The financial services industry can sometimes get a bad wrap. I get it — I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the industry.
This was actually a huge motivator for me to start my own financial planning company. So that I could serve the underserved – women, entrepreneurs, millennials – basically anyone who isn’t a rich white dude. And so that I could make financial advice more accessible and serve it up in a way that’s simple, effective, and fun.
I’m not the only one doing this either. There’s a whole wave of next-generation advisors who are making major moves to disrupt the industry and make financial planning less “you must never buy a latte again” and more human.
Not all consumers are totally caught up on this though (to no fault of their own), and there are still a lot of misconceptions out there about what it’s like to work with a financial planner.
Today we’re busting some myths — 3 myths about working with a financial planner.
Myth #1 – You have to have money to invest in order to work with a financial planner.
Not all advisors require you to have money to invest in order to receive high quality, personalized advice. Nowadays, there are many advisors who are offering financial planning services in exchange for a fee.
It may be an upfront fee, a monthly retainer fee, or a combination of both. That fee gets paid out of your bank account, not your investment account, so you’re not required to invest your money with that advisor in order to receive services. WAHOOOO!
Over the past year and a half of running my own firm, I haven’t even offered investment management services. Sneak peek — you’ll have access to these services with me soon! But I don’t require you to invest assets to work with me.
I look at it the opposite – all clients start with financial planning, and investment management is going to be an add on for those clients. It makes sense to start with the plan and the strategy first, and then align your investments with your goals.
Myth #2 – Your financial planner is going to try to sell you something to make a commission.
Remember the movie Wolf of Wall Street? You’ve got Leo making cold calls all day pushing stocks to anyone who will give him the time of day.
There are definitely parts of the industry that are commission sales-based and are very transactional.
But that’s not everyone! If you want to avoid commission salespeople all together, look for an advisor who is “fee-only.” These advisors do not make any money on commissions. They make money by either charging you a fee for advice, or they charge a fee as a percentage of the investments that they manage for you.
They will not sell life insurance, annuities, or certain types of mutual funds — all things that pay commissions.
Don’t get me wrong, commissions aren’t necessarily bad. There are commission-based advisors who are acting in the best interest of their clients. You just have to be extra careful and make sure someone’s not just trying to sell you something for the sake of earning a commission.
Bottom line: ask your advisor how they’re paid. Are they “fee-only” or are they either “fee + commission” or “commission only.” ←There’s your daily dose of lingo.
Myth #3 – Your financial planner is going to judge you.
Have you ever been made to feel stupid around a financial planner? They’re talking over you, using lingo, telling you all the things you’re doing wrong, and haven’t even taken a second to ask you about you or your goals.
It happens, but it’s not everyone. There are plenty of advisors who GET YOU. They’re going through the same things as you, they understand what’s important to you, and they care about you.
Going to #brag for a second here, that’s one of my superpowers — the ability to stay judgment-free. Because you know what, everyone’s different. We all have different goals, financial situations, perspectives, life experiences, personalities.
There’s no one size fits all. It’s my job to support you and guide you towards the things that matter most to you. I don’t care what that thing is! I just care about you living out your life the way you want and reaching your wildest dreams and beyond. It’s okay if you’ve made mistakes in the past — we’re all human after all, and we all make mistakes.
Looking for a financial planner that feels like you’re talking to a supportive girlfriend who has your back, all while serving up expert advice and guidance? Let’s chat! Schedule a free/no-obligation 30-minute chat with me.