When I started as an advisor last 2009, right after college, being a financial advisor was yet to be popular. There were only a few advisors that you could find. More than ten years after, a sudden shift happened. Younger financial advisors are joining the Philippine Industry. Most insurance companies are doing their best to attract the best talents to be one of their financial advisors. With all the advertisements on recruitment that you can find online, you may be wondering which insurance company is really the best for you. In reality, it is hard to say which is the best. In fact, my choice of which company to join could have been different. But we made a simple guide on how to choose the best insurance company and the best team for you:
1. Compensation and other benefits
One of the reasons I wanted to be an advisor is the unlimited income it offers. When choosing which company to join, you should ask yourself if they are paying their advisors properly for every sale they make. What I love most in the company I am in now regarding compensation is the TRAIL COMMISSIONS.
So how does it work? For the past 14 years, I have been working as a financial advisor, I estimate the total fund value of the investments of my clients could reach around 1 Billion Pesos now. The trail commission at Manulife is around 0.30% of your active clients’ total unwithdrawn investment value. This means that even if I did not sell insurance or investments, I could have a passive income of around 3 Million Pesos per year.
Unfortunately, I did not start my career at Manulife. I only thought about how good it was later in my career. So I do not receive such a passive income of P3M per year yet (although we earn way more than this per year now). But for you who are still starting a career as a financial advisor, please consider the long-term compensation of the company you will be working for. Find a company that gives you good passive income. You do not want to keep selling insurance and investments forever. It would help if you also had passive income from your sales.
Another compensation to look for is the overall bonuses given. For example, companies like Manulife give a bonus of as much as 50% of the quarterly income of the financial advisor. For example, if the commission rate is 40%, then a 50% bonus would mean an additional 20% (40% x 50%), making the commission rate a high of 60% (plus renewal commissions and trail commissions).
For those looking to become insurance sales managers, consider a company that rewards their managers. A thing to look for are companies where the managers are properly compensated for training their financial advisors. Some companies easily spin off their advisors from their managers in a short period which is not good for those seeking a good income from being a manager of their financial advisors.
For more information about which company provides the highest commission for financial advisors, click here.
2. Brand Recognition & Stability of the Company
In this age of global digital marketing, you need to work for a company known not just in the Philippines but also abroad. Imagine if you will be selling to an OFW. If you are selling for a company that is known in the country they are working, you would have a higher chance of closing the sale when they come to the Philippines.
I also suggest you choose a large life insurance company because it is easier to sell to the public if it is a large company.
3. Ability to Offer Other Products, not just Insurance
In my 14+ years as a financial advisor, some clients wanted shorter-term investments. For example, some clients approached me because they wanted to save for their downpayment for a house or save to start a new business. Unfortunately, I had to turn down those clients because before working with Manulife, we at our previous company only offered investments with life insurance. There were no pure investment products.
If we can only offer insurance-based products, we cannot be called complete financial advisors because, in reality, some clients do not need life insurance. Some just need a pure investment product. Even if we say that the product being offered has very minimal life insurance, the fact that there is some insurance to it would mean lesser returns than a pure investment product.
4. Minimal Fees for products being offered
One of the reasons why investments can have small returns is because the investment has a high fund management fee. Just imagine an investment being charged a 2% annual fund management fee vs. 1.75% will have a significant difference in returns:
Looking at the data above, if you invest your P100,000, it will be P211,927.64 at a 2% annual fund management fee vs. P228,716.71 at a 1.25% annual fund management fee. This is a difference of P16,789.07, which the client could have saved had the client invested in a fund with lesser fund management fees.
Another thing to consider is hidden fund management fees. Some companies say that they have only, say, 1.5% fund management fees, but there are layers to it. For example, the investment or insurance company is not the main fund manager and has a tie-up with other companies on their investments. That is why it is important to always ask before investing: “Who is the main fund manager of this investment?” Because it is possible that such a company is not the main fund manager and they are just outsourcing the fund from another company, and the main fund manager is also charging a fund management fee before it is distributed to the investment or insurance company. The multiple layers of fund management fees will reduce investment returns.
5. Very affordable products
Sometimes, some clients need insurance coverage or investment but only have P1000 to spare. The cost of living has increased recently, and sometimes budgets are tight. When looking for a company to become a financial advisor, consider the prices of the products. Does it also cater to the people who deeply need financial protection but are limited in the budget?
6. Many investment choices
Another consideration could be the number of investments clients can access through you as their financial advisor. Look for a company that allows your client to purchase investments not just in the Philippines. Their investments may also fail if the Philippine economy or political situation is not doing well. Consider companies that allow you to invest in America, Asia, Europe, China, Hong Kong, or in certain sectors such as Tech Companies, Healthcare Companies. Also, the new trend is sustainable investing, where investors prefer to invest in companies that produce minimal carbon or take care of the environment.
7. Long maximum age coverage
When choosing a company to be a financial advisor, also consider the maximum age the insured can be covered. For example, some insurance companies only cover until age 70 for their critical illness health coverage. Some companies offer until age 100 for their health coverage.
The first two items discuss considering which insurance company you can be part of. The next two will focus on considering which team to belong with.
Why is choosing a team equally important as choosing an insurance company? Because the team you are part of influences most of your actions and decisions. In playing basketball, team performance greatly affects individual performance. That is the same in insurance. Most of the time, the people you associate with impact your behavior, decisions, and performance.
8. Vision and Mission
Vision is the direction in which the team wants to go. If you are an achiever, you must associate yourself with a group with a vision of success for their future. A team without a vision is like a lost sheep without a direction.
Mission, on the other hand, is the purpose of being. You must be part of a team who works for a common purpose. Look for a team that has a purpose to serve people and make society a better place.
Lastly, values are fundamental in choosing the team that best suits you. All teams have shared values and beliefs. Opposing values among team members can cause your team to go down. Worst, a team with no values at all can cause unhealthy competition. There will be no sharing of ideas because people are just concerned with their own success. Hence the team you are part of must have core values that resonate with your personality. Nothing beats a team with principles and values.
Achiever, Enthusiastic, Trustworthy, Outstanding, and Smart are the core values that we hold dearly in our team. It serves as our manual for making critical decisions.
These simple guides can help you choose which insurance company or team is the best for you. If you wish to try to become a financial advisor, the first step is to take the Are you fit to be a financial advisor quiz.
WHO IS AETOS FINANCIAL:
Mark Fernandez, CPA, RFC, AFA, CWP, CEPP is the founder of Aetos and started as a part-time financial advisor at age 22 in the year 2009. Despite being a Cebuano and having no friends in Manila, he was able to create a system to grow his network and increase his client base which he teaches to his financial advisor recruits who became multi awarded advisors as well.
He is youngest Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Member Financial Advisor at age 23 despite having no parents/relatives working at the insurance industry. He is currently an MDRT life member and is a 2022 Top of the Table Member. Because of his length of experience, Aetos has hired, trained, and produced several successful financial advisors from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Mark is also the chairman of the FinancePH Group of Companies where Aetos is one of the companies under the group. Aetos was the Top 1 in terms of FYP in IL’s life insurance agency rankings all over the Philippines in 2021. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Aetos office in Makati or check his website at www.mjtfernandez.com. He is currently completing his Master’s Degree at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Makati City.
Mica Fernandez, CPA, CWP, CEPP, GLMP is the President of Aetos Financial. She worked as an external auditor for 3 years at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) (also known as Isla Lipana & Co.). While still working at PwC, she became a part time financial advisor at the age of 22. At age 24, she decided to resign from PwC and went to become a full time financial advisor despite earning only pure commissions and no fixed income. It was a leap of faith because she was still young and financially supports her parents who are in Batangas. Because her leap of faith, she received several awards from GAMA International as financial advisor leader.
She believes in the value of continuous education which is why she always kept herself up to date with the latest in finance to help serve her clients and advisors well. Today, she is now leading a group of dynamic advisors from different age groups and from different parts of the country with the hopes of reaching more Filipinos and helping them achieve financial freedom. She is driven by her personal mission of creating a positive impact in the lives of my advisors and clients. She enjoys mentoring new financial advisors to become multi awarded financial professionals.
*CPA – Certified Public Accountant
*RFC – Registered Financial Consultant
*AFA – Accredited Financial Analyst
*CWP – Certified Wealth Planner
*CEPP – Certified Estate Planner Philippines
*GLMP – Global Leadership Management Professional
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