List of Fee-only Financial Planners in India (SEBI RIAs)

Published: July 31, 2016 at 12:10 am

Last Updated on March 8, 2024 at 7:52 pm

Here is a list of SEBI-registered fee-only financial planners (investment advisors) in India. The advisors on this list charge a flat fee for financial plan creation and advisory and do not receive commissions/incentives from mutual fund houses, insurers or other financial product sellers. Unbiased financial advice is provided without conflict of interest.

These are flat-fee or fixed-fee financial advisors: Their fee does not depend on your net worth. That is, the fee is NOT a percentage of your assets. Such a fee is grossly unfair to clients as you may pay more and more to the advisor each year for lesser and lesser effort.

In the case of a flat fee advisor, the fee typically reduces by 50% if you return for a review. There is no compulsion for you to return, and the advisors on this list will not try to retain you in any way. Most of them educate clients and teach them to be independent.

Created in 2013, This list is the oldest of its kind. More than 1000 freefincal readers and users are working with these planners. These are results from past client surveys.

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Just to be clear on the notation:

  • “fee-based” means commissions + fees. Technically, SEBI RIAs (registered investment advisors) should not do this. Unregistered individuals may do this. We recommend avoiding them.
  • “fee-only” means the RIA only works for a fee. This fee could be flat (fixed) or a percentage of your net worth.
  • “flat fee-only” means the RIA works for a fee independent of your net worth. This is the right choice as there is no conflict of interest, and the advisor does not over-charge you.

Note: If you work with an advisor on this list, I do not receive any compensation. The list is shared only to promote fee-only advisory.

Request: If you have engaged the services of these planners and are satisfied, refer them to your contacts. We need this breed of investment advisors to grow.

List of fee-only financial planners in India

All of them can speak English. Other languages they can speak are mentioned in brackets.

Name (Languages spoken in addition to English)Website
Melvin Joseph (Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam)
Note: He stopped taking new clients
Vikram Krishnamoorthy (Tamil, Telugu)
Chandan Singh Padiyar (Hindi, Marathi, Kumaoni)
Swapnil Kendhe (Hindi, Marathi)
Brijesh Vappala (Malayalam)
Sudheer Variar M (Malayalam)
Avinash Luthria (Hindi)
Basavaraj Tonagatti (Kannada)
Abhishek Kumar (Hindi)
S. R. Srinivasan (Tamil, Hindi, Kannada)
Sriram Jayaraman (Tamil)
Preeti Zende (Hindi, Marathi)
Upasana Mondal (Hindi, Bengali)dreamblueprintz
Shashi Singh (Hindi, Tamil)Finmyn
Ajay Pruthi (Hindi)Plnr

 Location does not matter! These planners work with clients from all over the globe, and it is perfectly possible to work online. If you want testimonials, see: Here is why you can safely consult a fee-only advisor living in another city

You can learn more about these planners via their websites and guest posts: Fee-only archives.

FAQ about fee-only financial planners in India

1 Who is a flat fee-only financial planner? 

A flat fee-only planner charges a fee independent of your net worth for financial plan creation and advisory and does not receive any commissions/incentives from mutual fund houses, insurers or other financial product sellers. Financial advice is provided, and clients are expected to take necessary action.

2 What are the different types of fee-only planners?

Those that charge a flat fee and those that charge a fee as a percentage of assets managed

ALL planners in this list are flat-fee financial advisors: Their fee does not depend on your net worth. Fees as a percentage of your assets are not fair to the advisor.

3 What is the normal fee for a financial advisor?

There is no standard number! It can range from Rs. 11,000 to Rs. 1,25,000. Advisors value their services differently. In my experience, investors evaluate if there is a “wavelength match” between their needs/wants and the advisor’s style of functioning. If there is a match, they are more than happy to pay the fees. So do not go by fees alone. For more details, see Client Survey: The most important factor in choosing a fee-only advisor.

4. What is the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner?

They can be used synonymously. What matters is how they earn their income. Is it only from you, or is it from you AND product manufacturers like mutual fund AMCs or insurance companies?

5. Do these advisors guarantee results? No one can or should provide any guarantees! They aim to sort out your finances and set you on the right path. If you renew the contract yearly (typically at 50% of the initial fee), they will course-correct as required.

6. Do they offer direct equity advice? They can but typically do not.

7. Can they be trusted with my personal details? Yes. The members on this list are trustworthy and ethical. They are registered with SEBI, so they will need your KYC details as it is a regulatory requirement. They have enough safeguards in place to prevent a data breach.

8. Are you endorsing the members on the list?

Yes, I am endorsing their stand that commission-based advisory leads to a conflict of interest, and a percentage net worth fee is not in the client’s interest. I applaud their confidence to choose a difficult path. I believe the confidence to not jump into bandwagons has non-zero competence tagged with it. I believe their stand should be supported.

I have interacted with the planners in person and over email and confirmed that they do not distribute mutual funds and are indeed flat fee-only advisors. I cannot comment on their individual competence. However, if I wanted professional advice, I would go to one on this list.

9. Are you receiving any money from the fee-based planners for publishing this list?

No. That would be dumb! It goes against the whole idea of removing the third party!

10. Whom should I choose from this list?

Explore the websites of each planner. Read a few of their articles (many write guest posts at freefincal). Shortlist not more than three RIAs. Have a list of questions and your priorities ready. Then send it to them. Choose an RIA who impresses you and whose fee is acceptable to you.

11. Is there anything I should do before engaging the services of planners in this list?

Due diligence! Check out their website, understand the nature of the service, what they will and will not do for the fee and what you must do. Email them or speak to them via phone or online and clear any doubts. Start the engagement when you are comfortable with the person and clear about what you are paying for.

 12. I can do my financial planning. Why do I need this list?

Sure, why not? You might want to read this first: What does it take to do your own financial planning?

Additional questions are answered here.

Client Feedback on Fee-only Advisor Survey Results (video version)

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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, 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.
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