As the stereotype of a financial planner as a sleazy salesman sporting a shiny suit persists, it’s time to get professional, say some Ontario advisors.
A recent segment on the satirical TV show, Mad as Hell
, featured a financial planner with big hair, a pink shirt, white cuffs, a shiny suit and cowboy boots telling the host, Shaun Micallef, that there’s a misperception about proposed financial planning legislation, while adding that the client should accept that it’s all about his (the advisor’s) best interests.
Shunning the image, Brian Shumak, an advisor based in Concord, Ont., says if you’re not taking a holistic approach to financial planning, you’re not a ‘real’ financial advisor.
“It’s very frustrating that so many people out there are referring to themselves as financial advisors and they are really not doing a comprehensive job,” says Shumak. They are doing an isolated job in one aspect of the realm of financial planning."
Shumak believes financial planning must include the 'five primary aspects to one’s financial wellbeing' including; cash flow management, risk management, cash planning, investment planning and estate planning.
“I think that an awful lot of people out there are leaving out a number of those areas and are only focusing on risk management or wealth management at the expense of the others,” he says. “The others significantly impact risk management and wealth management.”
Shumak even goes as far as to call those, servicing just one of aspect, ‘salespeople.’
“You are either a salesperson who is going to addresses one area, or you’re a financial planner who is going to address all of them,” he says.
When it comes to regulation, Shumak believes it is only relevant for a few ‘bad’ apples in the bunch, leaving the majority of rule-abiding professionals with nothing more than an added workload.
“In general, when it comes to regulation of any magnitude, I think the rules that are often implemented are applicable to a rogue few, who are going to be rogue independent of the rules and regulations,” he says. “All that additional regulation means is additional paperwork, and ultimately that has a negative impact on the client as a whole.”
Ontario advisor Brian Weatherdon, of Sovereign Wealth Management Inc., would like to see the duds weeded out from the diamonds. He believes that, overall, there also needs to be a shift in focus centered on values and solutions.
“We need more values, we need more discussion, we need more impact,” says Weatherdon. “Do advisors need more golf? Not sure on that. Do advisors need more time drinking beer together? No, I’m not sure on that. But boy we really need clarify what our solutions are.”
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