7 Questions To Evaluate A Real Financial Coach

  • Whenever we have asked doctors – who guides them on financial matters, we get almost the same answers! Some of them are as below:
  1. I manage on my own
  2. I get tips from my colleagues or my patients
  3. I have my insurance agent as well as brokers
  4. My relative/father/brother or my C.A. helps me
  5. I have a friend who guides me on finances
  6. I am a privileged customer in my bank and have relationship managers

Anyone with some knowledge of finance is assumed as a person who will guide on finances. But they cannot and should not!

If you were seeking medical help, would you go to a DOCTOR or to a CHEMIST?

Similarly, Financial Planning is a specialized field that requires different qualifications and expertise. A C.A. for e.g, maybe a tax wizard, but he is not a financial coach. A lot of financial companies and bankers try to call themselves financial coaches, but they are not.

 So, how should you choose your Financial Coach?

You should choose your coach as if you were choosing someone to take care of your child. What would you look for?

  • Skill? Experience? Absolutely.

But what would even more important is –

  • Would he/she take care of your Child as she were her own?
  • Is he/she the expert?
  • Does he/she have the right people and the right facilities?

Your money too is like your child. It’s hard-earned. It’s your many years of toil and sacrifice. Then why do we not take the same care when it comes to hiring a Financial Coach?

Ask these 7 questions while choosing your Coach –

  1. Is he/she qualified?

Seek help only from a Chartered Financial Analyst or a qualified financial professional.

  • What is his/her motivation to work?

Most of the private banks and insurance companies give you free advice but are primarily salespeople always on the lookout to sell more products to earn higher commissions.

  • What is he/she promising to deliver?

Is your RM/ agent promising you the highest returns? No good financial professional in his/her sane mind will ever do so. He/she should be the one telling you not to believe in theories of 30% returns!

  • Will he/she create a written financial strategy?

Most so-called advisors only advise you on what stocks or ‘products’ to invest in. But a Real Financial Coach will first create a blueprint of your financial roadmap for you. This will give you a clear picture of what you need to save and invest in to achieve your goals.

  • Will he/she follow a process?

Just like a doctor first diagnoses and then recommends a treatment, a Real Financial Coach will first ask questions about your family, your goals, income, expenses, liabilities, insurance, investment, tax situation, wills, nominations etc. Second, he/she will conduct a financial fitness check and lastly, recommend investments. Without this process, it’s just a doctor recommending medicines without doing a diagnosis.

  • Will he/she work in coordination with your CA, lawyer, agent, bank?

Most doctors have no time and get hassled during tax seasons particularly, with queries from their C.A. Your financial coach should be able to take that worry off you by working as a team with your CA/Lawyer/bank.

  • Will he/she act as a guardian of your wealth?

Most people only think stockbrokers will take care of only stocks and insurance agents will only advise on insurance. A Financial Coach will take the role of a family doctor – look holistically at all investments – Insurance, MF, stocks, loans, Real Estate, FDs etc and advise even if he/she isn’t directly handling them.