The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (FAIS) places all South African financial advisors into the same category and they can now be held accountable for any inappropriate or wrong advice given to their clients. Previously, before the demise of so many fraudulent investment schemes, it was very difficult for investors to bring a charge against either the institution or their financial advisor, as the legal costs could be prohibitive. It’s now much easier to do so, as financial advisory organisations are regulated and have compliance officers who deal with complaints. Complaints may also be referred to the FAIS Ombud who has the power to make awards in favour of clients, if he finds that the advisor has given inappropriate advice.
Under the new regulations all financial advisors have to write exams and can only be licensed if they have successfully passed. While I found having to write exams a little daunting as I hadn’t taken an exam since the 1960s, I recognise the importance for financial advisors to have their knowledge tested; after all, they are providing advice about their clients’ money.
The public needs to feel confident that their financial planner is accountable to them. There are different levels of licensing based on the ability of the financial planner. Each licence specifies the area in which the financial advisor may provide advice.
How does one choose a financial planner?
- Experience and track record are crucial.
- Are they an agent or a broker?
- An agent can only transact business for one company and, while that company may have some top products, it’s unlikely that every product they have can compete, whereas a broker can shop around.
- Capability is one thing, but compatibility between you and your financial planner is imperative.
The costs of using a financial planner
Life Assurance, Disability, Dreaded Disease
Commissions decrease as you get older, but policyholders under the age of 40 will pay 75% of the first year’s premium and one third in the second year. Every increase to the policy will result in a new policy with new commission payable.
I would suggest that you pay no more than 1% as an upfront commission although many advisors will try to take the maximum allowable which is 3%. Ongoing fees should be between 0,5% and 1% depending on the amount invested. You can expect your advisor to meet with you regularly as they are earning ongoing fees. If you are not happy you can change your broker and the new broker will then start earning the fee that you were paying.
You need to know how the financial planner keeps abreast of changes in legislation, changes in the industry and the depth of his product knowledge.
What can you expect from your financial planner?
- How does he gather information about you? Is he asking the right questions in order to obtain all the information about your financial circumstances?
- How will the information be analysed and what recommendations are made to meet your requirements and satisfy your long-term needs?
- All recommendations should be in writing and all costs associated with the products recommended, clearly stated.
- Has the financial advisor fully explained to you all the risks associated with any investment recommendation? It is very important for investors to understand as much as possible about risk and realise that there is an upside and a downside to any growth investment.
If you are dissatisfied with the service that you have received from your financial advisor, you can move to another without having to switch investments when you change your financial planner.
Can you be your Own Broker?
Can you be your own lawyer, accountant and doctor? Many individuals believe they can make their own decisions and don’t need help from a financial planner. The answer to this question depends on the following:
- Time to do comprehensive research
- Regular updates and changes happening in the industry
- Training and knowledge
If you can answer yes to most of these questions, you certainly could be your own investment advisor and even buy life insurance, disability and dreaded disease insurance from direct insurers. In my experience, this often costs investors more than the fees they would have paid a broker.
The 3 Decisions That Will Change Your Financial Life
There’s nothing worse than a rich person who’s chronically angry or unhappy. There’s really no excuse for it, yet I see it every day. It results from an extremely unbalanced life, one with too much expectation and not enough appreciation for what’s there.
Without gratitude and appreciation for what you already have, you’ll never know true fulfilment. But how do you cultivate balance in life? What’s the point of achievement if your life has no balance?
For nearly four decades, I’ve had the privilege of coaching people from every walk of life, including some of the most powerful men and women on the planet. I’ve worked with presidents of the United States as well as owners of small businesses.
Across the board, I’ve found that virtually every moment people make three key decisions that dictate the quality of their lives. If you make these decisions unconsciously, you’ll end up like the majority of people who tend to be out of shape physically, exhausted emotionally and often financially stressed. But if you make these decisions consciously, you can literally change the course of your life today.
Decision 1: Carefully choose what to focus on
At every moment, millions of things compete for your attention. You can focus on things that are happening right here and now or on what you want to create in the future. Or you can focus on the past.
Where focus goes, energy flows. What you focus on and your pattern for doing so shapes your entire life.
Which area do you tend to focus on more: What you have or what’s missing from your life?
I’m sure you think about both sides of this coin. But if you examine your habitual thoughts, what do you tend to spend most of your time dwelling on?
Rather than focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging those who are better off than you financially, perhaps you should acknowledge that you have much to be grateful for and some of it has nothing to do with money. You can be grateful for your health, family, friends, opportunities and mind.
Developing a habit of appreciating what you have can create a new level of emotional wellbeing and wealth. But the real question is, do you take time to feel deeply grateful for your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where the joy, happiness and fulfilment can be found.
Consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life: Do you tend to focus more on what you can control or what you can’t?
If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have more stress in life. You can influence many aspects of your life but you usually can’t control them.
When you adopt this pattern of focus, your brain has to make another decision:
Decision 2: Figure out, What does this all mean?
Ultimately, how you feel about your life has nothing to do with the events in it or with your financial condition or what has (or hasn’t) happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.
Most of the time you may be unaware of the effect of your unconscious mind in assigning meaning to life’s events.
When something happens that disrupts your life (a car accident, a health issue, a job loss), do you tend to think that this is the end or the beginning?
If someone confronts you, is that person insulting you, coaching you or truly caring for you?
Does a devastating problem mean that God is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible that this problem is a gift from God?
Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. With each meaning comes a unique feeling or emotion and the quality of your life involves where you live emotionally.
I always ask during my seminars, “How many of you know someone who is on antidepressants and still depressed?” Typically 85% to 90% of those assembled raise their hands.
How is this possible? The drugs should make people feel better. It’s true that antidepressants do come with labels warning that suicidal thoughts are a possible side-effect.
But no matter how much a person drugs himself, if he constantly focuses on what he can’t control in life and what’s missing, he won’t find it hard to despair. If he adds to that a meaning like ‘life is not worth living,’ that’s an emotional cocktail that no antidepressant can consistently overcome.
Yet if that same person can arrive at a new meaning, a reason to live or a belief that all this was meant to be, then he will be stronger than anything that ever happened to him.
When people shift their habitual focus and meanings, there’s no limit to what life can become. A change of focus and a shift in meaning can literally alter someone’s biochemistry in minutes.
So take control and always remember: Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life. Choose consciously and wisely. Find an empowering meaning in any event, and wealth in its deepest sense will be yours today.
Once you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion leads to a state for making your third decision:
Decision 3: What will you do?
The actions you take are powerfully shaped by the emotional state you’re in. If you’re angry, you’re going to behave quite differently than if you’re feeling playful or outrageous.
If you want to shape your actions, the fastest way is to change what you focus on and shift the meaning to be something more empowering.
Two people who are angry will behave differently. Some pull back. Others push through.
Some individuals express anger quietly. Others do so loudly or violently. Yet others suppress it only to look for a passive-aggressive opportunity to regain the upper hand or even exact revenge.
Where do these patterns come from? People tend to model their behaviour on those they respect, enjoy and love.
The people who frustrated or angered you? You often reject their approaches.
Yet far too often you may find yourself falling back into patterns you witnessed over and over again in your youth and were displeased by. It’s very useful for you to become aware of your patterns when you are frustrated, angry or sad, or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you’re not aware of them.
Now that you’re aware of the power of these three decisions, start looking for role models who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have passionate relationships have a totally different focus and arrive at totally different meanings for the challenges in relationships than people who are constantly bickering or fighting.
It’s not rocket science. If you become aware of the differences in how people approach these three decisions, you’ll have a pathway to help you create a permanent positive change in any area of life.
7 Steps To Achieve Financial Freedom
Achieving financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean becoming filthy rich – not that that hurts.
In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy explains the seven steps you need to take to achieve financial freedom. Now, financial freedom doesn’t mean becoming filthy rich – lottery winners go bankrupt all the time. Instead, financial freedom is about becoming disciplined and using your money in a way that ensures you can live the sort of life you want both now and in the future.
That’s why the first step isn’t about getting a lot of money. Instead, it’s about teaching yourself to think positively about money. That way, you’ll be in the right mindset to move forward.
Click play to learn more.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little
It costs nothing to take advantage of the limitless opportunities online.
The hardest part of becoming successful is getting started to begin with. But despite the challenges ahead of you, there’s a way to become a millionaire when starting with little. I’m going to show you four reasons why you can become a millionaire with just a small investment.
1First focus on learning, not big gain
Education is your greatest weapon. Focus on learning in the beginning. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on making huge gains in the beginning. Learn everything you can because this is how you build the foundations for long-term gains.
They say that if a millionaire goes bankrupt they’ll nearly always be able to get it back. And that’s because they might have lost their money, but they have the knowledge of how to get back to where they need to be.
2You can learn loads about any topic online
I’m grateful for the internet. It’s the single biggest library in the world. You’re reading this article right now and you’re acquiring knowledge you wouldn’t have been able to acquire 40 years ago. Use the internet to its fullest extent, whether that’s through reading books, browsing articles or watching video tutorials.
Set some time aside every day to learn something online. It could be a video series or a favorite blog. When you get into the habit of learning regularly you’ll find that you advance much faster.
3Focus on the niche you love
These days you can learn about anything and target the niche you’re passionate about. This is what I was able to do with penny stocks. I found a gap in the market and provided knowledge to people who wouldn’t have otherwise being able to access this sort of information.
You can do that with absolutely any niche. When you find a niche you’re passionate about and you use the reach of the Internet you start to make huge gains.
4Prove your expertise by creating free content
Your reputation as an authority is the new business card. There’s a reason I created a penny stock guide and made it free for all. You may have already seen ads for it on social media. The way to succeed with little is to create a reputation through your content.
It’s the gateway to success because through free content you start to build relationships with others who value your work. And from there everyone gets richer.
You can do lots with a little
The days when you needed a huge investment to become successful are long gone. These days you can do so much with just a little. Find what you love, advance your knowledge in that area, and create a product that fulfills a need. Finally, work on building up relationships through portraying yourself as an authority on your subject.
Combine everything together and you can accomplish anything.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
- The Best Conversion Rate Optimisation Tips To Help You Grow Your Business
- How To Make Speedy Decisions As A Leader
- What Kind Of Leader Are You?
- Surge In South Africans Swopping Their Cars For Bitcoin
- What Can Businesses Expect From The Future Of Work?
- Daniella Shapiro Of Oolala Collection Club’s Smart Strategies For Marketing Your Online Business
- All The Business Wisdom You Need From 4 Famous Entrepreneurs
Start-up Industry Specific2 months ago
How Do I Start A Transport Or Logistics Business?
Business Plan Advice2 months ago
Writing a Business Plan May Not Be Your Idea Of Fun, But It Forces You To Build These 4 Crucial Habits
Company Posts5 days ago
Enhance Your Entrepreneurial Flair With An Online Postgraduate Diploma From The University Of Pretoria
Entrepreneur Profiles2 months ago
10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing