As a professional sales trainer with more than 25 years of experience, Grant Cardone and his company work with small business owners and Fortune 500 companies from around the world to help increase their annual revenue. Unlike the majority of personal finance experts, including Dave Ramsey and Chris Hogan, Cardone teaches his followers not to worry about spending a lot of money or getting into debt. In fact, he once said, ‘‘Your problem is never debt or [over] spending.’’ He believes that people should focus their time and energy on making more money instead of struggling to make ends meet with what little they currently have. According to Cardone, there is no limit on a person’s earning potential; however, at the end of the day, one can only reduce their living expenses by so much. This is why he tells people that the only way to thrive and not merely survive in this new economy is to get out of the middle class and become a high-income earner.
For more leads, check the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). These planners are fee-only, which means their only revenue comes from their clients. They accept no commissions at all and pledge to act in their clients’ best interests at all times. In many respects, NAPFA standards meet or surpass the requirements needed for a CFP credential.
To determine whether a recommendation is suitable, these professionals must consider your financial situation, goals and risk tolerance. Additionally, they must ensure that you won’t incur excessive costs and that excessive trades won’t be made. However, they may still suggest products that aren’t necessarily in your best interest or that benefit them more than they do you.
In January 2016, Hogan made a debut as an author when he published Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a Financial Number. The book, which provides readers with strategies on how to save enough money for retirement, instantly became a hit as it reached number one on several bestselling lists, including The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly.
In Singapore, financial services are highly regulated by The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the regulator and supervisor of financial institutions in Singapore. Rules are set by MAS for financial institutions and are implemented through legislation, regulations, directions and notices. Currently, the majority of the financial planners (financial consultants) are commission-based, which may cause a conflict of interest related to the products recommended. In 2015, a balanced scorecard framework was implemented to better align the interests of the FA industry and consumers. This ensures FA representatives and supervisors meet key performance indicators that are not related to sales, such as providing suitable product recommendations and making proper disclosure of material information to customers (Non-Sales KPI). Failure to achieve good grades for the Non-Sales KPI will directly affect their commission (variable income).
You might also encounter financial planners who cater exclusively to the rich and refuse clients with less than $250,000 to invest. Don’t take it personally—hugely successful planners would just prefer to deal with big accounts rather than beginner clients. You want a planner who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is interested in growing with you.
Beware of market-beating brags. Warren Buffet outperforms the market averages. There aren’t a lot of people like him. If you have an initial meeting with an adviser and you hear predictions of market-beating performance, get up and walk away. No one can safely make such guarantees, and anyone who’s trying may be taking risks that you don’t want to take.
Many financial advisors in Canada call themselves financial planners yet only hold licences to sell personal financial products (primarily investments and insurance), or use non-expiring qualifications with no monitoring or public accountability process (such as the Personal Financial Planner / PFP designation). There are only two publicly monitored and fully regulated financial planning designations outside of Quebec – the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and the R.F.P. (Registered Financial Planner) designations.