In my constant endeavor to provide right investment advice to our blog readers, I make sure that whatever information provided here is UNBIASED.
I am proud to say that ReLakhs.com is one of the very few personal finance blogs in India that has nothing to SELL. We do not have any product or service to market or sell through this platform. So, rest assured, we will keep doing things this way only 🙂
Though I am extremely satisfied with my blogging work, it is next to impossible to provide comprehensive financial planning assistance to blog readers through blog posts/comments alone (not advisable also).
Hence, have been suggesting and referring them to a few fee-only financial planners (but I am not associated with them) whom I believe are very talented, honest and follow good business ethics. I have been following their work closely & interacting with them for the last many months and I can confidently say that these individuals are some of the best financial planners (FEE ONLY) that you will come across in India.
I believe that the main responsibility of a financial planner is to improve his/her clients’ financial health and also to wipe out financial illiteracy. Hence, I always believed that a financial planners’ work is as noble as doctor’s or teacher’s.
So, finding a competent and ethical financial planner is very important and can be a challenging task. You need to engage with a financial planner who acts in their clients’ best interests.
Before introducing my latest list of top fee only financial planners (who are SEBI Registered Investment Advisors as well), let us first understand the term ‘fee-only financial planner’. Who is a fee-only financial planner? Who is a SEBI registered Investment Advisor?
You may go kindly through my previous articles on Best & Popular Fee-only Financial Planners here;
Different categories of Financial Advisors
There are two broad categories of financial advisers/ financial planners as below;
- Product sellers (advice can be ancillary or incidental to business) – They generally do not charge any fee from their clients but receive commissions form financial services providers. For example ; Mutual fund distributors, insurance agents and banks fall in this category.
- Pure Advisors : They charge only for the advice offered and do not accept/receive any commissions from financial service/product providers. SEBI Registered Investment Advisers fall in such categories.
As per SEBI Investment Advisers Regulations – 2013, the SEBI registered IAs are prohibited from accepting any commissions. They can only charge fee to their clients.
Who is a Fee-only Financial Planner? – A planner who charges a flat fee to his/her client is a fee-only financial planner. He/she does not get commission from any other sources. The fee is not linked to the assets being managed. Hence, it makes sense to opt for a fee-only financial planner.
If you are a DIY investor (Do It Yourself), you wish to create a financial plan and manage your finances all by yourself. In case, you would like someone else to assist you to manage your personal finances then you can entrust your personal finance matters to a fee-only planner.
Let me now present ‘my new list of top fee-only financial planners (Part-5)‘. Kindly note that this is definitely not a comprehensive list and is just based on my personal observations and interactions (directly / indirectly) with them.
It’s just that I am fortunate enough to know about these financial planners and have been learning a lot from them. I am sure there are many more such popular & best financial planners who are equally talented (if not more) that I am not in touch or may be not aware of (personally)..
Let’s learn more about them in their own words. Below are their responses to the questionnaire that I have requested them to complete.
My latest list of Best Fee-only Financial Planners in India
Below is my latest list of popular fee-only Personal Financial Planners in India ;
- Ajay Pruthi of plnr.in
- Priyadarshini Mulye of Artha FinPlan
- Salma Sony of salmasony.com
Ajay Pruthi of plnr.in
- Are you a Fee-only Advisor/Planner : Yes
- Type of your firm (LLP/Pvt..) ? : Individual
- Is your firm registered with SEBI as IA? : Yes (as individual)
- Year of Starting your firm/advisory services : June 2023
- Year of starting fee only planning services : June 2023
- Brief about your company : PLNR is a Flat Fee-Only comprehensive financial planning platform based on the foundation that financial advice should be unbiased, honest, and affordable. I believe that today’s youth who have just started earning should be able to afford the fee for unbiased financial planning services. The right financial advice at the beginning of their career will help them to get the right direction.
- Do you provide Comprehensive FP services?– Yes, we provide only comprehensive financial planning services and no other services. I believe that advising on one particular aspect without analyzing the complete picture may not be good for our clients.
- Do you provide Financial plan execution support?-. We are platform agnostic and support our clients in implementing the plan across all platforms if they are facing any problems. We do not sell any products or charge any commission.
- Brief about yourself (qualification, total work experience, num of years as fee only planner, hobbies, interests etc.,) : I am an MBA and B.Tech and have a total work experience of more than 15 years in the financial domain. I was working as a paraplanner with Finvin Financial Planners since 2018. Prior to Finvin, I had worked with ICICI and SBI Life. My hobby includes reading psychology books as I believe that understanding the psychology of a person is very important before creating a financial plan.
- Number of clients (only FP clients) : 25 Clients in one and a half month (though I have attended 1500 clients in last 5 years working as a paraplanner with Mr. Melvin Joseph – Finvin Financial Planner)
- Fee range (approx & optional) : Fixed First Year Fee– Rs. 11,000. Fixed Renewal Fee – Rs. 5,000 from 2nd year onwards
- Do you provide services through online or offline or both modes? : Both online and offline.
- Types of other value added services offered (ex : Insurance claim processing, real estate consultancy, NRI taxation matters, WILL writing service etc.,) : Yes, helping clients to choose health insurance for their parents, help in claim processing,
- Do you receive commission from financial products directly or indirectly (through sister concern or family member)??- No, we do not sell any products or charge any commission, directly or indirectly.
- Do you blog? If so, kindly provide your blog url link : Inspired from Zerodha, we have started writing articles category-wise. You will find all the articles/chapters under a single category. We are planning to finish all financial planning modules in the next 6 months. Stay tuned if you want to learn about financial planning @ plnr.in
- Your email Id (official) : email@example.com
- Kindly share few sentences , ‘Journey before becoming fee only planner’ : I am not one of those people who was interested in personal finance. In fact, I used to hate finance-related talks and conversations. I made my own set of mistakes during my initial financial journey. Since I wanted to make a quick buck when I started earning, I tried investing in multiple options such as stock investing, options, and derivatives and in the process lost some of my hard-earned money. That’s where the journey started towards learning personal finance. I never knew that this journey toward learning personal finance will become my profession one day 😊
- Kindly share few sentences , ‘Journey after becoming fee-only planner, your opinion on fee-only FP & your learnings’ : After interacting with 1500-2000 clients, there are 2 things which everyone should learn – 1. Never take random advice for your personal finances. Even if you take random advice, research first and then act on it. 2. Personal finance is just not finance, it is a mix of emotions and finances, manage your emotions while taking a personal financial decision. Journey after becoming fee only planner has been very satisfying but sometimes it drains you emotionally as we are in the business of managing our client’s emotions and expectations that too on the money front.
- Your future plans or initiatives?– 3 Plans –
- 1. Making financial planning affordable for middle-income families
- 2. Giving value-added services to our customers in addition to financial plan
- 3. To provide excellent customer services
- Any other insight you would like to share with us.. especially regarding the future of Fee-only service in India, SEBI’s regulations, Changing perceptions of an Indian investor etc., : Yes, this insight is for all the investors who are reading this article – Everyone makes mistakes in their financial journey. You are not the first one who lost 2-3 Lakhs in the stock market, and you will not be the last one. You are not the first one who is stuck in any of the investments like a home purchase (where you have not got possession), or any other financial product and wants to come out of it and you will not be the last one. Accept it, move on, and try to make better financial decisions.
Priyadarshini Mulye of Artha FinPlan
- Are you a Fee-only Advisor/Planner : YES
- Type of your firm (LLP/Pvt..) ? : INDIVIDUAL
- Is your firm registered with SEBI as IA? : YES
- Year of Starting your firm/advisory services : 2019
- Year of starting fee only planning services : 2019
- Brief about your company : ARTHA FinPlan provides ‘Comprehensive Financial Planning & advisory’ services on ‘FEE ONLY” basis.
- Do you provide Comprehensive FP services? YES
- Do you provide Financial plan execution support? NO
- Brief about yourself (qualification, total work experience, num of years as fee only planner, hobbies, interests etc.,) : I pursued MBA(Fin) from Pune University, started working soon after that & worked with two esteemed financial institutions in Personal Finance Domain in a span of almost 8.5 years. While working I pursued CFPCm. Upon receiving this qualification, with the sole purpose of providing financial planning & advisory services in more ethical, pure & unbiased way, I resigned from my services in the year 2018. Duly applied for Investment Advisory Registration from SEBI. Upon receiving the registration, I started ARTHA FinPlan in the year 2019. Since then, happy to have assisted clients from almost all parts of our country & few NRI clients as well in planning their finances. In leisure, I love to spend time reading, travelling, being in nature. I am a student of Yoga!
- Number of clients (only FP clients) : Active clients – About 50
- Fee range (approx & optional) :
- Resident Indians- First Year- Rs 18,000
- Second Year onwards- RS 9,000
- Non- Resident Indians- First Year- RS 21,000
- Second Year Onwards- Rs 11,000
- Resident Indians- First Year- Rs 18,000
- Do you provide services through online or offline or both modes? : Process is paperless. Its online but prefer in-person meeting with clients where & if possible.
- Types of other value added services offered (ex : Insurance claim processing, real estate consultancy, NRI taxation matters, WILL writing service etc.,) : Not anything right now but planning to work more on providing services related to succession planning!
- Do you receive commission from financial products directly or indirectly (through sister concern or family member)?? NO
- Do you blog? If so, kindly provide your blog url link : Yes, I Do. Kindly refer the link @ arthafinplan.com
- Your email Id (official) : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kindly share few sentences, ‘Journey before becoming fee only planner’ : Prior to starting own practice as a ‘fee only planner’, I was typically living a life of a ‘corporate employee’! I was getting a good pay, learning many things about personal finance, client’s behavior & thoughts about money, interpersonal relations but still I was feeling a lack of belongingness to my daily work. Perhaps the work was not matching with my core values! This only motivated me to pursue more knowledge & qualifications from the domain! I am thankful for all those moments, people I worked with who encouraged me to learn more about personal finance so I can start something of my own with more determination!
- Kindly share few sentences, ‘Journey after becoming fee only planner, your opinion on fee-only FP & your learnings’ : Once I started practicing as a ‘fee only’ planner, I unlearned many things from my life as a corporate employee. I started to think with wide dimensions when it comes to client’s thoughts, perspectives about money & personal finance. These learnings have helped me a lot to think differently & put equal emphasis on qualitative aspects of the person along with data & numbers while preparing a financial plan. I now, can extend my services to people from rural areas too! I am now working more on spreading financial awareness & literacy in every possible way! I am happy that my daily work & duties totally resonate with my core values & ethics!
- Your future plans or initiatives? As a financial planner, I truly believe its my duty to spread financial awareness to people from rural areas too, especially women; so that they can take informed decisions about money & investment, can stay away from fraudulent investments. I so have initiated & formed one ‘Self-help group’ at my hometown. I can thus connect with more women & participate in their financial development with the help of government initiatives.
- Any other insight you would like to share with us.. especially regarding the future of Fee-only service in India, SEBI’s regulations, Changing perceptions of an Indian investor etc., : When it comes to financial awareness & literacy, people from urban & rural parts need them equally! People are more driven with their aspirations today which sometimes make them fall prey to mis-selling. This is when they realize the importance of ‘unbiased & pure investment advice’. A SEBI RIA creates a ‘trust factor’ in the minds of people & that’s important when it comes to ‘financial advisory’. With the trust factor, ethics & compliance, We, SEBI RIAs can assist them suitably to plan their finances well. SEBI is taking all possible measures to protect investor’s interest, that’s a great help!
Salma Sony of salmasony.com
- Are you a Fee-only Advisor/Planner: Yes
- Type of your firm (LLP/Pvt..)?: Individual
- Is your firm registered with SEBI as IA?: Yes, as an individual. My SEBI Registration No. is INA000017222
- Year of Starting your firm/advisory services: Oct 2022 (I started with a fee-only practice after getting SEBI RIA in Oct 2022). However, I have advised 300+ families as an adviser and senior financial planner using comprehensive financial planning while in a job.
- Year of starting fee-only planning services: Oct 2022
- Brief about your company: I am a SEBI Registered Investment Adviser practicing Fee-Only Financial Planning. I am also a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and Blogger.
- Do you provide Comprehensive FP services? Yes, comprehensive Financial Planning service includes:
- Risk Profiling
- Net Worth Analysis
- Cash flow Analysis
- Life & Health Insurance Planning
- Existing Investment In-Depth Analysis
- Tax Planning
- House Purchase Planning
- Children’s Education / Marriage Planning
- Retirement Planning
- Loan / Debt Management Planning
- Discretionary Goal Planning (Vacation Planning, Car Purchase Planning, etc)
- Do you provide financial plan execution support? Yes, I guide my clients so that they can execute themselves.
- Brief about yourself (qualification, total work experience, num of years as a fee-only planner, hobbies, interests, etc.): My educational qualification is MBA (Finance) & CFP. I have 13 years of work experience in finance and 8 years of experience consulting individuals in comprehensive financial planning, insurance planning, tax planning, and investment advisory. Hobbies: Planting indoor plants, listening to music, and love adventure.
- Number of clients (only FP clients): Approx. 45
- Fee range (approx & optional): The financial planning services fee is Rs.20,000 for Resident Indians and Rs.22,000 for NRIs for the first year. From the second year onwards, it is Rs.10,000 for Resident Indians and Rs.11,000 for NRIs.
- Do you provide services through online or offline or both modes?: Online mode
- Types of other value-added services offered (ex: Insurance claim processing, real estate consultancy, NRI taxation matters, WILL writing service, etc.): Yes, I guide during the Insurance claim processing, Tax Planning, Will creation, or any such related activity which are part of financial planning.
- Do you receive a commission from financial products directly or indirectly (through a sister concern or family member)? – No, I am a Fee-Only Financial Planner, and I don’t get any commission or remuneration from financial products directly or indirectly (through a sister concern or family member). Such kind of act is prohibited as per SEBI regulations.
- Do you blog? If so, kindly provide your blog URL link: Here is the link @ salmasony.com
- Your email Id (official): email@example.com
- Kindly share a few sentences, ‘Journey before becoming fee-only planner’: I started my professional career in 2010, completed my CFP in 2013, and the same year I got married. After my marriage, I took a small break and started working as Financial Adviser in Bangalore in 2015 and later as Senior Financial Adviser in another firm in Mumbai. In 2019, I left the job and got into mutual fund distribution and realized this was not satisfying despite a decent regular income (I’m being honest – letting this regular income stop was tough, but I decided to guide all my clients slowly move to direct plan even before license surrender). In Oct 2022, I got my SEBI Registration, and in the ten months, I’m happy to help approx. 45 families with comprehensive financial planning. Finally, I am satisfied with this profession, where my focus is on my clients and not on selling financial products. I also blog regularly and aim to create personal finance awareness among individuals.
- Kindly share a few sentences, ‘Journey after becoming fee-only planner, your opinion on fee-only FP & your learnings’: It’s a fantastic feeling helping many individuals looking for guidance with no conflict of interest. Everyone is interested in what’s best for them, and I’m glad to be in a profession that guides what’s best for the client keeping the client’s interest at par.
- Your future plans or initiatives? I am looking to see myself as a “Financial Doctor” for all the families I advise. Building a relationship is the most essential factor for me, and I want to help more families with the same intention without compromising the quality of the service and relationship.
- Any other insight you would like to share with us.. especially regarding the future of Fee-only service in India, SEBI’s regulations, Changing perceptions of an Indian investor, etc.: With so many changes and noises in the financial industry, Fee-only financial advisory service in India is the need of the hour. This can save and secure many families’ financial future.
Final Thoughts :
My sincere thanks to these wonderful and awesome financial planners for responding to my questionnaire and accepting my request to ‘feature’ in my blog post.
In case, you are actively looking for a fee-only financial planner who can guide and lead you through today’s financial jungle with ease, you may kindly contact the above top financial planners or visit below links for a comprehensive list of fee-only financial planners.
As my journey in ‘Personal finances’ field continues, will definitely come across more fee-only planners. So, I will keep updating the list of popular Financial planners as and when it is required.
(Kindly note that ReLakhs.com is not associated with any of the above mentioned Financial planning service providers. We have not received any monetary benefit for publishing this article. This post is for information purposes only and not to endorse any service provider. We are not biased towards any specific financial planning Firm.)
(Post first published on : 23-Aug-2023)