Here is why you can safely consult a fee-only advisor living in another city

Published: March 21, 2018 at 10:04 am

Last Updated on December 28, 2021 at 6:34 pm

For the last four years, freefincal and AIFW has helped connect hundreds of investors with financial advisors who do not receive any commissions – a matter of pride and achievement for me. Such financial advisors, are known as fee-only advisors and need to be registered with SEBI as Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). When you work with these advisors, you are sure that they work only for you as they do not recommend any commission-based products. In this post, I showcase some feedback from investors who have worked with Melvin Joseph, one of the first RIAs in the country. This will hopefully help readers understand the financial planning process and appreciate the fact that your fee-only advisor need not reside in the same city as you do.

Please recognise the difference between fee-based planning or fee-based advisor and fee-only advisor. A fee-based advisor receives commissions from mutual funds and insurance products + charges you a fee and some even get a percentage of the AUM for “managing it”. A fee-only advisor only receives a fee from you. This can be a flat fee or a percentage of the AUM. It is common sense that one should prefer only a flat fee-only advisor.

This is my List of Fee-only Financial Planners in India.  “Fee-only India” (FOI) is an organisation of such fee-only planners/advisors to support each other, share knowledge and also help newcomers who wish to become fee-only RIAs. If you have the competence and the passion to provide conflict of interest-free advice, contact a FOI member today! The FOI community is gradually growing. Recognise how investment regulation has rapidly evolved in the last few years. This is the future. Please note that neither Ashal nor me get any kind of compensation for promoting the services of fee-only advisors.

fee-only-India


Join over 32,000 readers and get free money management solutions delivered to your inbox! Subscribe to get posts via email!
🔥Enjoy massive discounts on our robo-advisory tool & courses! 🔥

Standing from L to R: Chandan Singh Padiyar (Pune): Padiyars.com Piyush Khatri (Hyderabad): Sahastha.com Sukhvinder Sidhu (Karnal, near NCR): Finlifecare.com, Swapnil Kendhe (Nagpur): vivektaru  Vikram Krishnamoorthy (Coimbatore): InsightfulSitting from L to R: Shilpa Wagh (Mumbai): Waghfinancials, Pattu (yours truly), Ashal: AIFW FB page Melvin Joseph (Mumbai): finvin

Logo of fee only india an association of fee only financial planners

Readers may be aware that in the last few weeks, I have been showcasing the story of a fee-only RIA from FOI. These are the stories published so far:

The RIAs from my list are from Mumbai (two), Pune (one), Nagpur (one), Hyderabad (one), Coimbatore (one), NCR region (two), Bangalore (one). I had asked members of FOI for feedback from clients who work with outstation fee-only advisors. Here is a selection of such feedback from a few of Melvin Josephs clients.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Prasanth, Bangalore

I was a very passive investor till 5-6 years back and most of my savings went to fixed deposits or recurring deposits. We started mutual fund investment through an online platform which assigned a financial advisor to me. We felt that the plans they suggested were very fragmented and our mutual fund portfolio had 20 distinct plans in 3 years investing through them.

I came across Asan ideas of wealth Facebook community and was very impressed with the comments provided by members in the community and also came across freefincal website from where I got your details and a write-up on what fee based financial advisors can offer. Feedback for your service was very positive in the Facebook community and the fees was not prohibitively expensive. So we thought that we will give it a try instead of going further with a direction less mutual fund investments.

Overall experience was very smooth where we had an initial phone discussion to understand about the service and what can be expected and overall vision. We went ahead and made the payment and a data sheet was provided to us to gather the current financial assets and short term and long term goals. Melvin got back to us within a few days after that with recommendations and we had a phone chat after that to clarify the doubts. We are currently following his recommendations and realign based on the yearly review. Melvin is very responsive for any queries that we had in the interim and also provide proactive recommendations on changing financial situations or budgets. We are very happy with the overall service and suggested the same for our siblings also.

Mayank, Utter Pradesh

My experience is satisfactory. There is no issue. Planning can be done effectively if the disclosure of the customer about their investment is correct and the customer future requirements (goals) are clear to the planner. The one thing is very important is the confidence on each other. To build up the confidence one should believe on fin planner and start investing as per suggestion on regular basis. There must be a monitoring at the customer level to verify the gain time to time to validate the advisor suggestion to stay in the investment or to change the strategy. I am satisfied with my advisor and getting the result as per my expectations.

Daljit, Hyderabad

Melvin has been assisting me with my financial planning for the last 6 years now, he has customized my financial portfolio basis my needs and has educated me about the available products and their benefits.  It is important to note that while I am not located in Mumbai, this has never been a hindrance in our interaction.  I understand that some people may have apprehensions to conduct financial planning digitally, but it is important to understand that what actually matters is the advice given to you and not that you have the ability to physically meet the financial planners.  Further, the world is becoming increasingly globalized and digital and one needs to acknowledge this change and embrace it.

Unlike other financial planners who though I can physically meet end up advising me products to suit their monthly targets, incentives and commission, I prefer to interact with Melvin digitally (Phone, emails, Whatsapp) and avail financial advise free of any biases or prejudice. I would recommend everyone to start planning their financials and make well-educated choices of opting for the services of a sound financial planner, meet them physically or not should be secondary

Paul, Jammu Kashmir

It was a couple of years back, I was done and dusted with my financial planning on my own as a ‘ DIY’ stuff, duly burning my fingers in the process really bad that I’d seriously started looking for some professional to this for me.  An extended search online came up with Melvin Joseph along with another couple guys of his ilk.  However, a short conversation with all that I’d had with all left me in no doubt that this is the guy who I would trust to do my financial planning with, maybe his no-nonsense and frank ways did help.

Ever since then it’s been an annual ritual, to have Melvin go through my financial state/ plan and investment plans in detail, make necessary corrections and put me in the right path. In addition to this annual review, Melvin has been always there only as far away as a mail/message to get clarifications /advice on all financial planning stuff.   Even though I would’ve spoken only with him just once in the last four years or so, let alone meet him, I’ve always known that he’d be there to guide me, to understand my concerns, to provide me with valuable advice and to suggest actions.  Never felt the need for an ‘ in person’ financial adviser after I’d come in contact with Melvin and I would merrily recommend the same route to anyone.

Pradeep, Bangalore

I have had a happy association with Melvin for the past 1.5 years. He started with asking the right questions and helped me move my existing profile from regular to direct funds.  He listens to you and creates the plan in accordance to what your meeting the client’s wishes are. I have never felt the need to visit face to face for such a dealing. I have got used to working on this via calls and email and it feels normal now. Besides, Melvin is also available on mail or WhatsApp to his clients and is open to answer any questions we have immediately which one may not get even if you have a place in your own city. I would recommend Melvin as an impartial financial advisor and can vouch that he will be available and will listen to the needs of the clients fully.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Now that you have read the feedback, if you need help with any aspect of money management or if you need a validation of your plans (if you are a DIY), go ahead and consult any of these SEBI registered fee-only financial plannersThey need not reside in the same city as you do.

logo of fee only india with India map
Map source: https://mapchart.net/india.html

If you have worked with any of these fee-only advisors and would like to share your feedback, please do so in the comments section.

Do share this article with your friends using the buttons below.

🔥Enjoy massive discounts on our courses, robo-advisory tool and exclusive investor circle! 🔥& join our community of 5000+ users!
Use our Robo-advisory Tool for a start-to-finish financial plan! More than 1,000 investors and advisors use this!
New Tool! => Track your mutual funds and stock investments with this Google Sheet!
We also publish monthly equity mutual funds, debt and hybrid mutual funds, index funds and ETF screeners and momentum, low-volatility stock screeners.
Follow Freefincal on Google News
Follow Freefincal on Google News
Subscribe to the freefincal Youtube Channel. Subscribe button courtesy: Vecteezy.
Subscribe to the freefincal Youtube Channel.
Follow freefincal on WhatsApp Channel
Follow freefincal on WhatsApp
Podcast: Let's Get RICH With PATTU! Every single Indian CAN grow their wealth! 
Listen to the Lets Get Rich with Pattu Podcast
Listen to the Let's Get Rich with Pattu Podcast
You can watch podcast episodes on the OfSpin Media Friends YouTube Channel.
Lets Get RICH With PATTU podcast on YouTube
Let's Get RICH With PATTU podcast on YouTube.

  • Do you have a comment about the above article? Reach out to us on Twitter: @freefincal or @pattufreefincal
  • Have a question? Subscribe to our newsletter using the form below.
  • Hit 'reply' to any email from us! We do not offer personalized investment advice. We can write a detailed article without mentioning your name if you have a generic question.

Join over 32,000 readers and get free money management solutions delivered to your inbox! Subscribe to get posts via email!

About The Author

Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over ten years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter(X), Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
Our flagship course! Learn to manage your portfolio like a pro to achieve your goals regardless of market conditions! More than 3,000 investors and advisors are part of our exclusive community! Get clarity on how to plan for your goals and achieve the necessary corpus no matter the market condition is!! Watch the first lecture for free!  One-time payment! No recurring fees! Life-long access to videos! Reduce fear, uncertainty and doubt while investing! Learn how to plan for your goals before and after retirement with confidence.
Our new course!  Increase your income by getting people to pay for your skills! More than 700 salaried employees, entrepreneurs and financial advisors are part of our exclusive community! Learn how to get people to pay for your skills! Whether you are a professional or small business owner who wants more clients via online visibility or a salaried person wanting a side income or passive income, we will show you how to achieve this by showcasing your skills and building a community that trusts and pays you! (watch 1st lecture for free). One-time payment! No recurring fees! Life-long access to videos!   
Our new book for kids: “Chinchu Gets a Superpower!” is now available!
Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower
Both the boy and girl-version covers of "Chinchu Gets a superpower".
Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision-making. We made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, what would it be if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but to any aspect of life? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So, in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parents plan for it, as well as teaching him several key ideas of decision-making and money management, is the narrative. What readers say!
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower (small version)
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower!
Must-read book even for adults! This is something that every parent should teach their kids right from their young age. The importance of money management and decision making based on their wants and needs. Very nicely written in simple terms. - Arun.
Buy the book: Chinchu gets a superpower for your child!
How to profit from content writing: Our new ebook is for those interested in getting side income via content writing. It is available at a 50% discount for Rs. 500 only!
Do you want to check if the market is overvalued or undervalued? Use our market valuation tool (it will work with any index!), or get the Tactical Buy/Sell timing tool!
We publish monthly mutual fund screeners and momentum, low-volatility stock screeners.
About freefincal & its content policy. Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance developments. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News. Freefincal serves more than three million readers a year (5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified with credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish paid articles, promotions, PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions will be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
Connect with us on social media
Our publications

You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich too with goal based investingPublished by CNBC TV18, this book is meant to help you ask the right questions and seek the correct answers, and since it comes with nine online calculators, you can also create custom solutions for your lifestyle! Get it now.
Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want Gamechanger: Forget Start-ups, Join Corporate and Still Live the Rich Life you wantThis book is meant for young earners to get their basics right from day one! It will also help you travel to exotic places at a low cost! Get it or gift it to a young earner.

Your Ultimate Guide to Travel

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover-new This is an in-depth dive into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, and how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically, with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step. Get the pdf for Rs 300 (instant download)