Not every financial planner is a good financial planner. There are plenty of planners who got into the fields of wealth management or financial planning accidentally or simply because it seemed like a good career move. There are offices full of financial planners whose own finances are nothing to admire.
So, how do you know if you are working with a good financial planning consultant? While there may be no sure way to know, Richard Cayne of Meyer International offers some advice on how he can often tell if financial planners are “walking the walk” or simply “talking the talk.”
Look For True Knowledge
“Look for someone with innate knowledge,” said Richard Cayne, “not someone regurgitating the news.” Ask your planner what he personally invests in and why, ask him about his investment philosophies and what excites him about the industry. Ask how he came to work in the investment field.
Cayne advised that you look for a planner that has instant replies to your questions and strong, well-formed opinions. He noted that, whether their views match yours or not, the planner should feel strongly about issues in their field of work.
Look for Passion for the Subject
The best planners got into the field because they were already passionate investors and voraciously interested in growing wealth. Cayne himself was interested in the subject when he was still a child. Your planner should get excited when you ask about their favorite financial products or jurisdictions. They should be excited that you want to know what they think.
Look for Someone Professional
Investing is exciting. That can be a good or bad thing. When things go well with an investment, both the planner and the client can experience a “high” from making a great decision. When things go poorly, the opposite reaction may surface.
You may get emotional about your investments but you want your planner to stay calm, cool and professional. They should not panic and they should always be able to maintain a “game face.” You are looking for someone that is assertive and responsive even when things go wrong – especially when things go wrong.
Look for Someone that Defends Their Decisions
In the field in investments and world markets, “nobody has a crystal ball” said Richard Cayne.
He suggests looking for a planner that sticks to his guns and stands behind his decisions – even when things change and their recommendations lose you money.
Look for a planner that doesn’t get emotional and apologetic when things go wrong but tells you that their decision was the best one based on the information available at the time.
“When I give a recommendation I stick to it because to me, at the time, it made sense and is always given based on carefully calculated information available at the time. Nothing is guaranteed in the investment world, not even government bonds,” said Cayne.
For further information about financial planning or other investment topics, Richard Cayne and Meyer International can be reached at (+66) 02 611 2561