We can all use some money advice.
- Financial advisors are not just for wealthy people.
- They can help you with your day-to-day finances as well as with planning for your future.
- There are resources on the web to help you find the right advisor.
It’s a scary time to be on shaky financial ground. There’s a lot of bad news out there these days and if staying optimistic about money has been difficult for you, you are definitely not alone. I’m actually more optimistic about my money situation now than I have been, well… ever! How can this possibly be, as recession alarm bells ring and inflation punishes consumers with higher prices on everything? I have a money coach in my corner.
A recent study by Northwestern Mutual found that people who work with a financial advisor report feeling less anxious about their finances when compared to those who don’t have this kind of relationship. People who classified themselves as “disciplined planners” when it comes to money also report feeling better about money. Having a disciplined attitude toward money and planning what to do (and what not to do) with it even leads to better sleep and more happiness overall, per this study.
I used to think financial advisors were only helpful for wealthy people, or people with a lot of investments. Perhaps you have the same thoughts. Rest assured, people at all income levels can benefit from talking to a professional about their finances. Here are some reasons to seek out a money coach of your own, so you too can sleep better at night!
A financial advisor can approach your budget (or lack thereof) with the clear-eyed pragmatism of a truly neutral party. They will give you advice about places you could be spending less, and help you find the money to put into savings and investments. It is very difficult to honestly assess your spending and recognize when you need to make a change, and your money coach will be a lifesaver in this area.
Speaking of investments, a financial advisor will be able to help you set up a brokerage account, and decide what goals you want to be focusing on. Knowing your goals will help you determine how much you should be saving, and where to keep your money for the best returns. Financial advisors earn money either by making a commission on the investing products you’re buying from them, or by taking a certain percentage (often 1%) of the money they manage for you. The latter scenario is better for you as the client, since you’ll know that your advisor isn’t selling you certain products just to make the commission.
Staying practical and positive about debt
Speaking from personal experience, it is wonderful to have someone cheering you on while you’re busting your tail to get out of debt. My financial advisor helped me pick a debt payoff plan, and I’m excited to give him updates about my progress every time we meet. This is an especially bad time to be carrying debt with a variable interest rate, such as credit card debt; as the Fed raises interest rates, consumer lending institutions like credit card servicers follow suit. So if you can lessen or get rid of your credit card debt entirely right now, you will definitely sleep better at night.
How do you find a financial advisor?
If I’ve convinced you to find a money coach of your very own, you may be wondering how to find one. Here’s how to start your search:
- You can ask family and friends for their recommendations. Perhaps you have a friend whose savvy investing skills are backed up by a great financial advisor’s wisdom.
- Check out NAPFA’s website to search. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors strives to recommend only the best client-centered financial professionals.
- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can provide detailed information about an advisor you’re considering, and whether they’ve been in trouble with the SEC.
- Finally, search for your prospective advisor on BrokerCheck. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) maintains records so you can see how long a particular advisor has been practicing and what certifications they hold.
Things are scary right now, and if you’re awake at night, tossing and turning and worrying about money, it might be worthwhile to find a financial advisor to keep your money woes at bay, and put you on track for a better financial future.
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