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

Published: July 31, 2016 at 12:10 am

Here is a list of SEBI registered fee-only financial planners in India (revised and updated for 2020). A fee-only planner is someone who charges a fee for financial plan creation and advisory and does not receive any kind of commissions/incentives from mutual fund houses, insurers or other financial product sellers. Financial advice is provided and clients are expected to take necessary action on their own.

These are flat-fee financial advisors: Their fee does not depend on your net worth. Fees as a percentage of your assets is just a replacement for commissions and will result in a conflict of interest.

Created in 2013, This list is the oldest of its kind. More than 600 of freefincal readers and user are working with these planners. See results of a recent survey: Are clients happy with fee-only financial advisors?

A fee-based planner receives a fee for financial advisory and also receives commissions from fund houses and/insurers etc. for the products he/she recommends.  The investment is done through the planner. Typically, clients would be ‘gently’ dissuaded from investing on their own often with flimsy excuses. As with anything in life, there are exceptions to this typical behaviour. Unfortunately, exceptions do not make good examples.

As per  SEBI Advisor regulations, An investment adviser shall not receive any consideration by way of remuneration or compensation or in any other form from any person other than the client being advised, in respect of the underlying products or securities for which advice is provided.

Therefore, financial planners should not receive commissions by distributing mutual funds and any investment or insurance products they recommend to clients. That is, it is illegal to practice fee-based advisory.

The idea is to avoid the conflict of interest that inevitably tags along with commission-based product recommendation.

Unfortunately, many fee-based financial planners have chosen to ignore this regulation. Some have shifted their distribution business in the name of a family member.

This problem was discussed in detail in my previous post: What You Need To Know Before Hiring a Financial Advisor

no commissions

 

In that post, I had urged readers to choose fee-only planners over fee-based planners and mentioned that I maintain a list of fee-only planners that I would share on request.

I did not post the list of fee-only planners in that article because I wanted to check for myself if there is a demand for clean paid-advisory. I figured, if there is a demand, it would encourage more such requests.

There is clearly a demand! I have sent that list to over 50 people and still continue to receive requests. Please look at the comments in that article to understand what I referring to.

The message is clear: The number of people who seek paid-advisory may be small but among that small number, people who seek paid-advisory free from conflict of interest is a majority!

If I, with my insignificant blog can generate a non-zero interest in fee-only planning. Imagine what would happen if this is advertised on a wider scale? Of course, that is unlikely to happen for obvious reasons!

No matter.  I am a fan of fee-only financial planners. I think it takes guts and confidence to choose a different path and say ‘no’ to product distribution.

Kindly read the FAQ found below the list!

list updated: 1st June 2020

Note: I recommend hiring a planner seeking a flat fee and not a fee as % of your assets.

The names are arranged in random order.

Note:  Members of this list suggest only direct mutual fund plans and do not ask you to invest via them or their friends or relatives. If you find out that this is happening, please inform me.

Request: If you have engaged the services of these planners and are satisfied, do refer them to your contacts. This is the least we can do to promote fee-only advisory.

I would also appreciate if you send me an email narrating your experience.

List of fee-only financial planners in India

All of them can speak English. Other languages they can speak is mentioned within brackets.

NameWebsiteLanguages spoken in addition to English
Melvin Josephfinvin.inHindi, Tamil, Malayalam
Shilpa Waghwaghfinancials.comHindi, Marathi
Vikram Krishnamoorthyinsightful.inTamil, Telugu
Chandan Singh Padiyarpadiyars.comHindi, Marathi, Kumaoni
Swapnil Kendhevivektaru.comHindi, Marathi
Brijesh Vappalabvare.comMalayalam
Sudheer Variar MPrasidhi.inMalayalam
Avinash Luthria fiduciaries.inHindi
Basavaraj Tonagattibasunivesh.comKannada
Abhishek Kumarsahajmoney.comHindi
S. R. Srinivasansrinivesh.inTamil, Hindi, Kannada
Piyush Khatri*sahastha.comHindi
Sriram Jayaramanarthagyan.comTamil
Soubhagya Kumar Patrasuccinctfp.com
Jitendra Solanki*jsfadvisors.comHindi

* Piyush and Jitendra have an AUM linked fee structure

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 also their guest’s posts: Fee-only archives.

FAQ about fee-only financial planners in India

1 Who is a fee-only financial planner? 

A fee-only planner is someone who charges a fee for financial plan creation and advisory and does not receive any kind of commissions/incentives from mutual fund houses, insurers or other financial product sellers. Financial advice is provided and clients are expected to take necessary action on their own.

2 What 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 (except marked otherwise) are flat-fee financial advisors: Their fee does not depend on your net worth. Fees as a percentage of your assets is just a replacement for commissions and will result in a conflict of interest.

3 What is the normal fee for a financial advisor?

There is no standard number! It can range from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 50,000 (or more!). Different advisors value their services differently and it is up to you to choose a fee that is comfortable.

4 How much do financial planners charge in India?

Most financial planners charge a fee ranging from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 50,000  and in addition some get commissions from mutual funds and insurers! That is why it is important to work with a flat-fee, fee-only SEBI registered investment advisor.

5 Is it worth paying a financial advisor 1%?

No. Do not pay advisors a percentage of your net worth. Pay them a flat fee.

5 What is the difference between a financial advisor and financial planner?

6. Are you saying fee-only planners are the only ‘clean’ planners in financial services?

NO. I am saying that that obvious conflicts of interest associated with commission-based advisory are absent in fee-only advisory. Therefore, it is relatively cleaner.

Yes, yes, there are fee-based planners genuinely interested in their clients’ welfare etc. The trouble is with finding one!

7. I am already engaging the services of a fee-based planner. Should I shift to a fee-only planner?

NO. You might want to shift to direct mutual funds though. Discuss with your planer and observe his/her response carefully. You will understand what I mean better!

8. Are you saying that fee-only planners have no conflict of interest?

I have heard a lot of psychobabble about how human beings have some conflict of interest or other, blah blah! Unfortunately, the babble has emanated from fee-based planners! So I refuse to take it seriously!

From what I know, you need three entities to have a conflict of interest. For a fee-based planner it the individual, client and fund house (or insurer).

For a fee-only planner, it is just him/her and the client. Therefore ____ (Please fill in the blank. 2 marks!)

9. Are you endorsing the members in the list?

Yes, I an endorsing their stand that commission-based advisory leads to a conflict of interest. I applaud their confidence to not jump into band-wagons (easily 95%+ of the advisory will be commission-based). I believe their stand should be supported.

I have interacted with the planners over email and confirmed that they do not distribute mutual funds. I cannot comment on their individual competence. However, if I wanted professional advice, I will go to one on this list. I believe the confidence to not jump into bandwagons has non-zero competence tagged with it.

10. Are you receiving any kind of 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!

11. 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 and whose fee is acceptable to you.

12. There are many fee-based planners who encourage clients to invest directly if they wanted to. Why have you not included them in this list?

Matter of policy! Tough call for me as some of those guys are people who I can refer to as friends. They have helped me in many ways at some point or the other with the blog and calculators.

I will include them in this list only if their clients suggest it.

13. I am surprised to find that some famous bloggers who offer services are missing from the list! Why is this so?

Yes me too!  The most likely reason for is that they are fee-based planners or receive some sort of remuneration from distributors.

14. Is there anything that 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 do and what will not do for the fee and what you must do. Email them or speak to them via phone or skype and clear any doubts if you have. Start the engagement when you are comfortable with the person and clear about what you are paying for.

15. I am a fee-only planner or I know of a fee-only planner. Can you add them to this list?

Please send me the contact details. I will contact the planner via email, confirm their profile and add them to the list.

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

Sure why not! You might want to read this first though: 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 freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
About freefincal & its content policy Freefincal is a News Media Organization dedicated to providing original analysis, reports, reviews and insights on developments in mutual funds, stocks, investing, retirement and personal finance. We do so without conflict of interest and bias. Follow us on Google News Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year (2.5 million page views) with articles based only on factual information and detailed analysis by its authors. All statements made will be verified from credible and knowledgeable sources before publication. Freefincal does not publish any kind of paid articles, promotions or PR, satire or opinions without data. All opinions presented will only be inferences backed by verifiable, reproducible evidence/data. Contact information: letters {at} freefincal {dot} com (sponsored posts or paid collaborations will not be entertained)
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