A financial advisor is a person who, in exchange for compensation, provides knowledgeable input into how a customer should handle their personal finances. Financial advisors must maintain a Series 65 license in order to offer their services to the public. They have a myriad of different uses, including the provision of income tax advice, investment management, insurance planning and even estate planning.
Really, the relationship between a financial advisor and his clients is that of a parent and child. The advisor is the parent, and the client is the child who follows his parent’s perceived higher knowledge.
A financial coach, at his core, is very similar to the financial advisor. They serve many of the same purposes by helping those who hire them with all kinds of money matters. However, those who seek out the aid of a financial coach often need assistance in debt relief, learning to save, budgeting and in how to spend their money well.
The coach/client relationship is really what sets the financial advisor and financial coach apart. The financial advisor is hired to manage a client’s money. The financial coach is hired to teach the client how to handle their own money effectively. As a result, the relationship between a coach and his client is one of a parent and child initially, but as in reality, the child eventually grows up to be a responsible adult.
Which is the Right Choice?
Whether a person should seek the aid of a financial advisor a financial coach is very personal. It all depends on what that person wants to eventually gain from the services rendered to them.
A person who really doesn’t want to be bothered with the mundane aspects of their money, such as budgeting, taxes and investing, from day to day might really prefer an advisor over a coach. There’s nothing wrong with that in the least. It is imperative, however, to choose a financial advisor wisely. Their goal and the client’s goal should be the same; to appropriately manage and grow the client’s money.
On the other hand, if a client really wants to learn how to handle their own money and eventually take the reins, a financial coach is the way to go. There should be a process where the coach learns all about the client's wants, needs and finances. Then a three-part program should be introduced. First, it must be decided precisely what should be done with the client’s money. Then, of course, there must be a game plan on how to make that happen. Finally, there needs to be a specified order put to the defined tasks.
A client needs to be very careful in choosing a financial coach who is out to truly help them. Avoid those who would simply put customers into a debt management system, and look for coaches who really want to teach the ways of money.
Choosing between a financial coach and advisor is highly personal. Both options should be thoroughly considered, and then potential coaches or advisors should come at the highest of recommendations before proceeding.
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