There are lots of mistakes that people might make when starting a business relationship with a financial planning consultant. Maybe you aren’t organized, you give goals that are not well thought out or perhaps you waver and simply don’t know what you want.
According to Richard Cayne of Meyer International, one of the worst things you can do when starting to work with a financial planner is to hold back information from him or her. He doesn’t mean holding back things that you forgot, or accidentally leaving out a detail or two – that happens to everyone and is no big deal. What he means is holding back financial information on purpose.
“A lot of people regard financial planners as salespeople. In reality, I don’t have a product to sell to you. I can consult on all the financial products that are available and recommend the best ones to you based on your unique situation. However, I can’t make the best recommendations if I don’t have a clear picture of your finances,” said Richard Cayne.
He recounted new clients that come in with the idea that, “Ok, I’m not sure how good this guy is at financial consulting and I’m not sure I trust him yet. So, I’m just going to tell him about the $100,000 I have in this account but not about the other $5 million I have.” People have the attitude of using a smaller amount of money to take a “test drive” with a financial planner and see if he gives good advice.
However, this “test drive” won’t give that client a fair picture of what the financial planning consultant is capable of. Any planner worth his office space would give very different advice to an investor with $100,000 than he would to an investor with $5 million.
“It’s helpful for a planner to know everything in order to do a more thorough job. It helps the planner but it also helps the client to make more money. They are doing themselves a disservice by only showing part of their financial hand,” said Richard Cayne.
He gave this example:
Let’s say a client came in and said, “I’m kinda interested in Chinese mutual funds but I only have $100,000.” I might say, “Well, maybe you want to split it up and put half in Chinese funds and half in American funds.” Meanwhile, they haven’t told me that they already have $4 million in American funds. So, my recommendation is going to be totally irrelevant.
He noted that he is not in the business of upselling clients but, rather, makes his money from introductions between clients and financial institutions. He helps people to engage with financial products but that would be beneficial to them.
Any financial planner worth engaging, like Cayne or any of the professionals at Meyer International, can recommend a financial plan more far-reaching and relevant if they have the whole picture
For further information about information disclosure, financial planning and other investment topics, Richard Cayne and Meyer International can be reached at (+66) 02 611 2561