Financial Planner who uphold the traits – Trust, Honesty and Integrity

(Last Updated On: 05/11/2016)

People won’t buy from you if they don’t trust you no matter how much return or how much value you could promise & deliver. It is even so MORE important when dealing with other people’s money. Fair comment?

This article was inspired by an incident which happened to me last night.

Tell me if this is really as good as it sounds. Still, I want to know the real risks behind it. I didn’t understand, so that’s why I asked – a lot. Come on, NO investments or business comes without risk, aye? I can accept undertaking risks but I cannot accept NOT understanding the risks behind. As the Chinese say (crudely translated) – “No so big frog leap everywhere on the street lah”. Not to say this is not legit but the approach itself is on the “shady” side. Maybe our friend should have learnt how to pitch better to analytical people like an ex-engineer. I do my homework the best I could before I present to client, more so to experienced investors or financially savvy client. The least you could do is be honest and reply – “I need to check on that and get back to you” rather than diverting my questions.

trust honesty integrity

Besides, I believe there are money and business opportunities everywhere. But it takes wisdom to choose the one to undertake based on our strength and passion. Else, I guess, we would be spreading ourselves too thin.

You wouldn’t want me to send you email twice a day asking you to join my MLM network, would you? ๐Ÿ™‚

This is the same which we could relate to in financial planning industry…agents who are trained to sell you the good points of the products.

buffett honesty expensive giftInsurance is perhaps the one thing that people feel MOST helpless about when it comes to trust. Most people would have at least one Bad experience with insurance agents.ย You come to realize that getting insured is almost necessary nowadays but at the same time, you can’t really tell if the agent is really sincere and disclosing everything there is or not.

Because most people will only sell you the good points.

Oh well, I reckon it’s natural most only want to hear the good things.

And the content or all the fine prints in an insurance policy contract? Oh man – 99% people who are not in the industry itself would not understand the content, even though you try. This puts you at the mercy of insurance company when shit hits the fan. It is fair to say even rookie agents would not be able to explain what there is inside the contract for you. In fact, I do think you’d be better off with dealing with an rookie agent who really doesn’t know stuff rather than with an experienced agent who’s NOT disclosing stuff.

When other really ethical agents or advisors come in, most already have built an invisible wall barrier, and boy, it is not EASY to break this defensiveness.

There are 2 sides of the coin by doing this. Hardcore sales people would say such approach is DUMB! By disclosing everything, you’ll risk losing the sales. But! If by disclosing everything, a client doesn’t appreciate this – then I think, he is not a client I would like to have anyway. Birds of the same feathers flock together aye? I think when we have principle, we are able to attract the right kind of clients, partners or friends. After all, a case closed via non-full disclosure would not be sustainable or have repeat sales in the long run. What say you?

A counter argument is also true actually. It is also very tempting to “misuse the trust” (for the lack of better word) to sell something which is not in the best interest of a client. Or something that the client doesn’t actually need in the first place. How to detect this? When you hear this phrase –

“Support me this time lah…”

Sounds eerily familiar?

being honest - personal finance

Anyway, I am grateful that when I started up, there are people like KCLau who collaborated with me (on REITMethod.com) when I was a nobody, and allow me to build my own trust with readers like you ย – me leveraging on their credibility.

Trust first, then real value second.

And I am happy to say I do have repeat customers/clients, which I could recall here, in no particular order. ย People that I wish to thank immensely, like –

  1. Mr John Lim, comfortably retired in 50’s
  2. Mr Pang, accountant in 50’s
  3. Dr Stephanie Tan – dental surgeon in 20’s
  4. Dr Maxim Anton Kanny
  5. Dr Thinakaran Malapan
  6. Dr Edmund Chu
  7. Ms Helen Choo
  8. Mr YH Ng
  9. Mr YK Choong
  10. Mr Steve Lye
  11. Mr Patrick Ling
  12. Mr Howie Phang
  13. Mr Louis Teo
  14. Mr Anter Tey
  15. Mr TY Lee
  16. …and hundreds more – too many to list here

Just this time, I humbly ask for your help. Just 10 minutes of your time. Please do me a favour if you benefited from this site of mine or my online programs – by answering my questions below.

Your testimonials would help me build trust and add more value to the rest of the community. Not-so-positive feedbacks will enable me to improve & rediscover myself.

  1. Throughout your interaction with me here or by being my customer for my online courses – do you feel I am being honest with you?
  2. What are the things that trigger the feeling above?
  3. How could I improve on this?

For the rest of my readers, if you have never dropped a comment, this is the time to do so. There is no free gift or incentive this time for posting your comments but I will so appreciate every single words you said.

I am being vulnerable here because comments are NOT moderated. ย So post yours below for others to see. No hard feelings. I will answer to each and every of your comments below. You could even tell me if I suck ๐Ÿ™‚

Updated – this is one of the best personal reply I got:

Pang on integrity

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. CK, you know what, from writing articles out of sheer pleasure when I first started, now it has developed into something I am committed to deliver the most value and integrity to loyal subscribers like you ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’d be asking myself stuff before hitting PUBLISH button – does this contain any errors? Anything I didn’t disclose? Any disclaimer? It’s getting more “pressured” but in a good way because I know there are readers who scrutinize each and every words I wrote

  2. I just learnt a new abbreviation on FOCUS. Thanks Miskhal.

  3. That’s powerful word indeed Chun Yan ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

  4. Dr Stephanie, grateful for your compliments. I started off not from the financial sector, perhaps that is the reason I could empathize with non-financially savvy people trying to get their finances straight. Then I’d think, say, you are a dental surgeon, and you bombard me, the patient, with all these medical terms and what nott, I’d be frustrated too.
    Thank you and I hope we’ll meet soon. And all the best with your new private practice, new environment, and the young boss of the family!

  5. Patrick, thank you for your comments truly. I try to stand from customer standpoint, if I were at the receiving end, I’ll detest jargons too.
    Perhaps deep inside, there’s always the engineer side of me even though I am no longer an engineer by profession ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Honesty is indeed the best policy. In the short run you may not be able to close many sales but in the long run you will be successful, if you persevere, as it takes time to build trust with people. Anyone who does sales must remember this, as those who are not truthful with their customers are just doing “hit and run” business and this will not last long. Those who are honest and upfront with their customers will last the distance. I have seen salespeople come and go. The ones that last and become successful are those who bother to nurture the trust with their customers and are willing to forgo short term rewards for long term success.

  7. I am often search and scan through all the site I went to, why I do like this? easy to search for site that can add value to my knowledge in the long term. so this site all I can say i pretty happy with LCF response and post.

    ok telling both side of the coin may sound stupid but getting the right people, right need and right thing to do is the correct stuff for getting repeat customer coz their know you are reliable and can be trusted in case need arise.

    i will strongly condemm if honesty in the first place here not around. so I will say keep not change ok LCF

  8. Someone said. You have to FOCUS on what you are doing.
    FOCUS. Follow On Course Until you Success. So you have to master and success what you are doing right now. good luck.

  9. strongly agreed, that the reason I look for your advice for financial planning but no other.

  10. Hey,

    Sorry forgot to answer your question… Totally agree with Patrick Ling. A point to add to
    2. You answer even the questions that sound unintelligent without contempt. A very valuable service to people not from the finance sector but trying to set their finances straight.

  11. Hi there,

    A very heartwarming piece you’ve got there, Lieu. I totally agree that by being honest and disclosing both sides of a situation to clients, we might seem to be losing initially but we’re actually filtering and retaining good clients. True in all sectors i suppose. We are blessed to have ‘bumped’ into somebody with integrity like you though we’ve never met in person. Will engage you again when we’re more settled down in the new environment. Keep up the good work!

  12. 1. Yes, absolutely.
    2. The value- added effort you put in to make sure we get the best is the hallmark of your sincerity. You also do not have the tendency to exaggerate things like many writes do. The arguments you put forward are often simple and easy t o understand – always objective & logical and therefore, very easy to evaluate what you are saying. Actually, I am quite surprise at your maturity despite your youthfulness.
    3. How do an honest person improve his honesty? Just don’t change! ๐Ÿ™‚

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