When do you approach a Financial Consultant?

Mahesh Pai explains the importance of hiring a good financial consultant

Choosing a financial consultant is as important as choosing the right investments. A skilled planner can help you figure out your financial goals and bring them to reality.

However, few people feel that they do not need a financial consultant but they actually do and may not realise it. A timely professional intervention can help in achieving the goals on time instead of missing them and regretting later.

Lack of personal finance knowledge costs a lot for every one. Finding a good financial consultant can help you avoid these costs and focus on your goals. The cost of being ‘financially wrong’ is very high these days. The two reasons for being ‘financially wrong’ are
1. Taking advice from the wrong people or wrong professionals.
2. Not taking advice at all.

Most Indians believe that the financial advice should either be free or is not needed at all.

In fact, it is quite common when people ask why they need financial advice from anyone when they can do everything by themselves. They see their parents taking their own financial decisions and feel what they did was the right thing. And even when they need to take advice why take it from a consultant and pay for it while it’s available for free on the internet.

Why choose a consultant over when the internet provides free financial advice?
There is no denial that there is plenty of free financial advice available on the internet, which is full of good financial resources but also has alot of wrong content created by influencers pretending to be financial advisors. And if you actually take their advice you can get financially hurt. Another disadvantage of free internet advice is that you might never get to see the complete picture; you can never find the hidden conditions when you don’t understand finance itself. How will you know that you didn’t miss out on anything on a topic that you have no clue about? This is called as a double-blind spot.

Signs that You Need a Professional consultant
The best time to visit a consultant is today! Don’t wait for the time when your financial health starts deteriorating and you get overburdened with debts. If you are procrastinating unnecessarily and trying to sort everything your way then give yourself a deadline. But even if after that you are unable to do anything concrete, then please seek professional financial help. At times, a good investment advisor is exactly what is needed to help you get going.

Many times, people earn well for years. But somehow, they have nothing in terms of savings, assets and investments to show for their years of hard work. Why does this happen? They lack the discipline to save. It is just not investing but consistent investing that helps you generate wealth. If you aren’t being able to generate wealth, then you must definitely take advice from a consultant.

Sometimes people don’t have time or interest in learning about managing their personal finances. Personal finance is not difficult but if it is not your thing, then outsource it rather than not dealing with it at all.

There are also a few people who also invest just to save taxes and they take this to the extreme. If you have been doing the same for years and still don’t have good returns to show for it, then it is time you accept that tax planning is not investment planning. It is time to let professionals deal with it.

If you are investing without a goal and simply just adding your surplus money into random funds without understanding the purpose, then get a financial planner or investment advisor to help you.

Consistently losing money here and there every year is not normal. And it is not right to blame the markets. If you always end up making bad investment decisions, then a good advisor can see what wrongs you have been repeating for years and help you rectify them. You need to think in terms of saving for real life goals and not in terms of trying to beat the markets. A good advisor can chart out a goal-based financial plan that will tell you exactly how much to invest for different goals.

If you and your spouse have trouble agreeing on financial matters, then an external person can help. While a man takes his financial or investment decisions it is very essential for his wife to be in the know and understand the same. You two can speak more freely when a consultant is there to guide and understand the real issues.

These are just a few signs that you may need help with investments and your money life in general.

When you find a good investment consultant, they will listen to you and ask a lot of questions and you need to be honest with them on where you stand and where you wish to stand. Based on this, they will be able to create a customised financial plan for you that addresses various goals and aspects of your financial life with proper tools, methods, and strategies.

A good investment advisor doesn’t come free. But the cost of having a poor financial product (due to taking free or no advice) is much higher than the cost of professional investment advice. When you take advices from the non-professionals it can derail your financial goals and make it very difficult to catch up with your financial needs in later years. Financial consultants aren’t just for rich people – working with a consultant is a great choice for anyone who wants to get their personal finances on track and set long-term objectives.

The best financial planner is the one who can help you chart a course for all your financial needs. This can cover investment advice for retirement planning, debt repayment, insurance product suggestions to protect yourself and your family, and estate planning. Take a wise decision today and start getting your finances on track before it is too late.

The writer is an investment consultant and business coach. Email: mahesh@maheshpai.in

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