The Financial Advisor Advisor

For many of us in our twenties, we might suddenly find ourselves surrounded by insurance agents, or Financial Advisors, as they are more commonly known as today. That’s really no surprise, considering how well it pays, and the flexibility of the job, which makes it a good side hustle for students.

Insurance is important, and we should protect ourselves, but that does not always mean getting the most expensive plan. Unfortunately, not all of us are financially savvy enough to know what’s best for us. Hence, the need for a Financial Advisor (FA). This then begs the question, how do we pick a good FA who has our best interests at heart?

Well, lucky you! After discussing with a few friends who have dabbled in the world of FAs before. I’ve consolidated a few tips to help you pick the right FA. Does that make me the world’s first Financial Advisor Advisor?

Whenever a new FA approaches you, you first want to find out why they are in this line of work. If they are doing it as a side hustle while studying, ask if they intend to go full-time after graduation. If they aren’t, you’re gonna have to find another FA once they graduate. Personally, I wouldn’t want to go through the trouble of finding someone new in 2-3 years, as most policies have a much longer time frame of 15, 20 years or more. Even if you want to support a friend who is an FA, do take this into consideration.

If you’re unable to find an FA who is full-time or plans on going full-time, don’t worry, there are other ways of ensuring you’re getting the right plan. With the sheer number of Financial Advisors (FAs) today, the realm of insurance has become a buyer’s market. And that’s good for us, customers. I’m sure most of us know at least a few FAs, so if you’re unsure about the plan that advisor A has recommended, go ahead and consult other FAs that you know. If advisor B claims to have a better, more appropriate plan for you, and you agree, then go ahead with advisor B and purchase the plan from him/her instead.

One red flag to look out for is if your FA is selling you a plan on your very first meeting. The first meeting should be for them to know you better and understand your financial situation. After which, they will do their research and come back to you with policy recommendations in subsequent meetings.

Finally, even if you have the most trustworthy FA, it is important for us as customers to understand what we’re spending hard-earned money on. Take that 15 to 20 minutes to read through the contract and clarify any doubts you have.

With that, I hope these tips will help you find a reliable Financial Advisor that you can trust to navigate you through the intricacies of the world of insurance.

The Capitalistic Mould

Growing up in the 21st century, most of us are no stranger to capitalism. After all, it has been the dominant economic system in many parts of our world for at least the past 200 years. For those unsure what capitalism means, it is an economic system where few people own and control the production and sale of goods. Think about it, in any company, it is the boss that decides how much of a certain item to produce and the price at which it is sold, and not the workers.

Regardless of whether or not you knew what capitalism meant prior to reading this post, you’ve definitely experienced its effects in your life one way or another. And perhaps you might have even had your misgivings about it before as well! Increasingly so today, more and more people are starting to notice the flaws in our economic system, and most would agree that it needs to be improved. In fact, most of these were not new issues. Two centuries ago, a German philosopher had already noticed many issues with capitalism that still hold true today! He was none other than, Karl Marx.

Okay before you say anything, hear me out. You might not agree with his political and economical theory, but I think most of us can agree with his critique on capitalism. It’s quite a bit of content so I’m not going to cover that in this post, but what really caught my attention was his point of how the capitalist economic system has very subtly moulded our thinking.

In a society where capital is the intrinsic good, people end up placing their economic interests above all else. Knowing this, let us re-examine certain beliefs which perhaps we’ve never thought to question before.

For example, concepts like “employee of the month” might sound a good goal to strive towards. But all things considered, who does it really benefit? It increases competition and productivity between the workers, which in turn results in increased capital for the owner of the company.

We believe that not having a job or taking too many breaks is simply laziness and a waste of time. But in truth, it’s really only bad for the system because we’re not contributing to the overall production of capital.

This really got me thinking. How many more fundamental beliefs do we have that simply exist to propagate the capitalist system? How many of our decisions are made primarily with our economic interests at heart? Are there even any decisions we make without having to think about capital and productivity?

This was a really difficult post to write as it involves challenging so many of my fundamental beliefs that I’d never even stopped to question before. I’m not saying capitalism is all bad, many amazing things are only possible today because of capitalism! But we all know it has its flaws, and only by acknowledging and being aware of them, can we start working towards improving it and coming up with a better economic system.