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FP Article 17

How to Choose a Financial Planner

by Rajen Devadason

Financial planning is the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your finances.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

  Financial planning is a high and noble profession.

Why do I say that? Well, its finest practitioners are dedicated to helping other men and women reach their highest life aspirations through the appropriate, proper management of their finances. This commitment often extends for years.

But because money is involved in the equation, there is always the risk of attracting the attention of unscrupulous individuals.








A major downside to most approaches of finding a good financial planner is that in many countries virtually anyone can call himself or herself a financial planner without any official licensing! This means a caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) approach really should be adopted by those seeking the help of financial planning professionals.

Thankfully, in my own country of Malaysia, the situation is a lot safer for consumers. That is because Malaysia was the first country in the world to legislatively control the term ‘financial planner'.

This is an article on choosing a financial planner. I hope you enjoy reading it. But if it isn't what you're looking for, you're welcome to search for something that better meets your needs. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

Rajen Devadason

Web www.FreeCoolArticles.com










One of Malaysia's two financial regulators, the Securities Commission takes a stern view of anyone who calls himself a financial planner without the appropriate SC licence – stipulated penalties include a 10-year prison sentence and a RM1 million fine (which works out, at the time of this writing, to about US$270,000).

But regardless of which country you live in, the best way for you to identify a great financial planner is to ask yourself 3 questions: 

1. Why do I want to work with a financial planner?

2. How will I educate myself internally first before beginning my external search for a financial planner?

3. What is high level financial planning advice, guidance and implementation worth to me?

Once you have taken the trouble to think through those 3 important questions, preferably on paper, you will be parsecs ahead of most other people who never bother to carry out such an exercise. Those unfortunates are the ones who usually end up becoming easy, juicy bait for financial sharks!

What you do next depends entirely upon you. But here are 4 basic pointers to help you along your way:

1. If you want to continue to educate yourself in D-I-Y financial planning, reading some of the other articles in this archive might be helpful. You may begin doing so here.

2. If you want to learn 10 great questions to ask when choosing a financial planner, read this article from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

3. To know what documents a financial planner might ask you to prepare and bring along to an initial meeting, read this. Just be aware that many of the documents mentioned are only relevant to the American scene, but even if you don’t live in the US, you will still be able to get an idea of the type of information required for a fruitful initial meeting.

4. To learn how to ask particularly tough, knowledgeable questions of people who say they are financial planners, particularly if you aren't certain of their credentials, read this Smart Money article.


Working with the right financial planner can be a rich and rewarding experience. But the consequences of being taken for a ride by someone who is less than 100% ethical can have grave repercussions.

So, be careful to do your homework; take time to interview several potential planners (I recommend sitting down with at least 3) before deciding which professional is the best fit for your personality and circumstances.

(Those of you who live in Malaysia might want to adopt the prudent approach of limiting your selection of financial planners or financial advisors to the serious professionals listed in the CFP directory of the Financial Planning Association of Malaysia site. Disclosure - I'm listed there too.)

Finally, regardless of what method you choose to select a financial planner, remember that ultimately no one cares more about your financial health than you do!

I suggest strongly that you take your time to carry out at least some of the research I've suggested here.

If you'll take the trouble to do all that extra work, then I believe you will stand head and shoulders above most of your friends and family when it comes to harvesting the rich, exciting financial fields of our gradually unfolding 21st century.


© Rajen Devadason

Web www.FreeCoolArticles.com






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Rajen Devadason, CEO RD WealthCreation Sdn Bhd & RD Book Projects
349, Desa Rasah, Jalan Bayan 7, 70300 Seremban, NS, Malaysia
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