Choose financial advisers carefully

Consumers must spend time shopping around and doing their due diligence before picking a financial adviser ("Spot the scam"; Feb 28).

Consumers often may not know what questions to ask when picking a financial adviser.

Before hiring one, there are three important questions that they must ask.

First, it is important to know how the advisers are paid.

Not all advisers are compensated the same way.

The answer may enable consumers to spot potential conflicts of interest when buying a financial product from their adviser, such as when he is paid a higher commission for promoting or selling a specific product.

Second, ask about the safeguards the advisory firm has in place to protect the assets from potential fraud.

Consumers must also check what licences, certifications and credentials the advisers have.

Third, determine the investment philosophy of the adviser in meeting financial goals.

He should be able to answer this in simple terms and demonstrate disciplined and process-driven strategies.

Rohith Murthy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2016, with the headline 'Choose financial advisers carefully'. Print Edition | Subscribe