Financial advice: Be careful with the advisory protocol!

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Text comes from: Geldanlage für Fleißige (2012) from Stefanie Kühn, published by Stiftung Warentest, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Financial advice on investment: what should customers pay attention to in consultations with banks? For example, what is in the consultation protocol - and that you do not have to sign it. Financial advice: Be careful with the advisory protocol! Financial advice: Be careful with the advisory protocol!

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Here writes for you:

Stefanie Kühn 8Stefanie Kühn is a financial consultant and Certified Financial Planner.


From the author:

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Why are there any advisory protocols?


Banks, independent financial advisors and asset managers are legally obliged to issue and issue a report for their advice on securities.

This is intended to make it easier for customers, among other things, to enforce claims for damages in the event of incorrect consultations. Several of our studies have shown that some ISPs are not taking the law seriously.

What must be in the log?


The consultation protocol must meet the following requirements:

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  • The Protocol shall contain complete information on the advisory opinion. Has the consultant or customer asked for the interview? Did the bank or a financial company provide employees with the right to target customers on specific products?
  • The consultant must record how long the conversation lasted. If a customer bought a complicated product for the first time after a short conversation, this means a superficial consultation.
  • The minutes include the financial circumstances of the investor, its investment objectives and its knowledge and experience with investments such as shares and funds. The document must also contain the information about the financial products addressed in the consultation.
  • The wishes of the customer must appear in the paper. If the customer wants a secure investment, but at the same time demands a high rate of return, it must be clear from the minutes, which ultimately was more important to him and how the consultant influenced this decision.
  • All recommendations made by an advisor must be reflected in the minutes. Even those that the customer does not accept.
  • If the consultant calls the reason why he considers a product to be suitable, he must also list it in the minutes. However, he is not obliged to justify his recommendation in the discussion.

Customers do not have to sign the log


The consultant must sign the minutes and hand it over to the investor at the latest before the contract is concluded. After a telephone consultation, the consultant must send the minutes to the investor. The investor does not have to sign the advisory protocol and should not do so.

What is a product information sheet?


Since the 1. July 2011, banks and other financial service providers must provide a product information sheet in addition to the advisory protocol for investment advice on securities. In principle, this must not include more than two DIN A4 pages

  • the type of financial product,
  • its operation,
  • the risks associated with the product, such as price fluctuations, as well as
  • the costs associated with the installation


Product information sheets are currently available on stocks, bonds and certificates, on Pfandbriefe and Federal securities. For mutual funds there is a separate product information sheet, the "Key Investor Information".

Why is information so important?


The best protection against financial investments that are not suited to your life and your goals are solid financial knowledge. If you understand the financial products on the market and you can assess their chances and risks, you can judge for yourself whether these products are suitable for you.

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The more you know, the better you can pursue your own financial strategy. Financial books and magazines as well as the Internet are always open to you. Almost every financial product recommended by a financial adviser or banker can be searched for, with the help of which the recommendations can be checked.

What are the benefits of informing yourself?


If you take the time to look after your finances and your financial knowledge regularly,

  • You have the good feeling that you are always in control of your assets.
  • you are pursuing a financial strategy that fits your goals and not the interests of banks and financial distributors.
  • Talk to bankers and financial advisers on an equal footing.
  • Do not unconsciously give away money that would rather work for you than for others.
  • you can always react to personal and external changes and adapt your financial assets accordingly.
  • you are an independent and self-responsible investor.

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