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Banks can be harmful, too

on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 12:26

Subsequently, I worte a second part to this article...

So, I was tweeting as usual... was reading through the transcript of the chat on Globe & Mail RESP Q&A which was held on Sept 7. It was a great chat, and I always like the way Mike handles his questions...LOL

Anyway, I have to oppose going to the banks for everything you need... I am sorry, you might think the banks are great, but the truth is you hardly get a good banker who will be able to (or willing) to look into everything for you on every aspect that (s)he can, and that's the fact (so if you do have a good banker, treasure him/her).
Here are a few examples:
- this young client has only slightly over $1200 in a her RRSP with a bank fund, whatever reason, the banks like to open self-directed accounts for clients regardless the client can really make use of it or not. This self-directed account has a fee of $120 a year! Even if the fund does not drop in this volatile market, her RRSP would be eaten up in 10 years!! 
- another client has over $50,000 in a non-register investment and the banker does not even suggest her to move her properties into a tax free saving account, I cannot think of any reasoning behind this.
- another client lost his job about a years and half ago, we presented him (before he lost his job) a mortgage solution that he would still survive through IF he needed to skip a couple of payments, he chose to go with a conventional mortgage. That's fine, that I met with him and he understood that he would be living off his RRSP while he is jobless. He had most his money in GIC and low return funds, we decided to move some money out before the GIC matures. It turns out the GIC got "rollovered" even though the client had told the bank he doesn't want to lock in the money. The bank refused to do anything at all unless he presents to the bank that he is in financial hardship... com'on, you really have to see clients in hardship before you release their money?!
- a couple had done a consolidation loan from a bank they had been dealing with, to their surprise, the loan was secured by their house (even though they had specifically ask NOT to have to secured by their house) and the interest rate was not even low...
- a client who had very good income, a sizable RRSP and savings, he started a business but the bank was too conservative to get him any loans. All the banker told him tis o take money out from his RRSP. Over the years he melted down his RRSP, plus a hold bunch of personal and family issues, unfortunately he has to start all over again, at an age close to 45. (Cannot blame the bank for everything, but if he was presented a strategy, he could have stretch his money longer)
Again, I am not saying all bankers are bad because not all advisors are good, I just want people to open up their minds and talk to different advisors and see who work best with you. On top of that, advisors do have different solutions that banks do not carry :)

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