D and I have been meeting resistance from our financial planner these days.
We (okay, I) had wanted to purchase a lot at Tagaytay Highlands (fine, Midlands) which will give me a free club membership. He said no. I wanted to buy a foreclosed house for which I would pay a pittance for. He said no.
It could be quite frustrating to be told that you cannot buy something that you really, really want to have. But that is the function of a financial planner – he will tell you if you can, when you can, how you can. He is my personal financial brakes, someone to tell me that I am going overboard, or that I am just being silly.
My financial planner J, as I have divulged in earlier articles, was chosen for me (an arranged marriage!), which is a blessing, really. I would not have survived the search for him and checking his credentials – his experience, specialization, the fee, certification, work history, the fee, education, affiliation, the fee arrangement (hourly, flat or commission)… No, I would have given up or chickened out.
But how does the regular Juan go through with finding his financial planner (FP)? Well, there is no short cut except conduct those interviews. I suggest that you try an FP for at least a month (kind of a trial period if he is willing) before the fee arrangement is inked and money passes hands. Find out if he is someone who will:
- Protect your interest (not suffer from conflict of interest, i.e., promoting investment vehicles because he will get a percentage from it unless this is your arrangement).
- Create the best financial frame of mind for you (after all, wealth starts in the mind).
- Time for you.
- Gutsy and brave enough to say yes or no to you what you perceive are your dreams and life goals (really a sensitive topic).
- Respect you.
- Willing to share part of the blame for wrong decisions you made because of his advice.
- Enough experience to keep from giving you bad advice.
An FP, like you, is in it for the money. But the crucial element, which I hope you will see in the trial period, is that he should make money for both of you, or appear to do so.
This is also not a one way street. Having the perfect FP will not ensure that wealth or financial freedom will come. You should be willing to listen, and weigh, and get involved. You should question and analyze and sometimes go against what your FP advises. Remember that with all his financial knowledge, he is also weighed down by his biases for and against money. Sometimes, your gut or your instinct may be more right.
A year ago, our business was flailing because of loss of orders from the US. Our FP advised us to cut our losses and pack up. If we had done what he advised and did not stick around long enough to experience the upturn of the business, we would have gone back to square one.
Truly, it is a juggling act, this marriage. But best wishes. And enjoy the ride.
Text by Issa. Art by D. Copyright 2009.
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