The bad news is, you will never know for sure. They probably come in all shapes and sizes. They probably even drive their BMWs and Mercedes into your car porch. Sometimes they may even let you sign your application forms with their gold plated Mont Blanc fountain pens. And sometimes, just sometimes, they may even tell you that they are the number one ranking planner in their company.
Okay, maybe I am exaggerating it a bit too far.
The truth is, you can never really know for sure. Serial Incompetent Product Pushing Financial Planners (SIPPFP) are extremely good at what they are doing. That is, pushing a product into your lap of purchases. They will probably draw up some schematic concepts, pitch you a few persuasive lines and then give you that overpowering ‘silent’treatment. They have been taught repeatedly, to at least listen you you, pitch a little and then shut up. If you have an objection, they will gladly turn it back on you, then give you the ‘silent’ treatment again. Then when you are all clueless by the amount of info overload, they will gladly give you the Mont Blanc pen.
Then again, this may be an extreme example.
What you should know however is the fact that SIPPFP are usually competent in selling, or in their words, advising you , on purchasing a certain line of product. If, you happen to have them outlining to you the virtues and benefits of a certain, solve it all financial product, your buyers beware antennae should be up. Imagine patients needing a consultation, and all the doctor does is prescribe paracetamol to every incoming patient. It is insane.
Why Are They Allowed A Free Roam In The Market
Most of the time SIPPFP thrive on ignorance. A market that chooses to be ignorant is a perfect pitching ground for these selected band of planners. Of course they are able to sell a certain product line for all sorts of issues. Firstly, because you may not understand the real financial issues that you have. Secondly, they have had practice pitching the same product benefits, such that it seems like the most natural thing to ever have. Though certain financial products are practically designed to be flexible in meeting different financial needs, it certainly cannot be the only advise you should get as a consumer.
What Then Should You Do
It is perfectly all right for you to ask of references and case studies, from the financial consultant that you are engaged with. It will be excellent if these are his/her recent clients. Just mention that you will like to view the options available, with the confidentiality clause applied of course. If your financial consultant is hesitant or unable to do so, then there is cause for concern.
It is also imperative that you know the credentials and certifications that the financial consultant is in possession of. This is vital, as you are able to gauge the level of competency the financial consultant is at. Sometimes the only logical reason why a product is repeatedly pushed to you, is because that is the only product he is qualified and certified to sell.
Lastly, do understand the importance of recognizing your own need for the product. If the financial consultant claims that the product has been purchased by 99% of his clientele base, it just indicates clearly that his clients’ financial issues are generally similar. But you are smart enough to realize that this cannot be the case, as everyone has a unique set of issues, values and affordability. If you have the same product as 200 other people, it just means that you have purchased a generic product, without the proper personalized solution.
Shove It Back
So the next time, you sit down with a financial consultant, realize that the ball is in your court. It is perfectly normal for you to demand a certain level of personalization. What you should and can do the next time you meet a SIPPFP, it is encouraged that you understand the basis of his/her recommended product. If you are not satisfied with the rationale or explananation, it is just fine to shove the product back into the SIPPFP’s lap.