- Check their qualifications. What training have they had, what’s their financial background. You want to make sure that the person your hiring has the experience and background to help you with your finances and provide you the information to make the best decisions for you. They should also have their financial house in order. Ask them about their own financial success.
- Check their skills and training to make sure they have the specific skills to help you. If you have a bit of debt, it may involve more work around income and expenses. If you have a high net-worth, your focus may be on real estate acquisitions, investments or better understanding life insurance. They should have experience with investments, real estate, insurance, estate planning and taxes.
- Do you feel comfortable with your financial coach? Money is a very challenging subject to talk about. If you’re going to hire a coach to help you with your money, you need to feel comfortable about being 100% honest and open about your situation. You will not be able to make progress if you cannot be 100% open with your coach.
- Ask for testimonials and references. This is not a yelp review industry. Talking about money is an incredibly intimate subject. Ask and speak with client references to see how their experience was and whether or not they felt they received value out of their process with the financial coach.
- Understand how your financial coach is paid. A financial coach should NEVER be paid selling your 3rd party products like life insurance or investments or paid to manage your assets (this is a true financial advisor role and they must be licensed through the Securities and Exchange Commission-SEC). The fee should be a lump sum or monthly payment for coaching services only.
The last point I would like to bring up is that if your financial coach is helping you only with budgets and savings goals, this is something that easily attainable from YouTube or taking basic accounting classes at your local college. The experience with a comprehensive financial coach should include better understanding your relationship with money so that you create long term, sustainable behavioral changes.
A healthy balance sheet is much more about our relationshipwith money and less about the nickels and dimes.