We are a financial coaching and family office. We are able to assist our clients in both Germany and South Africa, so you only need one adviser to help you with all your financial needs.
We are not financial advisors, and can therefore not give any financial advice. We can however give you some guidelines about the industry in Germany and also some tips on finding a good consultant.
Here is some basic information you need when you want to use the services of a financial or wealth advisor.
- Independent vs employed
Financial advisors can be self-employed (independent) or employed at a Financial institution
- The term Financial advisor is not legally defined and is it also not a protected profession. Financial advisors can also be insurance brokers.
- If you want to change advisors, you should check your current contract, if contractual deadlines have been agreed upon you must honour them.
- Some work on a fee basis, (Honorarberater) where they receive a fee for their advice, irrespective if you signed a contract with the advisor. Confirm the fees upfront with your advisor. The advantage of working on this basis is you will more likely get independent advice
- An advisor can also work on a commission basis (Provisionsberater), they offer their services free of charge but get commission on the contracts they sign. The disadvantage can be that the advisor will not necessarily sell you the best product but the one that earns them the most commission. It is a good idea to compare products from multiple advisors.
- A Consumer advocate (Verbraucherschützer) is per se on the side of the customer and they have no interest in earning anything. They will recommend financial products based on secure data on individual banks, showing you the best possible solutions. They are not allowed to broker any products. Their services are not free, and you can find one at your nearest consumer advice centre. It is a good option if you are looking for second opinions
- Consultation protocol (Beratungsprotokoll) – A uniform protocol was developed by the Verbraucherzentrale and offers fixed standards that can be used to make it easier for consumers to compare products and also understand the content. It is thus more transparent. Customers must be informed in detail about the risks and opportunities that the product offers. The individual steps of the consultation and all the information provided are recorded. The customer will be asked to sign the protocol to declare that they have been fully informed. Do not sign this document if you do not clearly understand everything regarding the protocol or contract. Never sign a blank document.
- Independent advice from financial advisors is to be secured on the basis of fixed rules. The consultant is therefore obliged to question the customer in detail about his financial situation. At the same time, he should determine which wishes the customer has with his investment. There is then an obligation to provide advice based on the current situation and the wishes of the customer. If certain financial products are recommended, the financial advisor must be able to justify the recommendation.
- Financial advice according to the DIN standard is being planned by the legislator. Such a procedure would give financial advice a standardized framework. Consumers could rely on a fixed procedure of the respective advisor. With the help of the standard, the risk could be minimized that consumers could get advice from dubious financial advisors or were simply wrongly advised.
- Automated advice (Robo-Advisor) These are automated alternatives to traditional financial advice. The application determines the risk profile and creates a corresponding portfolio. The performance is monitored and the portfolio is adjusted when needed
- It is important to ask about or research the person’s training and professional experience.
- It is good if they have an IHK Certificate as a “Fachwirt für Finanzplanung”
- It can count in your favour if the person is independent and not working purely as an intermediary for a specific bank or insurance company
- Always remember that although a financial adviser is looking at your best interests, they will always act in their own financial interest first
- Do not trust blindly and do your own due-diligence
- Nothing is free in the financial industry
- Never sign blank documents or documents with open fields
- An advisor should never push you to sign a document, but give you enough time to think about it before signing the contract. The advisor should also tell you that you can get a second opinion for example at the Consumer advice centre (Vebraucherzentrale)
- An advisor should inform you about the risks involved
- You should receive written confirmation of the most important facts
- Your advisors should inform you how you can appeal or raise objections (Widerspruchsmöglichkeiten)
|German Term||English Term||Description|
|Ausschließlichkeitsvermittler||Exclusive Advisor||The offer a limited product portfolio as they are connected to an insurance company and can therefore offer you the products of the respective company in its financial advice. He works on a commission basis and is obliged to the insurance company. It is therefore a bound financial advice and not an independent one.|
|Mehrfachagent||Non-exclusive Advisor||Like the exclusive agent, the multiple agent is dependent on insurance companies. It is advantageous for financial advice that he can draw on the products of several insurance companies and can therefore guarantee a certain degree of comparability. He also works commission-based.|
|Versicherungsmakler||Insurance broker||In contrast to the exclusive broker and the multiple agent, the broker owes the customer “Best Advice”. He is therefore obliged to provide the customer with the best possible value for money on the regular market. He is also obliged to act independently of the insurance company and to keep an eye on all relevant providers. However, the broker also works on the basis of commissions.|
|Honorarberater||Honorary Advisor||So-called honorary consultants are still relatively unknown in Germany in the context of financial consulting. These are often called insurance advisors. They advise customers on the basis of a predetermined fee and are therefore independent of insurance companies and financial institutions. Like an insurance broker, the fee-based consultant is committed to the customer and owes financial advice, taking into account the best possible individual situation.|
|Provisionsberater||Advisor working on commission||they offer their services free of charge but get a commission on the contracts they sign|
Where to find more information
Financial Advisors on our Website
We receive a lot of questions about income tax declarations and where to get help, especially getting help in English.First I have to state that
Homepage of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Information about the German state pension scheme can be found on their homepage for foreign languages. The German site has a lot more information.
Health insurance is mandatory for everyone visiting or living in Germany.When living in Germany you can either take our private (privaten Krankenversicherung – PKV) or