Wednesday, May 2, 2018
What to Look for in a Money Mentor: 7 Factors
I fully believe in the mentor-protégé relationship. I think have a mentor will allow you to reach new heights in life and especially with your finances. The tough part is finding the right person to help you on your journey. We all know that you won’t get much help from the bank or any other major financial institutions. There is a tonne of resources online, but we all crave the human interaction, especially with our finances. In today’s post, I will give you 7 things to consider when choosing the right money mentor. Hopefully, these factors will help you narrow down your search and find the right person to aid your quest for financial independence.
Of course, trust comes first because, in any relationship, trust is paramount. You must trust that your money mentor will act in your best interest. You must trust that your money mentor knows your situation and understands your goals and dreams. You also must trust that your money mentor will not judge you based on decisions you make. We all have things that are important to us in life and our financial choices are based on those things. Your money mentor should understand that and work with you to maximize your choices efficiency. Lastly, your mentor should be available to you when you need them, within reason of course. When you begin the relationship, set out a service model that will help define the time necessary to help you along your path. It is important to know that when they are needed, they will be there.
Having experience with personal finance is important when being a money mentor. You have to know that the person you are dealing with has dealt with these types of situations before. While on the job experience and credentials are important, so too is real-life experience. You should know that they have been there in the trenches dealing with financial planning in the past. I know the best experience comes through hands-on learning, and it is what has helped me the most so far in my career. Along with experience, they should have an eagerness to gain more experience. The field of personal finance is ever evolving, and your mentor should be open to learning the new trends. New technology and new practices can save you time and money and your mentor must be willing to adapt.
3) Reputable company
It is also very important to know that the person you will be working with has the backing of a reputable company. A reputable company focuses on bringing in quality people that fit their mold of providing excellent service. Stellar companies have been around a long time and have dealt with many different situations in the past. When dealing with them you know that a wealth of experience exists there even if your mentor hasn’t been at it for decades. Reputable companies have systems in place to deal with newer advisors and extensive compliance training. This will allow you to have confidence that the person you are dealing with has the backing of industry professionals.
I think transparency is one of the most important things in this world. It keeps everyone honest and when dealing with money, it is vital. We all know that no one works for free, so knowing what your mentor gets paid is huge. It will help you determine the nature of the relationship moving forward. It is also important to know that the person you are dealing with is willing to show how they plan their own finances. If they are willing to show their system, it will give you insight into their biases on personal finance. You can then know if what they are recommending is in their best interest or yours. Always question if they are doing something different than what they recommend. Having an open and transparent relationship from the get-go will allow you to establish a huge amount of trust. That will go far in decision making moving forward.
5) A wide range of services
Most people cannot afford to have multiple advisors helping them in every area of personal finance. Having someone who has access to experts in many fields will allow you to have one point of contact when dealing with your financial plan. I think of my money mentor sort of like my family doctor. They are not a specialist in every area of health, but they have a great knowledge of overall health. They also can direct me to the people I need to see if I have a specific problem that isn’t in their area of expertise. You will need advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, group plans and taxes throughout your lifetime. Having a solid mentor that can push you in the right direction is an important tool in your back pocket.
6) Common sense approach
Chances are if you don’t understand it, it is not the right choice for you. Your mentor should be able to take the often-complex world of personal finance and break it down into easy to understand pieces. What I have noticed is that the best solutions are often the simplest ones. Over time, tried and true methods have proven to work. Fancy trends and confusing jargon make people nervous and that is not what you want to be when dealing with your future. Your mentor should bring things back to basics and rely on a common-sense approach to personal finance that you fully understand. It is the only way you will feel comfortable moving forward with your financial plan of action.
7) Shared money philosophy
Do you hate debt? Well, don’t we all? Not really. Some people don’t mind a little debt here and there. If you hate debt and refuse to go into debt, your money mentor should have a similar philosophy. If you are wary of the stock market, your money mentor should be understanding of that. If you believe the family home is the foundation of personal finance, your money mentor should think along the same lines. The person helping you with your finances should have a money philosophy and you should choose the one that fits your style best. You don’t have to believe the exact same things, but you should be able to respect the merits of the decisions made. There should be clear reasoning based on every decision made, and it should be rooted in a shared money philosophy. If this doesn’t exist, then you will find yourself disagreeing far too much and it will hamper the relationship.
Having a mentor can change your life and having a money mentor can change your finances dramatically. It will give you direction, purpose, and guidance in your decision making. Ultimately what you want is to be able to bounce ideas off someone and get constructive feedback. This person should know you, your goals and your situation to better help you. It is proven that people who have a money mentor retire wealthier. That goal should be shared by everyone.
“I look at where I’m at today and realize that most of my success is owed to the mentors that were in my life.” – Kendrick Lamar
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