UAE Financial Adviser – how to avoid the bad ones

UAE Financial Adviser

UAE Financial Adviser Information

The main reason why most expats go to Dubai is to better their lifestyles. When this happens, most people tend to have fun and forget the need to plan their finances and goals to suit their long-term ambitions, in fact it is horrific to note that as much as 75% of expats don’t manage to save any money at all whilst working in the UAE. There are many expat financial advisers in UAE who can help you plan your finances.  However in my personal experience I have found that “some of them” are completely and utterly unscrupulous.

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Many UAE financial adviser companies operate high pressure sales environments based around sales targets and not suiting the customers requirements or plans, some will hound you on the phone five to six times a day.  Some of them of course are alright.  So rather than dish the dirt I am simply going to convey which companies I would deal with and which ones I would not based on my own personal experience, however that is not to say they are all bad, i may just have had an awful experience with them that was unique to me! This is my own personal opinion, which I am free to express.  This only represents my own personal opinion and is not a representation of the companies general performance, you should ask around and check them all out.

  • Holborn Assets – I would not deal with them again personally
  • LIME – I would certainly not deal with them again personally
  • DeVere Group – I never want to speak to another person from this company again personally
  • Global Eye – I never want to speak to another person from this company again personally
  • PWS Prestige – I would deal with them again they were pretty good
  • Acuma – I would deal with them (owned by DeVere – Yes I know)

Top Tips For Choosing Your UAE Financial Adviser

It is important to note that in most occasions, good financial advisers are the ones not allied with any particular provider because they do not have any vested interest in particular provider products. The goal of the best financial adviser in Dubai should be to act on your behalf and recommend products that best suit your need.

This mostly happens when the advisers are allied with a broker and not a provider directly. Your first goal in choosing a financial adviser should be to ensure the adviser will act on your behalf. It is also important to note that in most occasions, independent financial advisers will undertake a broad analysis of your financial situation before recommending a product unlike representatives who will sell a certain product to you.

Here is an important point to note.  If your independent UAE financial adviser is hounding you with 10 plus calls a day then i would suggest you stay well away, certain companies place enormous pressure on these guys to sell you as much as possible.  If you rep is calling you not stop it is likely he is feeling the pressure because he is not hitting all of his or her sales targets – stay well clear.

Services and Fees

Generally, most UAE financial advisers do not charge for their services in Dubai. You are also under no obligation to make any buying decision if you do not want to. Most expat UAE financial advisers will meet up with you at least twice. On the first meeting, they will explain to you the concept of financial planning in terms of retirement planning, family protection and welfare, children’s education and your long-term goals and aspirations. They will also help you identify your priorities, commitments and goals and bring to light any issue with your existing financial plan.

If you require any assistance on your existing financial program, they will offer you with a solution on your second meeting. Before meeting for the second time, the expat financial advisers in UAE will search for a financial plan that meets your budget and financial situation. When you meet the second time, they will present to you a financial solution that is the best to you based on their experience. It is at this moment that you will make the decision to purchase the solution but with no obligations.

After Purchase

The best expat financial advisers will meet you regularly to re-examine the performance of the monetary solution they recommended to you. These review meetings are to check whether your financial needs have changed, which might make the solution inappropriate. During these review meetings, the advisers will also determine whether the financial plan is working as needed. If not, he or she will recommend actions that will put your action in tandem with your targets.

The best adviser should also offer after-sale service and organizational support. You should ensure the adviser you choose has a good brokerage firm supporting him or her in the backdrop to ensure that you are getting the best service. You should also ensure the expat you choose is highly experienced. You can determine the experience of the adviser by reading online reviews and profile of the adviser. You should also be careful to avoid dodgy financial advisers for all of the reasons listed above.

How About A Recommendation?

You should meet a number of advisers to see what you think and what solutions they present to you, I went through the process a number of times, on one occasion i had terrible advice that cost me dearly and generated me nothing as well as a torrent of high pressure, verging on abusive and intrusive phone calls.  However there are good ones, I use a guy called David Tosh who is with PWS – he is a decent guy and I know him from rugby.  Ask for him by contacting PWS he is a good UAE financial adviser in my personal opinion and did not call me at 11pm at night asking if i was “Going to shit or get off the pot” as one did!

About John Robberts
John Robberts is a journalist with 12 years experience of living and working in the United Arab Emirates.