Financial Planners

Most earning individuals plan finances to some extent. But for corporations and certain individuals, the task of managing every minute aspect of their cash flow, investments or transaction is a burden some one. The last thing one wants is for default note from the taxman to hit them between the eyes or to waste time wondering where they should invest, when they really need to be concentrating on running their business.

A new breed of money managers are called financial planners are able to advise clients on right investments. The demand for certified planners is increasing drastically in India, where disposable incomes are soaring and investors are getting bolder.

Financial planning is evolving as a mature career choice in urban India today. The increasing complexity of financial products assistance upon the rising levels of economic affluence, decline in personal income tax rates and a resurgent economy have all contributed to the need to have professionals manage various aspects of one’s financial well-being. And that is exactly what a planner does develop a holistic approach towards reaching the client’s monetary goals by providing advice and assistance in various forms.

The client could be an individual or a corporation. However, they will all rely on the planner’s expertise, skill and gut instinct to see them through to where they want to be.

The growth in demand for professional money managers is also significant because as a country, India is risk-averse preferring the safety of bank deposits to the volatility and uncertainly of the share market. Only 2.5 % of the entire population actually invests in stocks. Financial planning needs to be promoted as a concept and a career today.

This is essential in order to mobilize the reserves of money lying idle in the country. Financial planners not only invest a more agreeable proposition, they also handle a wide range of functions from taxation, insurance and real estate to retirement planning, trust management and debt management. Planning is also a broader filed than wealth or asset management and has tremendous growth prospects owing to the supply shortfall. It is estimated that there is a shortage of around 50,000 qualified planners in the country.

A qualified planner is nothing less than a lifestyle planning expert and comes in at moments of doubt or crisis to figure the best way out. There is a contract drawn up between the client and planner where the client’s long or short term goals will be objectified and background information will be shared. The planner draws up a strategy to arrive at the goals based on the client or company’s overall financial status. He or she then provides advice and assistance in reaching the deliverables agreed upon and monitors the implementation of the plan at every step. Prime concern here is the financial planner’s integrity, honesty and transparency while dealing with other people’s money. So a major prerequisite in any person who desires a career in this field is a strong sense of ethics. Other “soft” qualities include good communication and listening skills.

The CFP (CM) (Certified Financial Planner) certification is gaining widespread recognition in the industry as far as technical qualifications are concerned.

Professional and fresher alike are queuing up to become planners since several banks, distribution firms, brokerages and other financial service companies are actively encouraging and in some cases mandating a CFP(CM) degree. Companies look for people who are pursuing Financial Planning either professionally or academically and mostly recruit from the international College of financial Planning (ICFP). A CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and MBA are definitely plus points, but for financial planning Certified Financial Planners are preferred. New recruits in the company also undergo special training sessions regarding the financial Planning process. Apart from ICFP, the institute of Financial and Investment Planning also provide certification. The paucity of organized, professional financial advisory services is driving people to invest hastily and/or imprudently.