What do you think about a financial planning camp?

I would like to run a crazy idea by you.  What do you think about a financial planning camp in which a fee-only financial planner comes to your city and meets you (and your spouse, if applicable) in private to chalk out a financial plan for you to implement?

If you are DIY investor, such  a camp may not be of interest to you. Nonetheless, please let me know your views, pros and  cons etc.

If you an investor who needs professional help, will you sign up for such a camp?

How does it work?

A small group (5/6) of people sign up for a financial planning camp to consult a fee-only financial planner. On a pre-agreed date, the planner meets those who signed up one by one.

The fee-only planner will be a CFP with SEBI investment advisor registration. He/she will not have any kind of tie-up with a third party (including direct mutual fund plan feed providers). The planner will only recommend direct mutual fund plans and guide the client wrt implementation. There will be a fixed fee for financial plan creation and a fixed fee for review.  Planners who charge a fee which depends on portfolio size will not be considered.

I locate such a planner and find out if he/she is interested. If yes, I announce the camp. Readers who sign up, will contact the financial planner and decide if they are comfortable with such an engagement.

Once there are 4-5 interested parties, the planner travels to the city for the camps.

Read more: Pay for financial advice, but insist on direct mutual fund plans

What do I get out of this?

I only contact the planner and announce the possibility of such a camp. Readers take it up from there.  There is no monetary arrangement between me and the planner.

I get the satisfaction of promoting advisory that is free from conflict of interest.  Nothing else.

Why am I worried?

As of now, this is only an idea. I have not talked about this with anyone in private. I write this with a lot of trepidation.  Something about this worries and I cannot put a finger on it. I need your help to analyze this idea. Am I missing something?

I can think of a few shortcomings:

1) people who sign up, start comparing the planners advice with what I have written here and worry as to why it is different.

2) Competence like comfort level is subjective. I can find financial planners who satisfy the above conditions. In  addition, I will choose a planner who openly promotes direct plans, does not look down upon DIY, and is generally secure about his/her abilities. Beyond this,  it is not possible for me to evaluate their competence. Those interested must determine their comfort level with a planner and take a call based on this.

3) Engaging a financial planner demands a certain level of maturity. The client cannot assume that they would do better that DIY investors or that the planner will prevent notional losses from equity. There are standard legal disclaimers to avoid this possibility and I need to add some too.

Legal disclaimer or no legal disclaimer, my reputation is on the line. The easiest way to protect it is to ‘do nothing’.  I think I must stick my neck out to promote fee-only financial advisory.  It is an itch that I feel like scratching.

Should I satisfy my urge or suppress the itch, will depend on your feedback.

About the Author M Pattabiraman author of freefincal.comM. Pattabiraman is the co-author of two books: You can be rich too with goal based investing and Gamechanger. “Pattu” as he is popularly known, publishes unbiased, promotion-free research, analysis and holistic money management advice. Freefincal serves more than one million readers a year with numbers based analysis on topical issues and has more than a 100 free calculators on different aspects of insurance and investment analysis, including a robo advisory template for use by beginners. Contact information: freefincal {at} Gmail {dot} com He conducts free money management sessions for corporates (see details below). Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints.

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Updated: March 13, 2016 — 8:21 pm


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  1. Dear all, due to a bug, comments in this post are closed and I cannot rectify it. If you have a comment, please use any other post to publish it. Or you can send an email to freefincal [at] gmail [dot] com.
    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  2. Dear all, due to a bug, comments in this post are closed and I cannot rectify it. If you have a comment, please use any other post to publish it. Or you can send an email to freefincal [at] gmail [dot] com.
    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  3. trying to see if i can post a comment! this is an interesting step & i would be interested in going to one such event for sure. the only “hurdle” i can see is what would be the fee for such services. if known before hand, could avoid ugly scenes later?

    1. Yes indeed. That has to be announced upfront.

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