Why do you think people in India don't take help from financial advisors?

When we are sick we go to a doctor, when we break a law we take the help of a lawyer. Then in the case of financial advice, why don’t we seek the help of someone who is a Certified Financial Planner or SEBI-registered RIA?

What do you guys think are the reasons behind it?

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Hi

I will tell you my personal concern about asking help from a Financial Planner or RIA. Now this is not a general statement but yes this did happen with my Family and we have been mis-sold a lot of products.
I fear when I go to a Financial Planner, he/she will not keep my interest above him. He might sell me a product with higher commissions even though it might not be a suitable product for me.

Also, we have seen so many scams in our history, we cannot easily trust anyone with our money. Moreover, we don’t have patience when it comes to losses. Lets say I go to a CFP for advice regarding my Investments and he suggests me to invest in MF and the market crashes due to something, I will till my death never believe any other Planner and will also try to influence others to do the same.

People prefer making mistakes by themselves, even if it means that they will loose their hard earned money.

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I think people want to do it by themselves, as there is a joy in DIY, so they want to involve, they want to participate. Profit will obviously will make them involve more, losses to the point of affordability will keep them active, beyond that, they leave.

And majority of these people are not concerned about long-term, they cannot wait for a few years to see a 12% CAGR, they want a quick 20%, some even want to know about multibagger stocks regularly.

And many people don’t want to pay, even those who can afford don’t like the idea of paying. They have no idea about asset allocation, they compare PPF with stocks, they don’t want to build a portfolio. Even if they know, what’s to pay for is the question. Everything is available online, every regional language has tens of YouTube channels, so why pay, when they can do it themselves. Even the people who express their concerns that they have missed opportunities or time regarding their finances, don’t want a structured, methodical route, because they have to pay. They would rather videos and DIY.

Not to mention the content that is generated everyday, some of it informative, most of it unnecessary, and the creators and influencers don’t necessarily express truths always, and even if they do in one video, the next video will make viewers forget the one made before. These channels are not focused, and the viewers are bombarded with non-stop content, from multiple channels, so it is hard for an average person to discern what is necessary and what is not, but they believe the creators and influencers, and do as they say.

And we are large country, with very diverse geographical, social and cultural aspects which also play a role in how we look at money. And people who either want to better their financial status, or want to build one, but cannot allot time as they want to focus on their jobs, will seek advice, but these will be less in number compared to DIY, believer folks.

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Financial advisory is easy in the sense that basic information is easily available freely on the internet, which any educated person can read and understand.
Mutual fund advisory has no meaning for a person who can understand that in the long run, low-cost index funds beat almost all active fund managers; and even though a few can beat the index, there is no way one can recognize those winners in advance. Timing the market/stock picking is too risky for the advisors themselves to advise upon. So there is not much to advise upon.
Yes, the financial advisory is extremely useful for financial illiterates- but they do not have much money to pay to advisors and therefore many advisors are engaged in commission-based advisory[post office schemes are a good example, insurance is other, refusal to advise low cost direct mutual fund is obvious].

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I don’t think it is about Financial Literacy or Illiteracy. If it was only about knowledge and available information, businessman would never go bankrupt or biggest investors would never loose money.

All Financially Literate and Illiterate, should also have an understanding about the markets, economics and most importantly, have patience. Financial Advisors don’t merely offer advice, they also help investors navigate through difficult market situations.

And I know this first hand, Financial Advisory is in no way easy. For once, just try talking to an investor who has lost 20% of his capital in a market crash. Try convincing him to stay invested and maybe even invest more. That is absolutely impossible but Financial Advisors somehow manage to do it.

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People in India dont like to pay for advice , consultations or non tangible things. For doctors , lawyers also people say there job is only to loot money. People only look for free advice. Financial illiteracy is also one of the reason. Most of the people in India are financially illiterate and do not understand it. They are dependent on friends , relatives , neighbours etc for investment because there advice comes for free.

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In my perspective, I believe there isn’t much awareness about these certified financial advisors/planners and how they can help people to make money or not to lose money in incorrect schemes, majority of the Indian population believes in assets like physical gold, real estate & house, etc.

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Trust issue Imo. No way objectively evaluate the performance of a financial analyst / advisor. Skeptical that the advisors

  • don’t know what’s best
  • put their interests over ours.

should be like mutual funds i.e. regulated to report on their portfolio, and results; you can see underperformance and separate the wheat from the chaff.

Similar regulations may help - transparency on commissions; there should be a ratio of Commissions / XIRR that advisors should be required to report. Or there needs to be a platform that does this. Otherwise most people have more trust out of the box on finfluencers (where followers is a (unreliable )proxy to trust) vs RIAs where there is no such objective metric.

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Advisors are snake oil merchant. I know many wealth managers selling seriously risky structured products to clients while putting personal money in FDs.

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People often avoid seeking professional financial advice due to lack of awareness, cost concerns, trust issues, DIY mentality, fear of complexity, emotional barriers, misconceptions about financial advisors, and cultural factors. These factors can deter individuals from seeking financial advice, especially those with limited assets or lower incomes. It’s crucial to understand the value of financial planning and its potential benefits.

To encourage more people to seek professional financial advice, it’s important to raise awareness about the value of financial planning and the qualifications of CFPs and RIAs. Additionally, making financial advice more accessible and affordable could help to address cost concerns. Building trust through transparency and ethical practices is also crucial. Finally, educating the public about the emotional benefits of financial planning and the broad range of services offered by financial advisors can help to break down barriers and promote better financial well-being for individuals and families.

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Ishu has expressed the reality. I think lack of professionalism and trust factor are two major concerns. In many a case, I have experienced that the so called planners try to sell you an investment product rather than guiding you to financial success.