If I had my way, I would make sure that financial literacy was part of our high school curriculum for four years. It’s more important than physics or geometry or ancient history. And maybe I’ll succeed at changing this archaic belief that academics are more valuable than learning how to manage money…. but I digress.
Given that most of us feel overwhelmed, inadequate, unprepared, and down right frustrated about money, it’s important to develop some skills when it comes to choosing financial advisors. You need people that build you up, are willing to answer your questions and understand what you need and want.
Investing the money to work with a financial professional can be well worth the time and the cash, even when you are struggling with debt or not saving.
The right person can help you understand the root of your issues while giving you tools to become more conscious and intentional with your money. Ultimately saving you money, time, stress, relationships, and self-esteem.
A word of caution: I would avoid programs and pitches that claim you will “get rich” or “eliminate your debt in 10 days” or whatever they are trying to convince you to do. Work with someone one-on-one, or in a small, personal class. Take advantage of free classes at your local college or community center. Be curious. Ask questions. Apply what you learn.
The truth is no one can do the work for you. There’s a reason you are here, right now, trying to kindle a relationship with money. It will take commitment, patience, a sense of humor, and a willingness to do the work. You’re worth it.
Use this guidebook to clarify what you want, learn which type of professional might best suit your needs, and gain confidence in what to ask potential advisors while interviewing them.
The worst thing that could happen is that you learn about the wide range of financial practices that exist. The best thing would be that you find someone that gets you, and delights in helping you define, build, and maintain your wealth.