Are all financial advisers bad? The truth is - they belong to different categories.
Some financial advisers are honest, and do take care of the best interest of their clients. Some are crooks who knowingly tell outright lies and half lies to con their consumers. The majority fall in between, i.e they think that, having put in the effort to achieve the insurance qualifications, it is only right that they should make a living by doing what they are trained to do. Many are not aware that the products give a poor deal to the consumers - some know but do not really care - they have to make a living.
There are quite a few financial advisers who are outright crooks. Some consumers who were conned by them have sought my assistance. These crooks are able to carry out their misdeeds with impunity. When the consumer complained to the insurance company, they received excuses and encountered delays. Some consumers give up trying to lodge the complaint.
It is this bad situation that prompted me to advice consumers to avoid all financial advisers. It is difficult for an unwary consumer to tell an honest financial adviser from a crook. They are likely to be give a bad product anyway, even from the advisers who may not be acting dishonestly.
Singapore had been following the practice of UK and Australia in the regulation of life insurance sales. The regulators adopted the approach of requiring the financial advisers to act honorably and professionally - whatever that means. UK and Australis have decided to abandon the professionalism approach and have taken the drastic step of banning the payment of commission on life insurance products. They found that it is impossible to manage the conflict of interest.
Some financial advisers do not like my message and have resorted to making personal attack against me in other blogs. They claimed that, when I was in NTUC Income, I had been using agents to sell life insurance products. These people are either ignorant or malicious in distorting the truth. They should know that the commissions paid to the insurance agents in NTUC income during my time were much lower than the market rates and the insurance products offered fair value to consumers. This is how despicable the crooked financial advisers can be.
Tan Kin Lian
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