Who to Help? Financial Advisor, Coach, Educator or Mentor

financial advisor or financial coachDo you ever get confused when trying to figure out what type of  financial help that you need?

There seems to be a never ending line of different titles that you can choose from: financial advisor, financial planner, wealth coach, financial coach, financial mentor, and on and on….

Here is a brief run down of what the differences are, so that you can find the help that you need.

Financial Mentor

A financial mentor is when an older person helps a younger person to achieve their career or life goals.  
Typically a mentoring relationship is free. You find your mentor either at your job or at your church.  
The idea is that they help you get to where you need to go because they’ve already been there.   They can lead the way. They are walking the walk. They’re talking the talk.

Financial Coach

Coaching is a profession that helps people achieve their goals by holding them accountable.  
A coach helps you make the decisions by asking questions to get the client to the right answer for them.   The most powerful part of coaching is when you decide on your own that you’re going to do something.   You have much more buy-in to the work that needs to be done.  For more on how to pick a financial coach.

Financial Planner or Adviser

Their purpose is to help you implement and come up with your financial plan to manage the money that you earn.  They’re going to help you figure out the best investments to help you save for retirement.
Most of your planners and advisers are going to have a designation that they’ve been trained in that. Whether they’re a certified financial planner, or one of the other many designations (that is a completely different post!)

Financial Educator

A financial educator’s job is to teach personal finance or investing. Their focus is 100 percent on the education.

Interchangeable Titles:

Many finance people will use only one term to describe themselves. But they may actually do more than that one job.
I will use myself as an example.
I’m a certified coach, so I have the training to ask the right questions and make sure you’re being held accountable.  
At the same time, I have a finance background. So I’m educated on many aspects of investing and I teach my clients these financial concepts.
Thus I’m educating.  
I’m also a mentor because I’ve been there, done that. I’ve built wealth and I can walk you down that path based on my own experience.
The only category I don’t fill is the actual selling of the financial product. So I can create the plan, I can coach you through it and mentor you through it.   But, I do not sell you or tell you which investments to buy.
Keeping this co-mingling of titles in mind you might find that you are not hiring in one category.

How to Know What Financial Help You Need

Before you hire anyone you first need to understand what your needs are.
Ask yourself the following questions:
  • What are your goals?
  • What are you struggling with?
  • What do you need help with?
  • Do you need somebody to hold you accountable?
  • Do you need a mentor?
  • Do you need somebody to pick the investments for you because you’re just not good at it?
Understanding what you need will help you figure out what you are looking for in a financial person.