Benefits of a Financial Coach Over a Financial Advisor

Doctors can often be the victims of financial advisors looking to make some money off wealthy targets. Take control of your own financial destiny by hiring a financial coach who will discuss goals and eventually cede control as time progresses.

In my first investment job in the last half of the 1990s, a training tape referred to “gold-plated doctors.” They, and other wealthy individuals, were the target of the investment pitch that I was supposed to use on my previous colleagues and others. (Until 1995, I was a practicing physician.)

I was offended. Though I was in the process of becoming an investment professional, I was a doctor, too. The fact that doctors were portrayed as “gold-plated” targets made me uneasy. I had worked hard for my money and never wanted to be the object of a smooth investment pitch just because I had some spare cash. Neither did others, I was sure.

This tape was not an isolated incident. It was one of several similar situations where the client’s needs and profits were portrayed to be of less concern than those of the financial advisor.

Well today is not yesterday. Now, those who would have been clients can take control of their own financial destiny if they choose to do so. One option, among others, is a financial coach. This alternative, unfamiliar to most, is the opposite of the financial advisor-client relationship scenario, which is most often a parent-child liaison. The coach-client relationship is initially one of parent-child, but over time it progresses to an equal partnership and, eventually, becomes one where the original parent is frequently not needed at all.

A financial coach discusses goals with a client. Once established, education and a roadmap are provided so that the goals can be achieved. Then, a practical one-two-three step program is often enlisted such as:

1. What needs to be done

2. How to do it

3. The order in which to do it

Whereas financial coaching follows the client’s agenda, a financial advisor often attends to her or his own that may not align with the client. This could be, in part, because the advisor doesn’t know the true wishes of his customer due to the limited time spent with him. If the advisor’s objective primarily is to make money for himself, the reason could be more sinister.

One way to avoid this, or to begin to steer away from it, is to take personal responsibility yourself for your own financial future. It doesn’t have to be sudden. It can be gradual. Through preparation and guidance, you progress toward directing your own financial destiny. Since you know yourself best, this is clearly advantageous. The better methods I believe, are those included in Cutting-edge Advances in Investing, a column I previously wrote, but financial coaches also have a place.

A word of caution, not from me, but from Todd R. Tresidder who wrote, Don't Hire a Financial Coach! (Until You Read This Book). He is a financial coach himself, number one under selected coaches. His commercialism will not suit everyone’s taste, but the information in his book may be further helpful.

More about financial coaching:

MyMoneyMD, LLC — my own website

Financial Coaching Newsletter — encouragement only, not financial guidance

Cutting-edge Advances in Investing — other close options

Selected financial coaches not necessarily endorsed by me:

I found the first two below to look highly commercial.

Financial Mentor

The Financial Coach

The Financial Coach Group

The Financial Coaching Center