Sunday, 8 September 2013

Pitfalls to Avoid While Hiring Consultants

Jeff Michael Viveros

Whether you are looking for financial services for your startup or for your individual finances, there are certain pitfalls that you must definitely avoid. While some consultant come cheap, some charge you by the hour and are way too expensive. It is important therefore, to make sure you get value out of what you spend. The first question you have to deal with is why you need a financial consultant at the first place. There are those who specialize in income planning and those who can assist with financial planning. There are those consultants who can inform you about various products in the market and those who try to sell a specific set of financial instruments.

There are very few experts like Jeffrey Michael Viveros who have seen the financial markets go through a lot of upheavals with many trends coming and fading away. That is why you must make sure you know what kind of assistance you need from the consultants. There are individual consultants who get paid for the advice they offer and those who are institutional advisers who are in effect salesmen for different companies. In other words, you will come across consultants who sell insurance policies, make commissions through equity broking firms, work for banks and sell bonds, deposits and mutual funds or work for distribution houses. Apart from consultants, there are also wealth management institutions which have thousands of investors as clients. It boils down to your priorities as to what you can afford and the kind of consultation you are expecting.

There are friendly and flexible insurance agents, share sub-brokers and independent financial advisers too who can spend time with you, understand your requirements and offer you the perfect products. However, the obvious trick is to check if the consultant benefits from the products he or she is selling to you. If they are benefiting through the sale of the insurance policy or securities that they make you invest in, then it might not be entirely in your interest to take their advice. It comes down to whether you can trust them to offer you a win-win situation.

Financial advisers not only sell you various products but can also pinpoint where and how you have to tighten your finances. With a proper plan chalked out, you can set aside the right amounts for various obligations, whether it is short term investments for quick money, long term savings for retirement or medium term investments for steady returns. There would be a separate set of products for each of these categories and only a seasoned consultant can match your requirements to a product available in the market. Another obvious pitfall is communication. Not all consultants are professional, trained or experienced enough to elicit all the information from the client before giving appropriate advice. It is one thing to talk about a narrow range of products and completely another to understand the client’s viewpoint and then offer the right advice and the right data about various investment options.

No comments:

Post a Comment