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Financial Planning Literacy: Q&A with Taylor Liao, CFP

Q: If consumers knew more about financial planning, do you think they would be seeing planners/advisors?

A: The most difficult thing in the way of developing the financial planning profession is that the public isn’t aware of the necessity of planning in their lives. Financial planning literacy will help them to have a basic knowledge of financial planning. It will be easier for them to understand the advantages that financial planning offers such as having a plan and living their lives by that plan. I am sure that some people would seek the help of a financial planner if they knew more. It would also be easier for us to communicate with clients if they understood the concept of financial planning.

Q: How important is financial planning literacy for the growth of the financial planning profession?

A: If the public understood what financial planning was, it would help to improve the growth of this profession. The public would know the value of an independent financial planner. They would understand that planners care about the clients’ interests, that we prepare planning for them based on their goals, that we are not using planning as a channel to sell products. They would understand the difference between a planner and a product salesperson. Clients who understand financial planning will tend to have more recognition of our profession and make referrals for us, as well.

Q: How do you spread financial literacy in your community and in your firm?

A: In our firm, we have a series of training courses for the public, to teach them the knowledge of financial planning. We collaborate with several universities and media channels(magazines and networking firms) to offer training courses to the public. We also have programs for employee in enterprises. We propose to the welfare committee of enterprise that the training of financial planning will increase the financial literacy of their employees. Once the employee has a healthy financial status, they will have more centripetal force for their firm and they will be willing to put more effort into their work. The program also includes financial planning services for their employees.  The employees meet with our planners face-to-face and receive planning advice. We call it EAP System (Employee Assistance Program System).

Q: If you could say one thing to the consumer audience right now about financial literacy, what would it be?

A: I would say that everything is related to your finances. If you treasure the money that you earn, you should spend the time to learn more about how to take care of it. This knowledge will help you a lot. When you make a decision such as buying a house, applying for a mortgage…etc., it’s all about your financial planning. I think it is necessary for everyone to gain knowledge and become a consumer with strong financial literacy.

Q: If you could say one thing to other financial professionals about literacy, what would it be?

A: Since the financial profession is still at low recognition by the public, we must try in every possible way to educate the public. The more consumers that become financially literate, the more they will accept the idea of the financial profession. Even if we have to do voluntary work to spread financial literacy, it’s our bounden duty to help to promote this profession.

 Read Taylor’s Other Blogs

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