Melvin started Finvin Financial Planners in 2010 as the fee only model. In 2013, SEBI came out with Investment Adviser’s Regulations and he got registered as an Investment Adviser. He helps his clients in investing in the best suited products. He recommends online term policies and direct plans in mutual funds in the interest of the clients.
The selection of a financial planner is very important for your financial health. There are three types of financial planners available in the market. They are:
They are generally associated with insurance /mutual fund companies and are receiving commission income from those companies. Their primary target is to sell the products of the company which they represent.
Such planners will be having earnings from both sides – fee from clients and commission from the financial product selling. There is a possibility of conflict of interest in this.
Fee Only Planner
Such planners are getting income only from their clients as the fee. Since they don’t sell any products, they can help clients in recommending the best suited products as per their needs. They are not having any sales targets and can protect the interest of their clients.
SEBI Registered Investment Adviser (RIA)
Selecting a financial planner is an important decision in your financial life. He will be like your family doctor. The element of trust & confidentiality is very important.
SEBI took the first step in this direction in 2013 and came out with Investment Adviser Regulation. As per this, only those who are registered with SEBI as an Investment Adviser can act as a financial planner and give financial advice. SEBI registered Investment Advisers (RIA) will be the better option for you while selecting a financial planner. Please note how these advisers are different:
- Professional Qualification – To become an Investment Adviser, SEBI has laid down stringent guidelines on educational qualification. The candidate should have a certification from National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) or CFP qualification from Financial Planning Standard Board India (FPSB)
- Fiduciary Responsibility – This is your advantage. RIA has a fiduciary responsibility of working in your interest and he can be held responsible for any breach of trust. This will ensure that the RIA will keep your interest as priority while rendering the services.
- Code of Conduct – RIAs are bound to adhere to the code of conduct by SEBI. The regulations are in line with global standards.
- Letter of engagement – RIA will be signing a letter of engagement which clearly mentions the fees, scope of services, conflict of interest if any etc.
- Compliance – RIAs have to adhere to compliance directed by SEBI. Maintenance of records, annual audit of books of accounts etc are part of compliance. RIA is a regulated person to deal with.
As an investor, it will be better to deal with a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) to ensure unbiased financial advice without any conflict of interest.
Melvin Joseph is a SEBI registered Investment adviser (RIA) with Registration number – INA 000000342.