I’ve been offering investment management services since I was a sophomore in college at the University of Evansville. After receiving my CFP® certification, I offered traditional comprehensive financial planning services like retirement planning, tax planning, and, estate planning. But there’s one service that I enjoy more than all others, financial coaching. Let me explain why.
Financial planning and investment management are services typically offered to people with assets that have been accumulated over the years. In fact, some firms require you to have accumulated over $100,000 in investable assets before they will consider you as a client.
I like to work for people I can relate to. People like me; young(ish) professionals and small business owners. People like me came of age during the Great Recession and are currently living through what will likely be their second major recession. Many of them make far less money than their parents did at their age; they have far higher debt levels than their parents, and they are putting off marriage, families, and other goals longer as a result.
People like me don’t benefit from traditional financial planning like our parents and grandparents have. As a generation, there is a lot of foundational work to do before we can worry about what retirement or estate planning is going to look like. We need to pay down loans, save up down payments, build emergency funds, and launch our small businesses.
We need financial planning that meets us where we are rather than dragging us to services designed for our parents when they were our age. I want to shape my services to fit my clients, not shape my clients to fit my services. I’m not alone in my assessment. Most young advisors and financial planners would agree with me: their young clients want coaching and mentorship, not traditional planning.
My clients want accountability as they make very hard decisions to get rid of debt, build savings, and pursue their passions. They want a mission and a vision for their life, not a lecture. They want to blaze a new path forward, not plod in their parents footsteps.
Don’t misunderstand; retirement and estate planning, etc. are important and when the time is right, I address all of that with clients. But my passion is helping my clients increase their real-world, day-to-day sense of well-being; helping them live better, more focused lives. A retirement plan will certainly provide you with a longer-term sense of preparation, and it’s very important! But I haven’t met too many people whose life has been changed because of their retirement plan.
The old saying goes like this, “you gotta crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run.” I will happily run alongside my clients when they are ready. But if what they need right now is for me to get on their level, then that’s exactly where you will find me; showing them how to put one foot in front of the next, and build the foundations of a wealthy future.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy this one about the financial coaching I offer my clients!
If you’re looking for free financial counseling resources check out the good folks over at Nerd Wallet.
Erik Goodge is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and the President of uVest Advisory Group. He holds a B.S. in Economics and Cognitive Science from the University of Evansville. Erik is a Marine Corps veteran of the Afghanistan campaign and Purple Heart recipient. He is from Evansville, Indiana, and currently lives in near-by Newburgh with his wife and daughter.