Doctors Should Beware of No Fee Financial Advisors

A prospective new physician client filled out the short form on my website to set up his initial financial strategy consultation with me.

If you're dead serious about getting your finances and investments in order this year, you should do the same right here:

Once I receive these requests, I call you to let you know I received it and to set up a time to discuss your situation and review your finances.

When I called this physician he gave me the following response:

"I don't like that you charge fees. I'm checking out some 'no fee' financial advisors also."

This is soooooo typical of doctors who have no clue about what they're doing with their money.

There are 4 groups in society that I know of who do not get paid for most or all services provided:

1. Doctors
2. Doctors who accept Medicaid patients
3. Doctors who practice emergency medicine
4. Charities

Notice that financial advisors are NOT on that list.

So my response to this physician was "Are you hiring a charity?"

After all if the financial advisors this oh-so-ignorant physician was checking out  weren't charging any fees, then are they working for free?

How generous of them!

You and I both know that just isn't true.

You see, people in general -- and doctors in particular -- think that just because they don't get a bill, the service from a financial advisor is free.

What you don't know is that you've probably just hired a commission based salesperson not an advisor who acts in your best interests and is paid directly by you.

The "no fee" financial advisor makes his income by selling you investment and insurance products, and that's an inherent conflict of interest because he's not paid directly by you. Instead he's paid by an insurance company or mutual fund company or brokerage firm who he has allegiance to.

Do you think maybe....just maybe...a commission based financial advisor will steer you to products you don't need? Remember that's how they're paid.

It doesn't take a doctor (haha!) to figure that out!

Contrast that with what I do for all of my clients -- of which almost all are physicians from coast to coast.

I provide investment advice, manage your investment portfolio for the long term across all accounts, and provide financial planning services without the sale of any products.

In exchange for the services I provide, you pay me a fee. This is about as clear cut and transparent as it can get.

It's how you treat patients.

And it's how financial advisors should treat physicians like you.

In the end I feel sorry for the physician I spoke to because he just didn't get the concept.

Instead he probably won't realize what he did until it's too late. Those types of mistakes cost you big time.

If this is happening to you right now, you should seriously think about what type of "advice" you're really getting from  your advisor?

Is his income based on the sale of products?

Does he send you an invoice every few months? If he doesn't, you might have hired a really expensive "no fee" advisor.

But there is hope to remedy the situation if you click here:
Talk to you again soon.

Setu Mazumdar, MD, CFP®

"Making work optional for doctors"