Are you ready to make some real money moves?

Money shouldn't be a secret. Everyone has had an experience with money–good or bad. What you learn from the experience is most important. 

Question #1

What is the best lesson you have learned about money and financial literacy?

This question will help you figure out if your advisor has been trained to sell you products and services or if your advisor will give you some advice based on their experiences. Their answer might tell you they made some mistakes, learned the hard way, or came from money but learned to manage it properly. You also may get a glimpse into whether they are passionate about the job they do. We want to know where they are in life. Are they just starting and learning the ropes? Are they seasoned but have ideas that will work for your generation?

With this question, we want to filter out those who lack personal knowledge and experience. These are not the people we want to be an influencer in your life. All too often, financial institutions hire seat fillers who aren't passionate about what they do. If they dodge the question or stick with the sales tactics, you will see this is probably just a job they do to get commissions.

Question #2

Are you a traditionalist or an innovator?

In today's day and age, what worked for our grandparents may not work for anyone born after 1980 or possibly even earlier.

You need to know if your advisor is just going to give you traditional advice. Traditional advice sounds like, "I'll help you save for your child's education with a savings account and automatic transfers." Innovative advice sounds like, "Buy a $50,000 investment property with a 3.5% or less down. Get a property manager to manage the place while you slowly recoup your down payment, and the property appreciates in value over the 18 years. When it is time for your child to go to school, you can sell the property to pay for your child's education."

Again you need your advisor to know there are tax consequences to these ideas, but you see the point, right? Everyone's situation is different. My example above requires a down payment of $1750, a decent credit score, and the patience to deal with finding a property manager or tenants. The same innovation could come from your advisor saying invest your money in an index fund for 18 years (which you can set up a free brokerage account and automate deposits), or buy a whole life policy and borrow against it when the time comes.

There is always a solution. You just have to have someone who thinks outside the box. I know when you are looking for a financial advisor, it can be hard. So my advice is to interview fiduciaries. These are advisors who will put your interests first and won't just sell you products that you don't need. Go with who you think will help you best to accomplish your financial goals. Build a team. One person doesn't have to do it all.

Go out and find your advisor!

This blog was previously posted on the blog of the contributor.

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