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「書中短短的真人真事, 串成一幅愛的圖畫, 讓我看到人間依然有情有愛。」(一讀者)本書由中信出版, 不到一年已印第九版,可在 ccmbookroom.org 訂購

 

主頁 > 理財文章 > 投資探討 > 有關雇用財務顧問的提醒(英文)  

有關雇用財務顧問的提醒(英文)

 

經常有人問我如何去選擇財務顧問,以下擇錄自我一些電子郵件答覆﹕

(1)

Different financial planner charges different fees. Some tells you there is no charge, but then they push you to buy expensive financial products through them. Some of them are actually insurance salesmen or stockbrokers. It appears the certified financial planner you used is a real planner. Charging a flat fee is better than paying on the basis of the amount of investments, or the no-fee arrangement I mentioned above. 1% of income is actually quite reasonable, although I am more familiar with "fee-only" planners who charge by the hour (typically $150-$200 each hour). If you are comfortable with this CFP, then you can continue with him since his fees seem to be reasonable.

Avoid planner who do not charge fee. Someone has to pay. You will end up paying a lot more. But that is not the worst part. The worst part is they will steer you into products their companies sell, and some of the products generate more fee income for the salesmen than for you.

(2)

There are many "financial planners" or "financial advisors" running around since there is no restriction on who can call himself a financial advisor. But unfortunately many of them are actually insurance salesmen or stockbrokers. They may give you "free" consultation, but invariably they will try their best to steer you into products that would earn them commissions. While there is nothing wrong with earning a commission for works performed. But the potential conflict of interest is alarming. If the advisor is actually an insurance salesmen, you can bet that he is going to get you to invest via insurance products, many of which carry heavy sales commission, charges, fees, and long surrender charge periods. The advisors will not tell you other investment tools because there will be no commission in it for him. I think this is a lousy way to get financial advice, and I have seen many sad cases (I meet with about 15 families a week and I have seen enough problems).

The only kind of financial advisor I would recommend is "fee-only" advisors who would charge you by the hour. You are paying him on an hourly basis for his help and for his expertise. You are under no obligation to buy any financial product through him, and this is clear from the get go. So the advisor will help you review your portfolio, make asset allocation suggestions, and make investment suggestions. You would then take his advice and implement it yourself. This is the most objective and low-cost way of getting financial advice. Each year you would go back for a "check-up".  

(3)

A good friend of mine (a CFP) do it this way: he provides tax preparation, financial planning (mainly "fee-only"), insurance and mortgage loan products and services so he is not restricted to just financial planning. As an independent he is doing quite well, but he needs to diversify into different areas in order to have multiple sources of income. Another CFP friend of mine was affiliated with an insurance company group for the past ten years and personally I do not think this is a good way to go because he has been pushing insurance products all these years (variable annuity, VUL, etc.) . I like the former approach better.

(4)

When seeking a financial planner, it is important to get one that will only provide your with advice for a fee, and not one who would try to sell you products so he can make commissions from you. Many financial planners or financial advisors are actually insurance salesmen or stockbrokers in disguise. They may tell you they can do your financial planning for you at no cost. But invariably they will try to steer you towards products which are loaded with sales charges and fees so they can get their commissions. Everyone needs to make a living, so I don't blame them for wanting to make some money from you after giving you service. But what I worry about is the potential conflict of interest.

So the only kind of financial planner I would recommend is what is called "FEE ONLY", which means they provide you financial planning service at an hourly rate. You only hire them to give you advice. You do not need to go through them to buy any products (unless you really want to).

Another suggestion for you is to do as much homework and thinking yourselves before you meet with him. If you want to, you can run these issues by me on e-mail so we can have some discussions before you actually sit down with Danny. The idea here is even though you hire a financial planner, it is still your personal finances so you need to know as much as you can about how to handle your finances.