UAE residents should only invest with financial experts

  • Seek advice from qualified professionals before committing to investment schemes, says Nexus Group CEO

Long-term financial planning is crucial for residents of the UAE, especially those attempting to maximize their earning years in the country, yet few seek suitably qualified financial advisers before investing.

The fact-finding process is the key to good financial planning and is used to gain a better understanding of a client’s situation. It is a process one must be trained in, yet in the UAE few financial advisors have credentials such as the UK’s Chartered Insurance Institute certificate. While the largest firms usually insist on such qualifications and offer continuous personal development internally, smaller ones often lack the capacity to do this.

It is critical, say financial experts, that individuals in the UAE properly interview their potential financial advisors, in much the same way they might assess any other professional consultant.

Tarun Khanna, CEO of Nexus Group says “Proper financial advisors take a holistic approach. For instance, someone nearing retirement would have very different needs than a new parent.”

Understanding a client’s attitude toward risk is also vital to ensure a product falls within his or her budget and comfort zone, and advisors must be upfront about fees and costs, including penalties for early withdrawal.

“As a broker, Nexus vets every advisor it hires. Our compliance team will check the quality of advice offered to ensure that it suits the client’s circumstances,” says Khanna.

“Satisfied customers refer advisors to friends, colleagues, or relatives, reducing the risk of being offered poor advice, as this would jeopardize their relationship with the referrer. On the other hand, the cold-callers almost invariably press for a sale within a very short space of time, regardless of clients’ circumstances.”

Top 5 tips for seeking professional financial advice in the UAE

  1. Check credentials

Quiz advisors on their qualifications, experience and professional training.

  1. Opt for established firms

Bigger companies can hire better-trained staff and will have structures in place to ensure continuous training and development.

  1. Talk about yourself

Explain what you hope to gain from your policy and the length of time you’re prepared to commit to it. Be realistic – how much money would your family need if something were to happen to you?

  1. Read the small print

All financial dealings are complex – that’s why we seek help in the first place.

  1. Ask about regulation and service levels

Is your adviser registered with the relevant insurance authority or financial services authority in your jurisdiction? Good advisors should stay in regular contact and review your policy approximately twice per year.