It's an eternal question. What should you look for in your Financial Advisor? What is more important, Experience or Qualifications?

(We are purposely keeping the word “competence” out of this comparison, because it is the very thing we are trying to define.)

For those of us who are involved with recruiting team mates, colleagues or even bosses, we all know how much of an arm and a leg we are willing to pay for ‘experience’. Simply knowing that the person has been doing this for so many years and has still survived, says a million words about her or him, doesn’t it? We can complete an Advance Management Program at Harvard in 6 months! We can intern with the brightest minds for a year or two. But the seasoning brought by years of experience just can’t be bought with money.

On the other hand, qualifications, and the intellect required to get them, is just not everyone’s cup of tea either. Can a decade of industry experience stand its ground against the brightest minds of a world class alma mater? We know, how sharp and clear thinking can help accomplish far more with far less efforts as well as resources.

So then, if we had to choose between an experienced advisor and a highly qualified advisor, what would we choose?

Our suggestion is NEITHER!!

It might come as a shock to you, because we were one of India’s first financial planning practices (and therefore now the oldest). Our team boasts of the CFPCM certification across India and US, the only one in the country, AND Ivy league post graduate credentials.

And yet we are completely convinced that the best Financial Advisory practice will have something much more than experience and qualifications. An obvious and important, yet often overlooked, attribute that is essential to giving ‘competent advice’.

Experience and qualifications are certainly prized badges all of us would love to have, but what is that essential quality or attribute, without which what gets delivered is not financial advice at all?

We will share that with you, next month.

- Devang Shah
May 1, 2021

Right Returns

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