My impression of financial advisors has never been good. Generally, if you managed to pass a few MAS exam papers after graduating from the university, you can work in the banks or financial institutes as financial consultants, advisors or planners.
Most of these so-called financial advisors are nothing more than salesperson interested in selling you only unit trusts and expensive insurance policies. Typically, they would first calculate your retirement needs and then systematically work on your fear of having insufficient monies in your twilight years. Once they managed to convince you that you are under insured or inadequately invested, they will then hard sell you expensive financial products.
All these years, I have witnessed too many of such sales tactics. Although I will not say these tactics are unethical, what I want to point out is that too often, these financial advisors don’t add value to consumers. Instead of addressing the needs of customers, many financial advisors sold financial products in order to earn higher commissions.
Focus on value-add, not sales
Most of the financial advisors in Singapore don’t receive fixed salaries and draw their incomes based purely on commission fees. This means that they have to sell expensive financial products to clients in order to survive. Obviously given such situation, the financial advisor will be more interested in earning your money, rather than help you earn money!
Sure, there are many 3rd party financial advisors who claimed to be independent and charge clients fixed fees not linked to product sales. However, I see no point in paying them good money just to advise me on what type of insurance or unit trusts to buy. Given that all the information is now available on the internet and that Singaporeans are becoming more discerning, the financial industry has to mature and evolve.
Financial advisors need to provide value-added services and educate clients on investing. Selling financial products alone will not help clients to improve their investment knowledge at all.
Empowerment through financial education
The key to building wealth is gaining the right financial knowledge. To keep making money, you must have the knowledge, skill and competency to generate wealth. Financial products are just tools for making money. The advisors who sold the products to you are not interested to help you grow. They are only interested to grow their fat wallets. Don’t be fooled into buying irrelevant financial which will make you regret later. You are only throwing away good money. Always remember: You, alone, is responsible to grow your money, and knowledge is empowerment. Enhance your financial knowledge through ebooks. Don’t let others take advantage of you.