Today, it is common for us to buy financial products from agents or salespeople, who are our friends and family members. These products include life insurance, unit trust, and real estate. I believe such practices continue to exist as we like to buy from people that we love and trust. Also, we like them to succeed too. 

So, is there anything wrong with it? 

Just one. 

And that is – “Are these products helpful to build or protect our wealth?”. This is because there are times when we buy these products without consideration on how they can impact our financial lives. It is possible for us to make decisions in haste, emotionally, and on an ad-hoc basis. 

Thus, the question is: “How do we resolve this issue?”.  

I believe this is where financial planners (licensed CFPs and RFPs) could come in to help us. Here, in this article, I would like to share my experiences of engaging a financial planner and list down 3 reasons why working with a professional can be more efficient and effective in managing our finances. 

Reason 1: Professional Training 

We all know.

It is easy to join: 

  • an insurance company as its insurance agent
  • a unit trust company as its unit trust consultant. 
  • a realtor as its real estate negotiator. 
  • a trust company as its will writer. 

But not a licensed financial planner. Take CFP as an example. One needs to have gone through 4 educational modules: 

  • Module 1: Foundation in Financial Planning and Tax Planning 
  • Module 2: Insurance Planning and Estate Planning 
  • Module 3: Investment Planning and Retirement Planning 
  • Module 4: Financial Plan Construction and Professional Responsibilities

Subsequently, he is required to: 

  • Get the CMSRL from Securities Commissions 
  • Be attached with a licensed financial planning firm. 

Then only, he is allowed to practise “financial planning”. 

The route to become a licensed financial planner is longer. But, if you work with one, you could expect them to be well-versed in all financial areas as compared to one who is an insurance agent, unit trust agent or real estate negotiator. This level of knowledge can be helpful to: 

  • Assess your financial health comprehensively. 
  • Address issues that are more critical to your finances. 
  • Chart the big picture to your financial life. 
  • Work towards achieving that “big picture” with you. 

Reason 2: The Big Picture

Financial planners are like “Generals”. They are trained to see the big picture. In their practises, financial planners are exposed and could work with multiple: 

  • Life insurance companies. 
  • Fund management houses (unit trust)
  • Stockbrokers
  • Realtors
  • Trust companies

Such is an advantage to clients (like myself) because: 

1. They can focus on taking care of their clients’ interests by proposing products that are needful and relevant as they don’t represent “just one company”. So, if a product from a company is not suitable, they just move onto one that will and can serve their clients. The system is more client-focused than product-focused. 

2. They bring convenience to clients for clients do not need to find proposals on their own. Financial planners could source for them, study them and present to them only the top 3 proposals which are most relevant to their situations. Thus, it saves clients lots of time and the time saved can be translated to productivity, fun and more meaningful activities for them. 

So with a financial planner, I don’t see a need to meet up with Agent A, B and C from Company D, E and F to get quotations 1, 2 or 3 to evaluate their suitability, practicality and usefulness to my finances. Hence, if you are a busy professional or a hectic businessperson, you’ll find this working model efficient and effective when it comes to financial planning. 

Reason 3: Longer Term “Working” Relationship

– Did you buy an insurance policy from an agent that is now no longer one? 
– When was the last time you contacted your real estate negotiator? 
– What about your unit trust consultant or will writer? 

Personally, I’m more fortunate in the sense that my agent (insurance agent) is a businessperson who nurtures long-term relationships. I believe that is why he is successful in his career as an insurance agent. But sadly, many agents claim that they are in for the “long-term” but actually don’t. It is understandable that they are more interested in their “rice bowls” than your financial standings. After all, they have a family to feed too. 

It is common for agents to be “commission-focused” rather than client-focused. 

As for financial planners, their tendency to “dump” clients are lower because: 

1. The journey to become licensed financial planners are long. Hence, if they’ve chosen to embark on this career, they are likely to stick to it. The cost of exiting, switching careers to the next “big-thing” is much higher for financial planners. 

2. Their engagement with you is longer (1-year contract). Thus, they are obliged to serve your financial needs for at least 12 months. This is different from other agents who could “say goodbye” to you upon success or failure to sell, promote and market their financial products. 

So, if you are looking to build a longer term working relationship, I believe it is a good idea to consider working with a financial planner. 


So, should you work your finances with a financial planner? Here, I would make a list of benefits of why you may want to do so: 

  • More professional. 
  • More exposure and accessibility to financial products. 
  • Save time and resources. 
  • Work based on the “Bigger Picture”.
  • Build longer and better working relationships. 

To find out more, here is the link to consider working with a financial planner to get holistic financial planning services from Wealth Vantage Advisory Sdn Bhd. 

Get complimentary initial consultation session with a licensed financial planner (WVA)

Ian Tai
Ian Tai

Financial Content Machine. Dividend Investor. Produced 500+ Financial Articles featured in in Malaysia and the Fifth Person, Value Invest Asia, and Small Cap Asia in Singapore. Regular Host and Presenter of a Weekly Financial Webinar with Co-Founded, an online membership site that empowers retail investors to build a stock portfolio that pays rising dividends year after year in Malaysia and Singapore.

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