“What do you do for living?”, someone asks me. I answer,” I handle people’s financial matters.” Most people will respond that I am an insurance agent, or unit trust agent. This might be the common “reputation” of the financial industry in Malaysia. I have encountered this many times. I tried not to explain the difference. But it really deserves a good explanation to clear this misconception.
Imagine you are sick. You visit the doctor. After taking your temperature, examining the rhythm of your heart beat, etc … then he gives you a prescription. So you bought the medicine. Most of the time it is the doctors themselves who sell you the medicine.
Similarly, you might buy a financial product after the financial consultant provide you a financial health check. A really decent financial consultant will help to diagnose your financial problem. Then he will present you a prescription : -a financial plan (retirement plan, education plan etc). Finally you buy the financial product: – unit trust funds, insurance, will etc. Be fair. If your insurance agent provide you the proper financial planning process and solution, you should consider him a consultant indeed.
If you say that he is merely a salesperson, you should really regard the doctor as a medicine seller as well.