Updated: Nov 29, 2020
I’m sure many of you have heard of a Financial Planner or a Financial Advisor, but many people may not be familiar with what a Financial Coach is and why someone may need one. First, a Financial Planner or Advisor generally helps individuals or companies create programs to meet long-term financial goals, including assisting in managing individual’s money, investments, and other accounts. These type of financial experts typically focus on managing assets (stocks, ETFs, bonds, etc.). Some also, focus on selling products like life insurance.
Not that there is anything wrong with Financial Planners or Advisor’s. In fact, I’d argue that they can be a very important addition to one’s financial journey. However, how can one start saving, investing and managing their assets; focusing on long term growth without first learning how to manage their day to day finances? In fact, if there is no money to invest, there’s not going to be a need for a Financial Advisor to “manage assets”.
In comes the Financial Coach. The goal and focus of a Financial Coach is to analyze an individual’s current financial situation/condition and create a financial blue print for a successful lifetime of financial fitness. This involves studying the individual(s) financial picture in depth, creating short and long term goals, analyzing spending habits and implementing positive financial tendencies that steer the client towards their financials goals and dreams.
Much like a Personal Trainer, the job of a Financial Coach is to keep the client on track by holding them accountable, setting goals and implementing positive financial habits, while also eliminating those that are detrimental. Now, you might wonder why someone can’t implement these practices themselves. Why is a coach needed? Well, just as many people go to the gym, many more don’t. There are also many different things to navigate when it comes to your financial well-being. For some they can be cumbersome and daunting. The financial coach is there to keep you on track, while also providing positive feedback, skills and educational advice, so one can excel in the personal finance field. Lastly, much like physical fitness, personal finance is a life long journey.
Now, you might be wondering, who might be someone that may need a financial coach? The answer is almost anyone. Not that everyone necessarily needs a financial coach, but most could benefit from the techniques, training, and discussion provided by financial coaching. Alternatively, there are actually some folks that may not quite be ready for financial coaching. Those bringing in less income than their expenses can account for, or that are in significantly dire financial situations. That’s not to say that eventually these individuals won’t be ready or able to give financial coaching a try. It just means some other steps are necessary before they take the leap.
Managing household finances is an important aspect of everyday life. One of the largest causes of arguments in relationships revolves around money and is also one of the leading causes of divorce. The ability to take control of your finances cannot be overemphasized. Additionally, these lessons can be put in place and last one’s lifetime. You could say they are priceless. You don’t need to know everything there is to know about financial coaching (obviously one wouldn’t be needed if that were the case); you just need to be ready to take the first leap!