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Are Financial Advisors Providing Good Value?


In this world and age, where information can be gotten at the click of a button on internet, many people would think that they can get sufficient information to buy financial products without help from financial advisors.

Financial advisors are also not help by reports from media claiming that the Efficient Market Hypothesis basically says that a monkey throwing darts at the financial page with all the listed stocks will be able to pick a portfolio of stocks that is as good or even better than that of an investment professional.

Also there is this negative perception, that is actually justified, because there were retirees who were just renewing their fixed deposits who were channelled to talk to persuasive financial advisors located in banks in the early 2000 to invest in unit trust in the hottest sector at the time-technology sector. Trusting the banks, these retirees thought that it was a sure thing and I think everyone knows what happened. There is this push for sales in banks that everyone gets on, the bank manager has quotas to meet and exceed, the teller has referrals targets, the financial advisor has to meet and exceed their sales quota. So visiting the local banks has become like a minefield.

The government got into this through the Monetary Authority of Singapore providing the regulatory framework around which financial advisors in Singapore have to follow, one of which is to pitch the appropriate financial instruments at the correct customers. So if your financial advisor asks you questions that will lead to revealing your risk appetite and your profile, you should just complete the questionaire. It will enable the advisor to propose an investment package that is more suitable to your needs.

With the markets correcting all over the world, investment into the market is looking more and more attractive to people who have been holding funds for just such an opportunity.

I believe that the financial advisor has a role to play and the customers also have a role to play. If you leave everything into the hands of the advisor, you could get conned into a purchase that earns the advisor the best commission, it is best to be informed about the rights of the customers and doing your homework first before approaching the financial advisors is the best thing to do. My wife decided to buy unit trusts last year around June after I had kept persuading her to invest her money in the bank. We went to a local bank to get the unit trust and when the funds that we were interested in was not sold by the local bank, the advisor there recommended one fund to us that my wife bought. It was the Legg Mason Southeast Asia Special Situation fund and for a while it was the best performing fund in the first half of the year.

So I guess, financial advisors do provide value, especially if they know that you have done your homework and know what sector or countries you want to invest in.

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The information contained in this blog is prepared from data believed to be correct and reliable at the time of publication of this report. The authors do not make any guarantee or representation as to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, reliability of the information contained herein. Neither the authors or any affiliates or related persons shall be liable for any consequences (direct or indirect losses, loss of profits and damages) of any
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