How to select a good financial planner?

Many investors are now contacting financial planners to fine tune their personal finance. Earlier days only HNIs used to avail such services. Actually, financial planning is not for the HNIs.

What way financial planning will help you?

A financial planner will study your profile, financial goals in life, investments made etc and suggest a road map to reach these goals. This will cover life insurance, health insurance, tax planning, children education and marriage needs, retirement planning and estate planning among many. This holistic and unbiased approach will benefit the investor in the long run.

How to select a good financial planner?

In the absence of any clear regulations, anybody can now claim to be a financial planner/advisor! The following points will help you in selecting a good financial planner.

1. Qualification

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is the globally recognized qualification for financial planners. It is awarded in India by Financial planning Standards Board India (FPSB). You should look for this qualification, before finalizing a financial planner. You may get the details of such qualified financial planners from

2. Experience

Lot of existing agents of mutual fund and insurance are entering this field by passing the CFP examination. Some of them continue to sell only the products of their company using this qualification. You must avoid them.

You should look for a planner with atleast 10 years experience in the financial sector, having experience in various financial products and seen various market cycles.

3. Services offered

Many CFPs are selling financial products also. They benefit by way of commission from these products. Some CFPs are working for distribution houses like brokers/mutual funds. All of them are having their sales targets. They cannot give an unbiased advice for the clients.

It is better to go for a fee based certified financial planner who is not selling any financial products .Such planners can be 100% unbiased and can protect the interest of their clients. In such cases, you have to spend some extra time in buying the right investments as recommended by the planner. But this will benefit you in the long term in a big way.

4. Charges

There are different rates charged by different planners. Some planners charge on an hourly basis and some of them charge a fixed amount and will submit a financial plan. Some of them will offer the financial products to their clients and get the commission also.

Most planners charge a high fee in the first year (in the range of 5000 – 20,000) and reduced charges (in the range of 3000- 10,000) in the subsequent years.

Financial planning is an ongoing process. It is not ending with the first year, with the preparation of a financial plan. A planner charging a reasonable fee every year and not selling any products will be ideal for you.

5. How often you can interact with your planner?

Some planners will allow you to contact him 2-3 times in a year. If it is more, he will charge extra. Such planners should be avoided. You should go with a planner, who can be contacted any number of times and any time of the day throughout the year. This is very important. The client planner relation should be beyond any time limits.

6. Ask for reference

Ask for atleast 2 references from his existing clients and talk to atleast one of them and get a feedback. Only a confident planner can give you reference. This last step is extremely important in finalizing a financial planner.


Go for a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with reasonable experience in the financial sector. Avoid agents selling their products with CFP qualification. Also avoid planners working for some institutions with sales targets.

A Financial Planner should be a partner in your progress. He can play this role effectively only if he is a fee based independent financial planner.

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