What is a financial coach?

When you left high school you probably knew how to balance a chemical equation, but not your checkbook! Most school systems do not address basic financial literacy topics with their students, leaving people to make major money decisions without the proper background knowledge. A financial coach will work with you to fill in the gaps in your financial knowledge, allowing you to build the skills and confidence necessary to manage your money and reach your goals. How do I deal with irregular income? How do I plan for the future? What will I do if my spouse loses a job? A coach can help you prepare and plan for all of these situations, and more.

It doesn’t matter whether you are rich, poor, or somewhere in between…a lack of financial knowledge can affect anyone. We’ve all heard stories about lottery winners and professional athletes that go bankrupt. The amount of money you have isn’t as important as what you do with it. When you know better, you do better! Guiding you towards “better” is a coach’s main job.

A financial coach will also hold you accountable, making sure you take the steps necessary to make progress. If you stumble, the coach is there to pick you up and guide you through the challenge. If you need a push, we’re very good at pushing! If you were working on your physical fitness, you might hire a personal trainer to teach and guide you on your journey. If you’re working on your “Financial Fitness” (see what I did there?) you are really hiring a personal trainer for your money.

How do I pay for financial coaching when I’m broke?

If you are looking into financial coaching, you have probably realized that going it alone or using “free” advice isn’t having a positive impact on your situation. Financial coaching provides the highest level of individualized service and attention that can transform your life. The costs of coaching reflect the knowledge and experience of your coach, as well as the amount of individualized attention you receive.

For most Financial Fitness clients, it is pretty easy to find room in their finances to cover coaching fees. By refocusing where to use your money or just reducing wasteful spending, finding enough to invest in yourself through coaching is pretty easy. That is exactly what financial coaching is, an investment in yourself. In much the same way you invest in a personal trainer for your physical health, you can invest in a personal trainer for your financial health.

How much would you invest to save $21,250 in interest payments and knock 8 ½ years off the time it takes to pay off your debt? That is the experience of the average Financial Fitness client. Financial coaching is a temporary investment that offers massive returns…for the rest of your life. Perhaps the better question is, can you afford NOT to have a financial coach?

I’ve always been awful with money. Why do you think you can change that?

When you know better, you do better. If you knew how to get out of debt in a reasonable amount of time, would you do it? If you knew how to plan for that huge car insurance payment you know is coming, would you do it? If you knew how to find money to save for the future, would you do it? Of course you would!

I’ve been a teacher for almost 25 years and know I can teach you these skills, help you apply them, and build your confidence in using them on your own. The principles are easy. Everyone can do it. Many people need some help with encouragement and accountability. That is where a financial coach really shines!

In coaching you will receive access to tools and processes that, if followed, guarantee your success. These systems have been used by thousands of people around the world to eliminate an enormous amount of debt and create incredible wealth. In most cases, you can make significant progress with only the income you have right now if you use the tools available through coaching to put that income to work the right way.

What is the difference between a financial coach and a financial advisor?

In short, a financial coach’s job is to prepare their clients to be ready for a financial advisor.  If you have a bunch of debt, no free cash flow, and your income is changing all the time, you are not ready for a financial advisor.

A financial advisor generally helps people build an investment portfolio to grow for retirement, college savings, or other goals. Financial advisors make money either by charging clients a fee for service, or by receiving a commission on their clients’ portfolios. If you don’t have cash to invest, a financial advisor can’t help you. Most financial advisors are not interested (or experienced) in helping people in financial distress.  After you learn the skills you need to get control of your financial life and build some free cash flow, I can refer to you other financial experts (CPAs, financial advisors, insurance professionals, mortgage brokers, etc…) that can take you to the next level of financial success.

Is this a bait and switch? Are just going to wind up trying to sell me something?

The only product or service that you will be offered by Financial Fitness is financial coaching. After our initial meeting, we will recommend a coaching program for you based on what we learn about your current situation and your goals. There will be no pressure sales tactics…no “hard close.” You will always have time to consider your options before you make a decision about continued coaching.

In coaching, no one will ever try to sell you any financial products: investments, insurance, mortgages, etc… Not only am I not licensed to sell these products, but I want all my clients to know that my advice is not linked to any potential benefit on my part. If I see that you have a need in one of those areas, I may refer you to partners that have expertise in a particular field. My referral partners all share the same financial philosophy that I do and will approach you with the heart of a teacher…not a salesman.

My relationship with my referral partners involves only the introduction of clients that we think will benefit from the services provided by members of our team. No financial incentives are exchanged in return for referrals. We genuinely want to get our clients to the people that can help them the most. Depending on your specific financial issues, I might even refer you to another coach who I think can do a better job assisting you than I can!

So…no bait and switch! That is a Financial Fitness promise!

Isn’t all of the information I need to be successful available for free online?

Yes, it is. There is also a lot of misinformation available online about personal finance. Sifting through all of that information can be a major challenge. If you are a personal finance novice, it’s easy to take the wrong advice, or to implement the right advice the wrong way. There are also some things that the internet can not provide for you that a financial coach can:

  • someone to learn about your specific situation, your family, and your goals
  • an approach tailored to reach your specific goals
  • someone to be by your side throughout your journey offering encouragement, support, and accountability