I realized that there are more and more people trying to manager their finance by themselves. They think that they can do better than their bank, that they have been managing money since high school and that they already have a good pension plan anyway. While some people become really good at doing it (for some reasons, there are a lot of engineers doing it!), the majority of the population is driving blindly their portfolio thinking they roll on Wall Street where they are just about to hit a brick wall!
From time to time, I receive emails from readers asking me questions about their financial situation or about some wicked investment strategy designed by a financial consultant. I noticed one common thing; they have no clue if they can trust their financial advisor or not. I guess this is probably why several people are trying to manage their money on their own since we are surrounded by a bunch of financial clowns !
Being a financial planner myself, I tried to identify what makes a good financial consultant compared to the usual banker or the car salesman.
Honesty and integrity
This is probably one of the most important characteristics of anybody who has to manage your money. The problem is not that I don’t believe that most of them are not honest but too often they run into conflicts of interest.
One day, I was asked a very smart question: “How much do you get paid with this transaction?”. I think this question should be asked every time that you are about to do a financial transaction (especially when it is regarding the stock market and your investment portfolio).
We often think that honesty is coming from the trust we have into a person. This is completely wrong! Honesty is coming from the answers to your questions. The more questions you ask your financial consultant, the better idea of his level of integrity you will have. The world is full of bullshiter and the only way to discover them is to ask so many questions that they can’t lie anymore.
If your financial advisor smiles back at one of your questions and change subject, this is your clue that is not being honest and that you need to come back with more precise question in order to corner him.
This is obviously the first part of a long series of post about financial consultant. I will try from time to time to give you more information about how to find the right financial planner for your needs. Stay tuned!
Other post on this series:
image source: Ambergris