How Do I Choose the Best Money Management Advice?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

When choosing sources of money management advice, it is important to first consider your need for financial advice. You should think about whether you need assistance with budgeting, debt management or making investments. Your options may include consulting with a financial management professional, seeking debt or money management counseling or coaching, or obtaining information through information sources such as books, websites and seminars. When appropriate, you should verify the credentials of people who offer money management advice. In addition, you may wish to ask trusted friends, family members or even your employer's employee assistance program for referrals to financial advisors.

If you are interested in seeking money management advice, you should reflect on what type of advice you need. If you are having difficulty paying your bills or sticking to a budget, you may wish to seek out professional financial counseling or coaching. In many places, not-for-profit credit counseling services can assist you in developing a budget, educating you about debt issues and helping you negotiate payment plans with your creditors. Another option is to work with a life coach who can help adjust your attitude toward money as well as your spending habits. If you are working with a credit counseling service, you will want to make sure that it is appropriately licensed to operate in your area and you should contact a consumer advocacy organization to ensure that the credit counseling service has not been the target of consumer complaints.

On the other hand, if you have a firm grip on your personal finances but want to develop an investment strategy, you may wish to seek information from a financial advisor. Laws governing the practice of offering investment advice vary by jurisdiction. In some countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, financial advisors typically must hold a license to advise people on investments. Keep in mind that some individuals who work as financial advisors also sell various financial products and make a commission from your purchases: if you work with one of these advisors, be aware that he may steer you toward investments from which he may personally profit. In all cases, you should find out where a financial advisor got his training and take the time to determine whether his license or professional certification is in good standing.

Some financial experts provide money management advice through seminars, website and other types of media. If you are a "do it yourself" kind of person, you may wish purchase or follow their writings, lectures and presentations. While you won't have the benefit of getting one-on-one money management advice from these experts, you may be able to learn quite a bit about making sound financial decisions. You can also use their information to educate yourself so that you feel more confident about hiring a money management professional in the future.

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