How should financial consultants work?
In terms of content, financial consultancies can differ greatly. On the one hand, this is due to the different main topics that are dealt with. On the other hand, the advisory style of the individual consultant. But despite the differences in content, a certain process should always be followed. A good consultant usually structures his advice as follows:
1. Presentation and analysis of the current situation
First, the consultant should introduce himself, his service, his legal firm, and his competencies. Afterward, a detailed and comprehensive inventory must always be made. This can be compared with the anamnesis with a doctor.
It should be asked what the economic goals and wishes are, what the financial starting position is and which contracts are already in place. Because only on this basis can a consultant come up with a meaningful concept for problem-solving that is tailored to your own needs.
2. Concept and product proposals
Usually, the first appointment is over after the inventory. The financial consultant now creates a problem-solving concept based on the inventory analysis. In the second appointment, the consultant presents the developed concept and answers all questions about the concept.
He then makes product suggestions with which the concept can be implemented. Here, a good consultant is characterized by making several suggestions, and the selection of the suggestions is understandable and verifiable for the consumer.
Usually, the second appointment ends at this point, and the consumer is sent home with the documents and suggestions. So he has enough time to deal with the offers and to make a decision in peace.
The implementation begins when all questions about the concept and the product proposals have been clarified in the third appointment. Here, too, the advisor should provide support and fill out the sometimes very extensive documents with the consumer. This ensures that everything is requested correctly and unnecessary and annoying queries can be avoided.
Free initial consultation
The initial meeting or sometimes the introductory meeting should always be free of charge, regardless of the legal form of the consultant and regardless of the fee or commission.
As the name suggests, it should serve to get to know each other, get a first impression of each other, and see whether you can imagine working together.
If the first impression is right, you can start analyzing the current situation during this conversation.
Independence of the financial consultant
When looking for a suitable financial consultant, you should always pay attention to the legal form or status of the financial consultant. Is he, for example, employed by a bank or an insurance company and can therefore only broker the products of his employer, or is he self-employed and independent of the company and thus free to choose products.
Objectivity in advice
A clear indication that the consultant is a good advisor is when he advises according to objective and verifiable criteria and gives recommendations for action.
One way of ensuring this is the so-called financial standard. This is a standard for basic financial analysis for private households based on objective, verifiable and scientific criteria.
Reviews in financial advice
Another help to find out whether you are dealing with a good financial advisor can be reviewed on the Internet. With many services today, it is natural for us to fall back on reviews and experiences of people who have already used the service.
The most popular platform for financial advisor reviews is Google. It shouldn’t be any different in the area of financial services. Here, too, you can check whether and how the financial advisor is rated.