Frustrations with Financial Advisors

Before Christmas, I asked people on the askaboutmoney website what their gripe was with financial advisors. It is very important that I know what people think so I can fix the way I run my business instead of doing things that I think people want, not what they actually want. So, here is the list and what I have done/ am doing to address these issues.

Lack of Shopping List with prices

I have created a list of the fees that we charge and put it up on my website. It is not exhaustive as I cannot provide a price for the work without knowing what it involves.

Past Reputation

There are a lot of financial advisors who are highly qualified and who work in the best interests of their clients. Look for testimonials on their websites to see what their clients think of their work.

What do you do?

My website, , gives comprehensive details of everything we do. I take a three pronged approach to what I do:

  1. Life Planner – I identify where you are now, where you have come from and where you want to get to. What are the things you would do if money was no object? What worries you and keeps you awake at night?
  2. Financial Planner – I identify all the resources you have available now and in the future. I also identify the resources you might need to make available for you to achieve the goals that you told me about.
  3. Financial Advisor – If you need a financial product, I will advise you on which is the best one for you. This may involve investment strategy and retirement planning or insuring risk.

What’s the difference between fee based and commission based?

Fee based means that the advisor may be paid by fee, commission or a mixture of the two. Commission based means they will only be paid by the commissions paid by the product producer. Fee only means they do not receive any commissions from the product provider.

Whether it is fee or commission, an advisor should be up front with you on how much he is being paid and by whom.

Do some specialise?

Yes, some do but not many. For instance, one advisor specialises in ex pats living in Ireland.

I specialise in working with young couples who are enjoying their life and want to continue doing so.

Some advisors don’t know what they are selling?

It is up to a good financial advisor to read all the terms and conditions of any product they recommend to a client. There are so many hidden bits, especially in protection products, that is may make a big difference if you don’t get the right product.

When it comes to pensions and investments, each provider offers 6-8 contracts. It is impossible to know the ins and outs of each one. I chose the ones  that are most suitable to the way I do business. If a new contract is launched, I will analyse it and see if it is any better than the contracts I currently offer.

Some advisors aren’t qualified

As well as having 15 years experience in financial services, I am a Member of the Irish Institute of Pension Managers (MIIPM), a Qualified Financial Advisor (QFA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Are they working in my interests or their own?

Unfortunately, this is a very common question. This is most common when people get financial reviews. If a fee hasn’t been agreed at outset, the advisor will always find that you need a product so that he can get paid for the work he has done. If a fee is agreed, he won’t have to try to sell you something to get paid and you will get honest, impartial advice.

If you have any questions, please contact me directly at