Bringing a local financial planner isn't always a good idea

Written by
Peter Dunn

The best things in life are free, except when it comes to financial planners.

As you search for a financial planner to work with your employees, you will inevitably find some, and they’ll more than likely be local, who offer one-off free workshops. It sounds enticing. After all, it’s free and you’re attempting to create a culture of fiscal responsibility and financial wellness. And won’t your employees still reap the benefits of even a little bit of time spent with a professional financial planner?

Not exactly.

What usually happens is that local financial planners will offer a free one-off workshop to an organization as a means of prospecting for new clients. Instead of focusing on budgeting and improving the financial wellness of your employees, this rogue planner will treat the 90 minutes he’s allotted as an extended sales pitch. And more than likely, within the first 10 minutes your employees will realize they’ve become prospective clients.

Not only is this sales pitch a waste of your employees’ time, it can also damage the faith they put in any financial planner you might retain in the future. As a result, the next time you bring in a financial planner, one who cares about improving financial wellness in your workplace, your employees will view it as another instance in which they might be captives to a sales pitch.

Anyone who has endured an unwelcome sales pitch (so pretty much everyone) will do anything they can to avoid being sold to again. Like skipping out on valuable financial planning advice that could help them get out of debt and reduce their financial stress.

Let’s end this post the way we started it: with a cliché. When it comes to financial planners, you get what you pay for.

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