跨境財務規劃

Current Cross Border Issues Affecting Financial Planners

原文刊登於FInancial Planet http://www.financialplanet.org/2014/international-financial-planning-2/

Taylor Liao, CFPBy Taylor Liao, CFP, Chinese Taipei

由於跨國移民做生意的人愈來愈多, 因此一般的財務規劃也由原來的客戶只有居住在單一國家的情況, 變成是客戶需要的是跨境的服務,

財務規劃可能要跨2,3個國家的稅務/遺產/贈與稅法等等, 牽涉到的是多個國家的法律/稅法等需要去了解, 以替客戶做完整的財務規劃。

有很多客戶以前移民到美國, 或是只是拿了美國綠卡, 但是實際居住在台灣, 以前從未因為是雙重國籍的身份繳納美國的所得稅等, 現在因為 美國全球追稅祭出肥咖條款Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), 強迫各國金融機構將具美國公民身份的銀行帳戶的資料揭露 給美國國稅局, 因此造成雙重國籍身份的人大為緊張, 有些人甚至開始拋棄美國國籍。

有次另外一位CFP帶她的客戶來找我, 因為她客戶有一些財務規劃上的問題, 她不希望留太多財產給子女, 只要生活上夠用的就好, 因為她在二岸都有資產, 也在大陸經商, 部份資產在海外, 她本身也請律師幫她安排遺囑等事情, 會計師也會幫她處理公司的帳務等。

我們談了一些自益信託/公益信託等等, 如何來協助她做處理她的資產, 甚至是境外信託等, 如何讓她的資產受到保護, 讓她退休後生活有保障, 有部份的錢也可以拿來做善事。

我也建議她應該找一個可以信任的CFP當她的財務顧問, 萬一她如果有什麼意外發生, 這個人因為知道她的財務及資產的細節, 如果必要時可以協助她的子女依照她的意願來處理她的財產。

CFP財務顧問的角色跟律師會計師的定位不同, 我們不會像律師對法律那麼熟悉, 對會計也不會像會計師那麼專精, 我們是做客戶的財務管家, 為他們做綜合的檢視與規劃, 有必要的時候我們可以尋求專業人士的幫忙, 但是這些專業人士只是負責各自專業的領域, 他們無法為客戶擔任財務顧問的角色, 彼此有各自的專業與分工, CFP在為客戶做財務規劃時要清楚自己的定位。

未來跨境的財務規劃需求會愈來愈多, CFP應該吸收更多資訊與專業, 才能為客戶提供適宜的服務。

One year ago, I had a client who had a Taiwanese father, but had immigrated to the US a long time ago. He was born in the US and cannot speak Mandarin. He came to me for financial planning because his father has many assets in Taiwan, and he and his brother will face tax issues in the future. The estate tax is quite low; 10%, but it was 50% just two years ago. Even if the estate tax is only 10%, the amount for their estate tax will still be quite high and they need to plan for it in advance. In Taiwan, we use global taxation, meaning once somebody dies their global assets, not their local assets, will be summed up for the 10% estate tax. This means when you do financial planning for a client, you must take into consideration his/her global assets.

Working with Clients who are Dual Citizens

In this scenario, I felt like I only knew some of the necessary client information and that it wouldn’t be helpful for me to do a financial plan for him. If I could talk to a CFP certificant in the US to discuss his situation, then I would be able to provide a better, more complete suggestion. The tax laws in different territories can vary quite a bit, and more and more territories follow the rule that their citizens have to pay the estate tax based on their global assets, not their local assets. In this kind of cross border practice, when doing financial planning for a client, it is best if we can partner with a CFP certificant who is familiar with their local tax law and seek their advice for our clients.

Basic RGB

The issue we are facing today is that some of our prospects have two nationalities or they are doing business abroad, such as having investments in factories in China or other Asian countries. If I become his/her financial planner, knowing both countries’ law and tax regulation will become important. Normally, clients have a CPA to take care of their taxes, but CPAs can’t do financial planning for their clients. I know many clients who hire a CPA for their business accounting, but don’t share their personal financial information with him/her.

Financial Planners vs. Lawyers and Accountants

Financial planners are different from lawyers or accountants, because we care about the personal life details of our clients. We spend time trying to understand our clients’ ideas and life plans. Often when clients seek help from a financial planner, it is not because they have a tax or legal issue; it’s because they have an issue with their lives or dreams and they need a trustworthy advisor to help them out.

According to law, when a man with two sons passes away, each son will inherit half of his assets, but on occasion the man does not view the sons equally and would like to divide the inheritance unequally. The regulation is fixed, but human beings don’t work like machines. Clients have emotions and desires, especially when discussing the effort they put into their work and how they’ve accumulated their wealth. Clients also get emotional when thinking about inheritance for the next few generations. Some clients even consider donating their money to charity. Some people probably discount financial planners because they aren’t experts in taxes or laws, which is true, but financial planners work together with clients to help them achieve a better life. CPAs and lawyers don’t take the time to understand their clients’ lives, families, and financial statuses to develop a comprehensive plan based on their needs.

Of course financial planners need knowledge of tax and law to finish a well-thought-out financial plan, but the most important knowledge is understanding the client’s life plan. In today’s environment, clients will increasingly have cross border elements in their lives. In order to completely meet the needs of clients, you may have to work jointly with a CPA or lawyer, but don’t forget that financial planners are the major players in the financial planning process.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

This year, people with American green cards were concerned about FATCA. A growing number of wealthy Americans in Taiwan are exploring whether to renounce their U.S. citizenship or give up their green cards to avoid onerous tax obligations. The banks in Taiwan are forced by the US government to provide their clients’ asset information to the IRS, otherwise they have to pay 30% of withholdable payments to the IRS. Many Taiwanese who have dual nationality in Taiwan and the US actually live in Taiwan and never pay US taxes. These people are concerned about their property information (real estate, deposit…etc.) being disclosed to the IRS. These dual citizens will face a heavy financial penalty, so some of them are beginning to renounce their US nationality.

Dual citizens might work and live in Taiwan but they don’t pay the tax for their income or their investment in Taiwan. Now, because of FATCA, they may lose half of their property that they’ve worked their whole lives for. The shortage of national revenue is becoming a normal issue in nations around the world. An increasing number of our clients will face situations similar to FATCA.

The world has become globalized. Cross border practice is necessary in today’s environment, and that will be a challenge in planning for clients. CFP certificants will need to communicate more than ever to understand clients’ situations and to provide suitable comprehensive financial plans.

廣告

CFP職涯發展:建立大眾認知及突破法規限制

原文刊登於Financial Planet http://www.financialplanet.org/2013/cfp-professionals-awareness-regulation/

CFP Professionals: Building Awareness and Overcoming Regulatory Limits

Taylor Liao, CFP

By Taylor Liao, CFP, Taiwan

CFP每年必須完成30小時的CPD持續認證課程, 但是對於像台灣這種理財規劃剛在發展的國家, 要找到對實務有經驗,

尤其是在理財規劃顧問公司經營有經驗的講師, 來教這方面課程確實有點困難,

FPSB(CFP世界總會)可以考慮找各地區有經驗的講師提供線上課程, 讓CFP也可以藉由線上學習完成CPD教育

理財規劃產業發展在台灣遇上很多發展上的困難:法規限制, 實務人才缺乏等等,

而這唯有靠CFP熱心奉獻慢慢打開僵局, 在台灣理財規劃產業發展促進會,

我們藉由商業模式的推展, 利用公益信託.投資資產管理…等各種方式, 協助CFP順利拓展職涯發展

CFP professionals in Taiwan have to accomplish thirty hours of CPD courses every year, but that may vary depending on the territory. It is hard to learn the knowledge of running an advisory firm due to the lack long standing financial planning firms in Taiwan. As I mentioned in my last blog, there are eleven FPSB members where the number of CFP certificants is lower than 1,000; Taiwan included. These eleven territories all share a public with a lack of awareness of financial planning.

In terms of CPD courses, finding a speaker with knowledge in one area such as estate planning or tax planning is easy, but finding a speaker who has a holistic knowledge about all the areas related to financial planning is much more challenging. There just aren’t enough CFP professionals who have dedicated themselves to the financial planning profession. It gets even more difficult to find a CFP professional who has knowledge about running a financial planning practice, creating a successful business model or selecting the right compensation model.

In territories where CFP professionals are still breaking through, it will take a lot of effort to establish a successful business model because it hasn’t been done before and are no footsteps to follow. FPSB should try to offer this kind of CPD program through an online training program.

In Taiwan, we have more than 200 CFP certificants who own the CFP marks in Taiwan and China. Every two years, we have to renew our Chinese certification through FPSB China. In order to complete our CPD education, we use FPSB China’s website. I wonder if FPSB can study this model and create an e-learning website that provides different CPD courses from around the world.

TFPA (Taiwan Financial Planner Association) is the non-profit organization for CFP certificants. We have more than one hundred CFP certificants and run portions of the CPD programs. Most of the CPD teachers are selected from our members. The subjects vary from insurance, tax planning, trust or investment management.

One thing we are currently doing successfully is helping find shareable ideas and opportunities for our members. We are running investment management and charitable trust programs at the moment. When we  recognize that a member of ours has a good idea or opportunity, we ask them to share this in a CPD training course. Discussion about the idea is continued every two weeks. Our main goal is to generate business and if this goes well, we might create a firm.

Building Awareness

Since financial planning and CFP professionals have low public recognition, we need a “tool” that will generate awareness of financial planning. We have chosen to promote charitable trusts because it is something that most clients want to include in their financial goals.

In referencing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once an individual has reached the top level of self actualization, one of their interests is Financial Planning Maslows Hierarchy of Needsmost likely helping other people. By setting up a charitable trust, one decides where their money goes to such as an orphanage. Within a charitable trust, one can set up rules of how the money is used. Typically, the trustee is a bank who sets up the trust, gets it approved by the government and then manages the assets. CFP professionals can communicate with the client, understand the desired outcomes, and help the client get set up with the bank.

CFP professionals will also help draft the contract after hearing the client’s ideas. After the government approves the trust, the CFP professional will act as a supervisor. The client is charged a one-time advisory fee, as well as an annual supervisory fee. The supervisory fee is determined by a percentage of the trust.

Overcoming Regulatory Limits 

It’s the same case with investments. We formed a group of professionals to study asset management and find a solution to managing clients’ assets. Right now, regulation makes it challenging to be a financial planner because we are limited in the tools we can use (mutual funds, stocks, etc.) Regulators enforce that salespeople in fund houses and securities dealers must be full-time employees. Independent financial advisers cannot register as RIAs (Registered Investment Advisers) which means we cannot receive any commission rebate or support from product dealers. This regulation has a huge impact on financial planning in Taiwan. Basically, we can’t do investments and receive advisory fees from clients simultaneously.

We are trying to find ways around regulation limits. We have CFP professionals who specialize in asset management and they are looking for the best business models for advisors in this area, as well as developing the standard procedures: signing the contract, charging advisory fees, managing the investments properly, etc. We know we can’t go head-to-head with product providers, so we are differentiate ourselves by doing the financial planning for the client. We have to make it clear that we are not selling products and receiving commissions. We are instead helping clients do portfolio management in order to accomplish his/her goals.

To be frank, the circumstances in Taiwan do not favor financial planners. Even if the external environment isn’t supportive, complaining about it doesn’t do much. CFP professionals must continue through the hard times and find ways to build awareness and overcome regulatory limits.

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台灣CFP正朝向積極正面的方向發展

 

我在Financial Planet的文章:Positive Signs the CFP Professional Market is Growing in Taiwan

原文網址: http://www.financialplanet.org/2013/cfp-taiwan/

部份的人考過CFP後不知道何去何從,要不要出來做一個獨立理財顧問? 理想很好,但是要怎麼做? 客戶可以接受付顧問費的觀念嗎?客戶連什麼是理財規劃都不知道了,更不要說要教客戶付費了,要替客戶進行理財規劃到底步驟是什麼? 實務上要怎麼進行?台灣目前只有少數的幾家財務規劃顧問公司,規模不大.人數不多,大家好像也都還在找可以運作的商業模式,市面上也沒有看到有人在提供實務訓練課程,這麼多的不可知擺在眼前,讓很多人望之卻步,由於看不到財務規劃顧問的市場遠景在那裡,因此不少人即使花了大把鈔票.時間,考過艱難的考試取得CFP證照,但是2年一次的續證也不再續證,沒有跟圈內人在交流,也沒有在做財務規劃顧問的工作,真是非常的可惜。

所幸在台灣理財規劃產業發展促進會,我們一些有心人士的努力下,大家不計較眼前的小利,甘願付出,在我們幾個理事成員及其他CFP的協助下,我們逐漸發展出一些商業模式,諸如:投資後資產管理/ETF投資/公益信託的商業模式/自益信託/EAP(Employee Assistance Program)員工協助方案…等等的商業模式,一般是由原專案創立的人發起後,接著在促進會內部對會員舉辦說明會,召集有興趣的人再組織成一個團隊繼續運作下去,大家資源共享,就是希望能為CFP找到更多可行的商業模式,讓大家可以樂於加入財務規劃顧問的行列,推廣獨立財務顧問的理念,讓一般消費者也可以接受到客觀公正,以客戶利益為優先的財務規劃服務。

運用行為財務學改進財務規劃步驟

How Does your Advice Process Reflect the Findings of Behavioral Finance?

By Taylor Liao, CFP, Chinese Taipei

原文刊登於Financial Planet
http://www.financialplanet.org/2013/advice-process-behavioral-finance/

客戶的投資理財常常會受到媒體資訊所影響, 財務顧問應該對行為財務學增加了解, 知道客戶為何會受影響, 並針對此在進行財務顧問案時改進進行步驟與方式

1.改進在資料收集面談時問題的形式與內容

不要只有問客戶的財務資料, 要多問價值觀的問題, 才能知道客戶在某些情況下的反應是什麼, 運用各種不同型式內容, 探討客戶的價值觀, 仔細聆聽客戶的回答並加予深入追蹤

2.在財務規劃的六個步驟中不要忽視追蹤檢視這步驟

客戶在聽完你對他的財務建議後, 多數人可能都不知道如何落實到生活中, 去改變他們的消費習慣. 儲蓄等等, 運用現代科技工具協助客戶用手機記帳軟體記帳, 並每一季與客戶做追蹤檢討, 更深入的財務規劃步驟將有助於實際的去協助客戶, 不是把規劃當成一時興起的決定而已, 而是實際取協助他們完成他們的財務目標

As a financial planner, it was hard for me to understand what it was like for my clients. Consumers get their information from and are influenced by several mediums such as the media and product sellers. Banks or fund houses, for the sake of selling more products, will release market information that a market has potential to grow in the future and usually this information causes consumers to invest, no matter how high the price of the fund is. On the flipside, consumers will sell their funds as soon as they receive any negative sign from the media.

The weekly BlackRock report shows that when the price of equity drops, the size of funds decrease simultaneously. Most investors keep making the same mistake: buy high, sell low. In the six step advice process of financial planning, even if the client completely agrees with you on how to improve their financial status, most of them won’t take action without monitoring afterwards.

Financial Planning Clients are only Human

Financial planners have to understand that it is natural as human beings to be influenced by a certain type of financial behavior. Some people will make mistakes such as the mental accounting bias; where people save money for a trip they are taking in 2 years by putting money in a savings account with an interest rate of 1%, while they have a credit card debt that charges them 18% interest. It is my opinion that clients need to be educated and that takes time to work with them. After years of practicing financial planning, I have modified my advice process to be more client-friendly.

After presenting the financial planning recommendations to a client, I ask them to use the App program on their smart phones to keep a record of their daily spending and email it to me at the end of the month. The software is easy to download, easy to use, and it forces them to think about their spending every day. At the end of every quarter, we review their progress of implementing my recommendations.

I have found that financial planning services aren’t successful if they are limited to two short meetings a year. After clients walk out of your office, they might return to their old philosophies of what it means to manage their spending, but by tracking their spending, I can interact with the client on a continual basis.

Asking the Right Questions

Aside from using apps to track spending, I have also changed the format of my questionnaire that gathers the client’s information/goals in the initial meeting. This questionnaire helps me to better understand how the client makes financial decisions. For example, 3 weeks ago, a client filled out the questionnaire and given the question, “Compared to others, do you prefer high risk investment?”, he answered “No.” On the next question, “In an investment, which one is more important: potential profit or potential risk?”, he answered “potential profit.”

I asked a few follow-up questions and discovered this individual was doing high-risk investment that included him loaning money to a client of his in which he received a 30% interest rate. Because of this experience, his expectations for other investments were equally high. Most questionnaires don’t dive very deep and do not get enough information about the client. Based on the information he told me, my recommendation for him was influenced.

Most clients have a blind spot when it comes to financial management. By asking effective questions, I am able to gauge clients’ financial behavior and decision making patterns, and adapt my communication with them to better meet their needs.

財務顧問面臨的挑戰

原文刊登於FInancial Planet(CFP世界總會FPSB官方部落格)
http://www.financialplanet.org/2013/practice-challenges-financial-planners/

財務顧問在現在從事理財規劃這個工作面臨很多挑戰, 包括社會大眾對此不了解, 沒有相關的法規, 各種不同的認證系統造成大眾混淆等等, 但是最大的挑戰還是來自於CFP持證人信心的缺乏, 由於對前景沒有把握, 以致於只有少數人願意冒險從事財務顧問的工作, 或是開設這樣的財務顧問公司。 不過這個行業即使在已開發國家:英國/美國, 他們還是會碰到一些困難, 因為你要處理的人的情緒/欲望/錢財等, 如果CFP持證人對這行業有興趣, 他們應該更打開心胸, 接納各個領域的人才, 嘗試用一些創新的方式來開拓財務規劃的市場。

1.教育客戶什麼是財務規劃

在一些大眾媒體上很常碰到所謂的名嘴在談論理財, 但是多數人目的是在推銷商品, 受過正規訓練的CFP持證人應該多利用各種機會去教導大眾, 什麼是真正的財務規劃, 一個客觀公正的財務規劃可以為他們帶來什麼好處?

2. 以生活化的題材讓大眾認識財務規劃

一場演講將為你帶來一些潛在客戶, 但是演講要成功必須題材要生活化大眾才會有興趣聽, 財務規劃的理念可以融入這些主題中, 例如我上次為HP員工講勞保退休金, 那時勞保會不會倒是一個熱門話題, 我就一開始先講這樣的議題, 但是最後導入退休規劃要如何做, 財務規劃可以完整的幫助做退休規劃等。

3. 運用現代科技協助開發

現在智慧型手機非常普遍, 你應該開始思考如何利用這個工具, 例如說要讓大眾乖乖花2小時可能有困難, 你可以把課程切割成一個個10分鐘,20分鐘的短講, 讓他們可以在手機上收看, 甚至於付費聽課。

4. 設計簡易財務規劃付費方案

一般的大眾對財務規劃不是很了解, 對你可能信任度也不夠, 是否你可以設計一個簡易方案, 以較低廉的價格讓他們先接觸什麼是財務規劃後, 有進一步意願再付較高費用做完整的財務規劃, 這樣的模式包括電子式報告書及2小時的電話諮詢, 而且是可以讓大眾用智慧型手機就可以線上付費購買這樣的服務。

5. 利用EAP員工協助方案的方式開發

EAP員工協助方案是企業提供給員工的福利方式之一, 它從心理諮商/法律服務/理財諮詢/健康諮詢, 各方面實際去協助員工, 你可以利用此方式在企業裡面做員工的理財教育及員工的理財諮詢以開發潛在客戶。

Practice Challenges Facing Financial Planners

By Taylor Liao, CFP

The financial planning profession faces a lot of challenges including a general lack of awareness from the public, competing designations that confuse the public, lack of regulation, and people claiming to be “financial planners” when they are not qualified.

The biggest challenge in my opinion for CFP professionals is the uncertainty about the future of financial planning. Some people in the industry don’t want to face the challenge of becoming a financial planner. It is rare to find a CFP professional who is willing to take the risk, roll up their sleeves, and setup a financial planning firm.

I don’t think being a financial planner will ever be easy, because the career deals with human emotions, desires, and money. Even developed financial planning markets such as the US or the UK struggle to gain market share. To gain market share, we must be creative and willing to try many different ideas. I think CFP professionals should be open-minded and work with a variety of people on their teams and in their firms. It is more advantageous to have people who compliment your work style by adding new perspectives, than to work with people who are all just like you.

Educating the Public about Financial Planning

Educating the public is the foundation of developing the financial planning market. We have to make the public aware that there is a better alternative to purchasing financial products from salespeople. The public receives financial information from blogs, newspapers, magazines and television every day. Unfortunately, most of the information is regarding investments in the stock market. People in the media will call themselves financial planners but they aren’t CFP professionals and don’t have the credibility to speak to the profession. In fact, most of these people are product providers trying to sell something. The biggest problem with this is that the public is mislead to believe that financial planning is about selling products; which just isn’t true. It is our job to education the public about what financial planning really is.

Giving Presentations about Financial Planning

A good speech will turn a high percentage of the audience into prospective financial planning clients. Grabbing the audience’s attention is very important. The best way to do this is to relate to peoples’ daily lives and speak about things they are interested in. Lastly, conclude with the concept of financial planning.

Last year, we had news that caught the attention of the public; the Labor Pension System of Labor Insurance was in financial trouble. They announced that they would not be able to pay out the annuity to retired laborers. At that moment, everyone was concerned that Labor Insurance would go bankrupt.

When invited to talk about retirement planning at Hewlett-Packard last December, I opened by discussing the Labor Pension System because they were all interested to hear about it. I still closed with the philosophy of financial planning. As a result of this presentation, I was able to teach more than 80 people about the benefits of financial planning. This is the first step of warming people up to the idea of a paid advisory service.

It is really important to highlight an event that is affecting their every day – this will catch their attention. This approach is much more exciting to listen to than an educational course. It also helps if you can add humor or metaphors to tell the story of financial planning.

Using Technology to Get Clients

People may not be willing to attend a 1-2 hour class but odds are better that they will watch a 10-20 minute video on their smart phone. Technology allows us to have access to more people. How about putting a few free beginning courses on your website to attract interested people and charge for the more advanced courses? The technology to accomplish this is mature at this point and you can keep your costs low. The beginning videos could focus on topics like “How to keep a spending record on your smart phone” or “How to create a monthly/yearly analysis report of your spending.”

These days, people value quick and efficient solutions to their problems. Make your courses short, easy to understand, and simple to purchase and watch. In Asia, teachers are paid high respect, and concurrently, the smart phone is gaining more and more popularity. Financial planners trying to keep up with the evolving generations would be smart to create short 20-30 minute speeches that are available on smart phones, than 2-3 hours lessons in a classroom.

Easing New Clients into Financial Planning

Do you have difficulty getting clients? It can be hard to convince prospective clients to pay high advisory fees. If you put yourself in their shoes, this is the first time they are learning about financial planning and after 1-2 hours of meeting with them, they are expected to trust you right away with their most intimate life details. One way to slowly build trust would be with experiential marketing on your website. Experiential marketing integrates elements of emotions, logic, and general thought processes to connect with consumers. Financial planning is a new concept and intimidates consumers who have never heard of it, so why not ease them into it?

Due to the slow moving economy, the public has become more conscious of their spending. How much should a financial planner charge for a case? I don’t think planners should lower their prices to attract new clients. Instead, what about offering a smaller price planning package that helps clients understand financial planning better? The package could include a 2 hour consultation by phone and a planning report via email. If they like this small package, they might be willing to pay for a comprehensive financial plan later on. I recommend charging about US$155 for something like this.

Using EAP to Develop a Wider Client Base

Another way to meet more clients is an Employee Assistant Program (EAP). An EAP is a benefit that companies, usually with 500 employees or more, offer to their employees. Employees are able to speak on the phone or face to face with consultants in varying areas such as mental health, law, financial planning, etc. I recently started working as a financial planning consultant for an EAP and I now have an opportunity to meet new financial planning clients. The employer pays for the first consultation, but if the employee decides to continue the financial planning process, then they will pay the fees.

我登在F. P.文章–2012展望:今年對於金融理財行業來說是一次千載難逢的機遇嗎?

我登在F. P.文章–2012展望:今年對於金融理財行業來說是一次千載難逢的機遇嗎?

我登在Financial Planet的文章
(中文部份係FPSB China翻譯, 中文翻譯可能跟英文原文有差異, 請與英文為準, The copyright owned by Financial Planet http://www.financialplanet.org)

英文原文: http://www.financialplanet.org/2012/2012-financial-predictions/
FPSB China中國理財標準委員會中文轉載http://www.fpsbchina.cn/webPage/Information.jsp?menuid=10004国际新闻简讯第二十五期

2012展望:今年對於金融理財行業來說是一次千載難逢的機遇嗎?
Taylor Liao, CFP

2011年對於理財師來說可能是困難重重的一年,但2012年新年新氣象,對於此行業來說,有以下一些有所好轉的情況:

少說多做

20多年來,保險公司的銷售能力常常是判斷保險公司收入能力的主要指標,但當銀行改變了其經紀系統之後,此情況有所變化。銀行在幾年內便接管了50%的市場份額,特別是近些年接管了將近70%的份額。與此同時,台灣的投保率超過200%(意味着平均每個台灣人有兩份保單在手),而這種情況發生在一個人口僅2100萬卻有超過30家人壽保險公司的小島上。您可以想像保險公司的競爭有多激烈,對於這些公司來說,都面臨着一個共同的問題:如何擴展市場份額?在一個幾乎飽和的市場中,必須找到深層次挖掘客戶的方法,而我們也欣喜地看到一些保險公司正在督促其保險代理人參加CFP專業人士培訓課程,通過金融理財認證體系來提升銷售業績和深化客戶基礎。

少一些產品銷售,多一些理財規劃

長期以來,養老保險在台灣被當作一種儲蓄工具,因此人壽保險將整個保險保單的平均面值降到了較低的水平,即低於3萬美金。對於一個年收入達到5萬美金的中產階級家庭來說,可以購買年保費在1萬美金並且獲得面值少於3萬美金的人壽保險保單的保護。理財師應不僅僅向客戶推銷產品,而應在客戶做出決定前為其量身定製一份金融理財方案,以便客戶理清其人生規劃以及達成目標的優先順序。保險是滿足客戶進行風險管理的工具,並不是滿足客戶所有需求的終極武器。數年來的經濟蕭條使得大部分客戶很在意其資產,並且期望能夠進行最有效的投資。他們需要金融理財師來評估其財務狀況,調整或重新分配其資源,分享最新的理財信息來達到他們的理財目標。

少一些理論,多一些實踐

我們有超過900位通過CFP資格認證考試的從業者,但是接近1/3在2011年沒有參加再認證。他們花費了大量的時間和金錢來通過CFP資格認證考試並且希望成為一名獨立第三方的金融理財師,通過為客戶提供專業諮詢服務來收取諮詢費。不幸的是,大部分理財師對真實情況很失望,客戶急需普及金融理財教育,並且沒有一家金融理財諮詢公司或者金融理財顧問可以作為成功範例。

除了市場因素以外,CFP專業人士在某些問題上有待改善。在校學生通過認證雖然具備理論知識,卻仍然對如何開展金融理財業務一無所知。現行的CFP專業人士教育僅包括240小時的理論培訓,沒有任何教授如何成為一名金融理財師的實踐課程。學員們需要接受培訓:比如如何接近客戶的商議技巧,以及如何根據客戶的財務分析狀況給出建議等。如果學員想自己創立諮詢公司,將需要更多的知識儲備:比如有利可圖的商業模式;可行的銷售體系等。正由於缺乏有利的商業模式,現存的理財諮詢公司均規模較小,即擁有不超過10位顧問,而且掙扎在生存邊緣。 <查看原文>

財務顧問不應該把產品委外, 卻忽略了如何幫客戶達成財務目標

財務顧問不應該把產品委外, 卻忽略了如何幫客戶達成財務目標

財務顧問的薪酬模式—財務顧問不應該把產品委外,卻忽略了如何幫客戶達成財務目標 我刊登在FPSB官方部落格Financial Planet上的文章 Remuneration Models: Why Planners Shouldn’t Outsource Product Sales 原文網址:http://www.financialplanet.org/2012/remuneration-models-financial-planner/

財務顧問的薪酬模式—財務顧問不應該把產品委外, 卻忽略了如何幫客戶達成財務目標 除了純粹收取顧問費的財務顧問外, 產品的配置與搭配對一般的財務顧問來說都是必要的, 因為經由如此可以協助客戶完成他的財務目標。 那麼對財務顧問來說, 我們跟一般的銷售業務又有何不同? 最大的不同應該是: 財務顧問在替客戶選擇最適合的商品時, 是根據它是否能幫客戶達成他們的財務目標來做選擇, 而銷售業務則是根據產品的價格, 可以收取的傭金多寡..等來做選擇。 在臺灣一些財務顧問選擇只做規劃, 不替客戶做產品端的服務, 但是這樣將無法達成客戶的完整財務規劃, 其一是他將失去對產品端的主導權。理財規劃的四個流程: 規劃、計畫施行、監控及調整, 他將只有負責前端的規劃, 後三個步驟必須由客戶自己另外找人來完成, 這將失去完整財務規劃的意義。 財務顧問如果選擇把產品委外, 交由其他業務負責, 例如投資交給基金公司, 保險交給保險業務員負責, 他將失去整體的主導權。第一是他不能擔保, 其他的業務員是否可以按照他所替客戶做的財務規劃的邏輯思考及規劃架構的精神, 去幫客戶做產品的安排。例如他原本考慮到客戶保費負擔過重, 超出客戶可以負擔的預算, 因此幫客戶規劃把保費較貴的儲蓄險轉為保障較高, 但是保費相對低廉的定期壽險, 但是當客戶去找保險業務員時, 他可能因為傭金過低, 結果還是建議客戶購買終身壽險或其他保費較高的商品, 於是當初的規劃變成失去意義了。 財務顧問在幫客戶做規劃時, 應該先替客戶做整體考慮, 先不要有把產品端的考慮加入。例如我上次在跟一個客戶談財務規劃時, 他一直在問我投資標的如何配置, 但是經過一番詳談後, 他才透露希望照顧其兄弟姐妹, 也希望為其小孩準備一筆基金, 以便他以後可能留學與創業之用。這就是財務顧問跟一般投資顧問的差異點所在, 投資顧問可能只為客戶考慮投資收益, 我們卻必須替客戶考慮到他的整體狀況:他的人生願望, 待完成的財務目標..等, 如果我還是從產品銷售導向的方向去思考的話, 在當下我可能就會忽略掉替客戶做整體財務規劃的目的, 而開始跟他討論起商品如何投資資產配置的方式..等等, 而忽略了更重要, 該替客戶規劃的事項了。 Remuneration Models: Why Planners Shouldn’t Outsource Product Sales With the exception of fee-based financial planners, recommending products is a necessary part of the financial planning process. So, the question we have to ask is, “What makes us different from product salespeople?” When financial planners are deciding which product is a best fit, they are looking for a product that helps clients achieve their goals. When a product salesperson is making the decision, they consider the price of the product and the commission they’ll receive, among other things. Some planners, when building their financial planning businesses, choose to be fee-only to avoid any conflict of interest. To do this, they either outsource product sales to other parties or they don’t recommend products at all. I can understand the benefits of a planner who doesn’t make product recommendations: they maintain their objective image as a planner and there is no confusion about their role. Fee-Only Planners Can’t Complete the Financial Planning Process The purpose of doing financial planning is to develop a comprehensive plan for the client. The financial planning process has 4 steps, in my opinion: planning, implementation, monitoring, and adjustment. A fee-only planner who does not recommend or sell products is only in charge of the planning stage. After the planning, the implementation stage, in which an advisor and/or products are selected, takes place. The client might choose an advisor or products on their own or with the help of the planner. Either way, the planner has given up control over the solution-provider. How can the planner make sure the product seller has the same philosophy as themselves? And, how can the planner guarantee that the seller will suggest products that are in the client’s best interest? In addition to losing control, the planner will lose the opportunity to watch the client achieve their goals. The fee-only business model can work, but only if clients are independent and fully knowledgeable about financial products. If you are outsourcing to a salesperson during the implementation stage, you might deal with the following problems: 1. You will have to manage several salespeople in different financial areas: insurance, fund house, bank etc. If they do something wrong, the client might hold you responsible. 2. You will lose the ability to control the whole project. Since the planning and the solution will be done separately, your philosophy might not be carried through all the way. For example, you find a client’s yearly premium of insurance is over their budget. Your suggest the client lower their premium by changing the endorsement policy to a term life policy. When the client approaches an insurance agent and asks for a term life policy, the agent does not want to sell the term life policy, because of the low premium and low commission rate. At the end of the day, this client was torn between product sales and financial planning. Financial Planning Considers a Client’s Entire Life If you are at the supermarket preparing for a party, you have to purchase decorations, candles, napkins, and other things. You must consider how compatible all the purchases are together – the colors, the look, etc. This is similar to what financial planners must do for clients. When we recommend/purchase products for clients, we consider how the product will fit into the bigger picture of the financial plan. A lot of times, the product with the lowest price is tempting, when not considering the big picture. But, after getting to know a client’s goals, there are many more factors that should be looked at, such as risk and maintenance. I recently met with a new client who is a well-off doctor. He has a lot of investments in stocks, funds, and annuity insurances. The dividends he’ll receive from these three product categories will easily allow him to have a satisfying retirement. He was curious about investment and asset management but instead, I asked him what he wishes to accomplish in the future. He responded that he wanted to help his elder sisters and brothers, save for his son’s study abroad, and possibly open a business. I proposed the idea of a trust that would have pay his siblings monthly and/or allow money for study abroad or opening a business. The client had never heard of this suggestion and thanked me. If my focus during the meeting was on selling products, I would have spent my time discussing asset management and investments, neglecting his future goals. Many planners handle their clients’ investments and they are very skillful at it. In my opinion, investment needs to follow the same rules of financial planning. Planners watch the market trends and modify asset allocation, but they don’t always pursue maximum return. Risk control, in my opinion, is more important than return. We have to maintain low volatility and keep the necessary return within an acceptable amount of risk. The Difference Between a Financial Planner and An Investment Adviser It would be helpful to clarify the role of a financial planner versus that of an investment adviser. Investment management is a part of the financial planning process. The goal of a financial planner is to maintain the client’s money so it is readily available when they need it in the future. The client might have their money in a single investment or a fixed monthly investment. The goal of a investment adviser, normally, is to pursue maximum return. Client’s measure their adviser by investment performance. Investment advisers don’t need to consider life goals or plans and they don’t care about when the client will need money in the future. For example, I had a near-retiree client with a fifteen-year investment. When the financial crisis hit, they lost fifty percent of their total investment. What would have happened if this client was planning to withdraw a certain fixed amount from this investment for their spending money during retirement? What if this was the only source of their retirement income? The investment had dropped fifty percent. Even if the investment returned ten percent every year, following the financial crisis, it would take ten years to return to the original amount. When managing an investment portfolio, the goal is not to pursue maximum return while ignoring risk. A few years ago, some offshore products were introduced to Taiwan that caused a serious loss to clients: Viatical and Life Settlement. Some investment advisers used these products for their clients. This is not the proper way to manage a client’s assets. When we survey a product, risk is the first issue to be considered.

對客戶收費資訊揭露

我發表在CFP世界總會FPSB官方部落格Financial Planet 12月份文章, “對客戶收費資訊揭露"
網址:http://www.financialplanet.org/2012/fee-disclosure-financial-planning/

Dr. David Lazenby說:我們怎麼把理財規劃搞的像上牙醫診所,算數學跟婚姻治療的綜合體一樣, 讓客戶覺得有點恐怖! 我們要求客戶對我們揭露所有他們的財務資料, 卻不相對給他們充分的資訊, 在收費上當客戶問我們收費多少, 我們可能回答說:那要看您的案子複雜程度耶, 我們要跟你第一次碰面, 了解你的狀況後才能跟你報價, 這樣的答覆會讓客戶覺得無所適從, 我把它分成基本的規劃(有一個固定價格), 跟進階規劃(稅務規劃/信託/保單整理/投資管理…), 後者才是按照所需的人力與工時報價, 在跟客戶第一次碰面時, 讓它看顧問合約與服務內容/價格等, 讓客戶有所依據。

財務顧問是利用他在金融財務, 投資,稅法等方面的專業, 來協助客戶做好他們個人與家庭的財務規劃:設定財務目標以及提供建議, 如何達成這些目標的方式, 工具建議等, 實務上會碰到客戶在第1,2次碰面, 需要告知財務顧問個人與家庭的財務狀況等資訊時, 會有所遲疑, 不希望提供太多資訊給財務顧問。當然這是人之常情, 無可厚非, 但是因為理財規劃原本就是針對客戶所提供的充分的財務資訊後所提供的建議, 如果資訊不足, 變成可能在建議上就會有所疏漏, 方案考量上可能就沒有那麼完整, 所以彼此間信任的建立真的蠻重要的。 在財務顧問端, 也需要充分對客戶揭露資訊, 不管是規劃案收費方式,收費金額..等都要充分說明, 其他包括站在客觀中立立場, 為客戶選擇適合的金融工具, 來完成客戶的財務目標, 金融商品的費用,商品限制,風險不利因素..等, 都需要儘量提供給客戶, 站在對等的角度為客戶著想, 是一個稱職的財務顧問應該做到的。

透過運用跨理論模式激勵客戶

透過運用跨理論模式激勵客戶

我在FPSB部落格Financial Planet上發表的文章,透過運用跨理論模式激勵客戶。
財務顧問在替客戶做理財規劃時, 要多做價值觀的溝通, 為客戶量身訂做屬於他的財務規劃, 客戶才會去進行後續他需要做的配合事項。 理財規劃與客戶溝通相當重要, 不是只有問問資料跟跑一份報表出來給客戶而已。一般財務顧問都是在與客戶進行規劃時;只問有關客戶財務上的問題,例如收入、支出、生活上的花費…等等這些資料,然後替客戶跑出一份圖文並茂的報表,跟客戶解釋完就算完成一樁理財規劃的案子,了但是客戶聽完後當下覺得很受用,回去後卻沒有進一步的動作,例如要完全他的財務目標需要控制開銷、增加儲蓄金額等等,為什麼會發生這樣的狀況? 財務顧問也非常的專業啊,他也是CFP的持證人,專業上是沒有問題的,但是他就是沒有多做溝通,尤其在價值觀的溝通,為什麼客戶需要做理財規劃?對他的好處是什麼?他為什麼要相信你? 你可以協助他做什麼? 客戶要先有意願,我們才願意協助他打理財務上的問題,經過這樣的深層溝通後,客戶會知道說這份計畫就是他專屬的,能不能達成他的財務目標,99%的責任是他自己要去完成的,我們是從旁協助的角色,他如果自己沒有意願,我們也沒辦法去幫助他。能夠做這樣的溝通,客戶也心甘情願付出規劃費,你也才能夠協助他一項項落實他的財務計畫!

How to Use the Transtheoretical Model of Change to Motivate Clients

Have you ever experienced clients who appear happy to see you, listen carefully to your suggestions, and then don’t make any of your suggested changes? Why does this happen? You did everything right: you studied the clients’ financial situations, analyzed their data, and provided a comprehensive suggestion.All they had to do was follow the steps you provided and achieve their goals. So, why didn’t they make the changes they promised they would?

The Importance of a Strong Client Relationship

I have observed that some financial planners, especially newcomers, have difficulty maintaining client relationships. They focus too much on the data and analysis as opposed to the client. This style leads to clients who are unmotivated and financial planners who don’t fully understand their clients. The result is clients with low satisfaction. Financial planning is more than complex calculations. The key to financial planning is linking the calculations to clients’ lives and dreams. Clients might lack trust in financial planners if they don’t understand the process of financial planning. In fact, clients might find financial planning is worthless and think they don’t need it because planners don’t do a good job explaining the financial planning process in the introductory meeting.
The best way to build client trust is by listening to clients and motivating them to make change step-by-step. Great financial planners are great motivators as well; they know that clients are inspired by their own desires. The desire of making their dreams come true can drive them to reach their goals. Planners who only talk about numbers and calculations aren’t inspiring and will struggle to earn the trust of clients.

The Transtheoretical Model of Change

The Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) is a theoretical model of clients’ behavior, emotions, and cognitions during the financial planning process. Financial planning is actually a process of the TTM. After planners have done analysis and given clients comprehensive suggestions, they hope that clients will make changes, such as controlling their spending, saving regularly, etc. Since financial planners cannot be with their clients at all times telling them to control their spending or save more, it is very important that they communicate why making these suggested changes are so important. Once clients are convinced of the why, they will follow your recommendations and fulfill their goals.  If this happens, they will be very satisfied, trust you, and continue to work with you and recommend you to other people.
The Transtheoretical Model of Change includes five steps:
Precontemplation:Clients are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, because they are uninformed or under-informed about the consequences of their behavior.
ContemplationClients are intending to change in the next six months, they are more aware of the pros of changing but are also acutely aware of the cons.
PreparationClients are intending to take action in the immediate future.
ActionClients have made specific overt modifications in their lifestyles within the past six months.
MaintenanceClients are working to prevent relapse, they are less tempted to relapse and increasingly more confident that they can continue their change.
Clients are typically in the pre-contemplation stage when you first meet them. They are not aware of the advantages of financial planning and why they need a plan right away. They don’t feel it is an urgent matter to make a plan to change their financial situations. To build trust in the beginning of relationships, financial planners should explain the difference between financial planning and product-selling and how that affects clients.

Asking the Right Questions

The most important stage in the TTM process is contemplation, in which people are “intending to make changes in their lives”. Financial planning clients must have in mind either a goal they want to achieve in the future or a financial problem they are facing. The situation clients are in are what power them to make changes in their lives. Before financial planners begin analysis, they should have a deep understanding of why clients need a financial plan. Here are a few questions that can help planners better understand clients’ motivations:
  • What motivated you to do financial planning?
  • What will be the major achievements in your life?
  • Why is financial planning important to you right now?
By asking these types of questions and listening carefully, financial planners can determine if clients have intentions to make changes in their lives. The most important factor in having a successful financial planning relationship is that the motivation comes from the clients’ desires, not the planners’ instructions. It is the financial planner’s job to explain to clients the role of the planner is to provide suggestions and coach clients and 99% of the modifications made in the clients’ lives must be accomplished by them. Clients must understand this concept, believe that their plan can work, and be willing to follow the instructions given by their financial planner. This is the only path to success.
During the action stage of the Transtheoretical Model of Change, financial planners should help clients by making it clear and simple how the clients should follow their recommendations to them. The K.I.S.S., or “keep it simple, stupid” principle can be used to narrow data down to only high-level information that clients needs to hear. It is important to translate professional or internal language into simple steps that are easy to follow. Lastly, it is the financial planner’s job to monitor clients’ progress on a regular basis. Not all clients are disciplined enough to implement recommendations given by financial planners without constant support.

Client Trust is Key

A recent survey, Edelman Trust Barometer Global Result, reported the percentage of global trust in financial services industries dropped from 48 percent to 45 percent, according to interviews in 25 countries. In a section titled, Businesses Not Meeting Public’s Expectations, there is a table that shows the top ways to build consumer trust and the gap between business importance and company performance:
Listens to customer and feedback -31%
Places customer ahead of profits -36%
Has ethical business practices -29%
Has transparent and open business practices -33%
Communicates frequently and honestly on the state of business -31%
Takes responsible actions to address the issue of crisis -34%
If clients judge us using these criteria, how can financial planners improve their client relationships, so they can successfully motivate them?