[quote=“Edgar Allen”]So I have been in finance for about 17 years and find myself redundant for the second time in a year.
During the last 9 years in Asia I have found the quality of financial planning available in English to be appalling, and am thinking about starting my own business in this line.
My thinking is that there are plenty of people in Taiwan in particular who are supposedly saving a little money as well as having some fun, but wonder whether this audience would be too young/immature for a service which would help them maximise their potential savings while they are here?
I know there are also plenty of entrepreneurial Forumosans, who have done well. Do you think this audience would benefit from some solid financial advice?
I am not talking about flogging investment linked plans with high penalties (except where this is what is wanted/needed) but rather taking someone through the need for different products, and the cross section of savings and protection that should be in place for peace of mind. This might include property, mutual funds, life insurance, medical insurance, permanent health and/or critical illness type cover, as well as pension planning for the older group.
I would be very interested to hear views from Forumosans not just on whether they would use such a service, but whether they think others would do and what the draw backs would be.
I am also interested to hear horror stories. I know that I won’t get rich if I do this properly and that the successful guys always rip people off. If you have had a bad experience then let us all know about it - forewarned is forearmed as they say.[/quote]
You have an interesting idea and I thought of some things you may want to think about.
First is that the internet is full of websites that give out information about savings, investing, retirement and everything else for free. That shouldn’t worry you though because a lot of it is redundant and or just wrong. Your strength should be your years of experience. As your example shows, the personal approach you developed with the client, even if it meant less money to you, will pay off more in the long term. People want someone they can trust implicitly when it comes to finances and retirement. If you can fill that role, and save them money, you should have plenty of clients.
Second is what is your demographic going to be? Your OP states that English materials on financial planning are are appalling so I’ll wager a guess you’ll be focusing only on people from English speaking countries like the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, South Africa, HK and any others that I may have left out. The issue would be that financial regulations from each country will differ so you may have to be a jack of all trades. A financial plan that would work for Canada may not work in the US or Australia. I don’t know the regulations but I’ll venture an educated guess that they differ significantly, or not so significantly, across the previously mentioned countries.
Third is the age of your clients. I would imagine that a majority of the clients who will be looking for you or recommended to you will be older, in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. That client demographic will be looking for term life insurance while a 20-something won’t be. I wouldn’t immediately write off the recent college grad crowd though. You could still provide them valuable advice on how to reduce debt, fund their retirement and plan for the future. I would say you can try and tailor an approach for that age cohort and see how it goes. If it’s too much trouble then stop taking younger clients unless they come well recommended.