21 Jul Why You Need a Financial Therapist, Not a Financial Advisor
I broke up with my financial advisor last week.
He was the THIRD financial advisor I’ve dumped…and that fact alone got me thinking about why I haven’t found my financial advisor soulmate. I reflected on the types of financial advisors I’ve worked with in the past and recognized some interesting patterns.
Every financial advisor I’ve worked with has been WHITE…and MALE…and OLDER.
And they all treated me like a little girl who didn’t know what she was doing with her money.
Even though I have a masters degree…and know a sh*t ton about managing money well…and teach other people how to love up on their money…they spoke to me like I shouldn’t worry my pretty little head over my finances and they’d take care of all the financial decisions for me so I didn’t f*ck it up.
I can’t believe I went along with that crap…but society has taught me to “be a good girl” and “do what I’m told”…and for many years I firmly believed that I NEEDED a financial advisor or my whole financial life would tank.
And because I wasn’t fully confident in my own knowledge about investments, the stock market, and growing wealth…I didn’t challenge their decisions with MY money. I just went along with whatever they suggested.
But then…I got smarter.
I read book after book about investing…and researched the best investment tools out there.
That’s when I discovered what a mistake I’d made turning over my financial power to my financial advisor…trusting him to make good decisions with my money on my behalf.
And I realized that his decisions were driven by what would benefit HIM…not what would benefit me.
I learned that financial advisors get paid a commission based on what investment vehicles they sell you…and my advisor had sold me a whole life insurance policy that would cost me more money than it made me…but would put a huge commission in HIS bank account.
Not cool. Not cool at all.
I was angry. Angry at how the financial advisor system is built in a way that motivates advisors to make investment recommendations that benefit the advisor instead of the consumer.
Angry at myself for not doing more research before I let my financial advisor convince me to invest in something I didn’t fully understand.
Angry that only 30% of financial advisors are women. Angry that I let another old, white guy tell me what to do with my money instead of taking control of my own financial life.
I was DONE turning over my financial power – to ANYONE!
I finally woke up to the fact that no one can make better decisions with MY money than ME.
I got to thinking about why I started working with a financial advisor in the first place…
…and I realized it was because I wanted someone to teach me about personal finance…
…empower me to make good financial decisions…
…serve as an accountability partner so I could stay on track with my financial goals…
…help me make a clear plan for paying off debt and saving for my future…
…and support me through my financial journey.
But that’s not what a financial advisors does. That’s what a FINANCIAL THERAPIST does.
Not all financial advisors are bad…and a financial advisor can be great at telling you what to DO with your money…if she is a trustworthy person who takes time to educate you and gives you the opportunity to make your own choices.
But financial advisors focus mostly on what to do with your money and how to invest it…not the complicated emotions around money and how to develop a healthier relationship with it.
Why You Need a Financial Therapist, Not a Financial Advisor
Maybe you’ve had a similar experience working with a financial advisor.
Did he throw around words that you didn’t understand…like diversification…and asset allocation? Did you stop yourself from asking him to explain because you feared looking like an idiot?
Did he pull up a bunch of spreadsheets that made your eyes glaze over with boredom…or put down your suggestion to invest in something you heard has a good return?
It’s not uncommon to walk out of your financial advisor’s office feeling more confused than when you walked in…and more ashamed of yourself for the way you’ve handled your money…and more afraid that you’ll make a big financial mistake.
And feeling all those messy money emotions sucks donkey balls.
This is why you need a financial therapist, not a financial advisor.
Here’s what a financial therapist does different from a financial advisor:
- She helps you identify and work through your complicated thoughts and feelings about money so they no longer stand in the way of your financial success.
- She provides education about personal finance in layman’s terms and empowers you to make informed decisions with your money.
- She empowers you to take a more active role in your financial life instead of turning over financial decision making to your partner, your dad, or your financial advisor. She knows that YOU are the expert on your financial life, not anyone else.
- She shows you how to develop a healthy relationship with money, shift limiting beliefs that keep you stuck, and guides you as you develop strong financial habits that serve you well.
- She helps you create clear financial plans that align with your financial goals and serves as an accountability partner to cheer you on through the process of achieving them.
- She serves as a non-judgmental support person who you can talk to openly about money shame, financial mistakes, and your hopes and dreams for the future.
- If she makes recommendations, they are based on what would benefit YOU most…not what would benefit HER most.
In other words…financial therapists are freakin’ awesome. I personally believe every woman needs one.
The sad part is that most women don’t even know financial therapists exist! Like me, they’ve been trained to believe they need a financial advisor or their financial life will spontaneously combust.
MONEY TRUTH BOMB: If you only focus on money management and what to DO with your money, and completely neglect the way you think and feel about money, your toxic money relationship will undermine your financial success.
Financial advisors focus on money management…and that’s an important part in creating a stellar financial life…
…but financial therapists get to the root of your money issues…diving deep into the psychological and emotional issues keeping you from living your best financial life…and solve money problems at the source so you can build a solid foundation to build your entire financial life upon.
You deserve to have a financial therapist to support and guide you throughout your financial journey. You don’t have to do this alone. You don’t have to stay in an unsatisfying relationship with a financial advisor who doesn’t understand you.
Shop around for a financial therapist…interview a few…and pick the one that feels like the best fit for you. Pick a financial therapist you like…someone who makes money feel simple and fun…someone who really listens and understands your financial concerns, fears, and dreams.
If you feel completely overwhelmed by trying to find a financial therapist, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I offer a free 30 minute consult call so we can get to know each other better. If it feels like a good fit to work together, we can get started right away. If it doesn’t, I’ll help you find a financial therapist that does feel like a good fit.