I am quite good with
numbers and have jotted down my expenses, assets and liabilities in a
spreadsheet. I also read the newspapers and see ChannelNewsAsia
everyday so that I can stay aware of financial product news.”
First of all, prospects like the one above are quite rare even smart
executives just don’t have the time, interest or aptitude to manage their
finances fully enough.
Here are 9 reasons why it is wise to seek help of an experienced, holistic
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (not a tied insurance agent who
represents only one provider).
They do the math for you.
They calculate the numbers that you don’t want to do or even
know how to do. Accuracy in critical numbers make a world of
difference in financial planning for example, when calculating
affordability in buying a property, determining the exact retirement
funding you need at your desired retirement age, deciding on the
adequate insurance coverage that you need and calculating
interest rates and how they will impact your rate of return. Knowing
how to use a financial planning calculator is one thing. But being
able to help you make sense of the information is another notch up
financial planning is so much more than just budgeting and
buying a few unit trusts.
They help you get organised.
It is not very often that I meet a well organised client who has filed
all of his or her insurance policies, investment statements and
other financial information in a neat and searchable order. So, the
very first step in financial planning is to gather all relevant financial
data, ranging from monthly expenses, current investment valuation
to outstanding mortgage loan. It may sound tedious but this
exercise is important so that the financial advisor can ascertainyour current financial health.
They ask the right questions.
The ‘Know Your Client’ step in the financial planning process is a
highly interactive stage where the financial advisor will spend time
to understand your priorities, goals, values and concerns. A good
financial advisor adopts a holistic approach, is trained to spot
areas of risk exposure and provide viable options to strengthen
your overall financial portfolio.
They play the role of a coach and teacher.
They help you get from Point A to Point B. A financial adviser is
your cheerleader in your financial planning journey. They make
sure your goals are realistic and achievable. When you meet with
new milestones in your life like getting married, expecting a
newborn, buying your first home or a change of job, they help you
adjust your plan and ensure you are still on track.
They have gone through hundreds of hours of essential and
continuing training to stay abreast of the critical fine details in
the landscape of financial solutions.
You don’t know what you don’t know! You could spend hours
reading up on personal finance or fast track by getting your very
own tutor (financial advisor). They can simplify complex financial
concepts and provide you with tools and facts to make informed
decisions. When was the last time you read a policy document and
gave up at page 5 because the jargon and clauses are hard to
understand? Financial advisors, on the other hand, read the fine
print of products day in and day out and can explain to you in
The right ones give you access and insights to solutions from
Research and comparison is the hallmark of a holistic CERTIFIED
FINANCIAL PLANNER™ who has access to solutions from across
the market. The outcome of this is being able to identify
competitive and cost effective options that have the most beneficialdefinitions as well as terms and conditions for the client.
They prevent your emotions from disrupting prudent
Money issues aren’t just black and white they can get you very
emotional. Where do you see yourself ten years from now? What
does your retirement look like? Do you want to send your kids
overseas for their university education? What kind of legacy do
you want to leave behind when you pass on? These are just a few
of the questions that your financial advisor will help you reflect
upon. So, doesn’t it make sense to engage a wealth management
expert who is not attached to your money to give you clarity and a
robust action plan?
They liaise with other relevant professionals on your behalf.
They communicate with lawyers, insurance providers, banks,
estate planners and real estate agents to ensure your best
financial interests are always safe guarded.
The good ones are worth every penny.
Very often, you don’t even pay anything extra over what a product
provider has priced for their solutions. Some of the more senior
financial planners charge an hourly fee which is justified by the
quality of their recommendations which in turn can help you save
or earn up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the future. The
financial decision you make early on can have a huge impact on
your life, so engaging the advice of an expert can go a long way to
help you reach your goals.
At the end of the day, it is your money and you can choose to do
whatever you want with it. But a good financial advisor can guide you in
the right direction through behavioural consulting, impartial advice,
helpful lessons and valuable tools.
As I keep reminding everyone I care about the most important person
in your life, outside family, after your doctor, is none other than your