Financial Planning for Young Professionals

Not long ago, a young couple set up a meeting with me to discuss some of their finances. I called to learn more about what problem they were trying to solve, and learned that they wanted to make sure that their investment portfolio was appropriately diversified. As we were setting up time for the meeting, I asked how they were doing with debt, credit cards and if they had extra spending money at the end of the month. There was a pause. Then she said “You work with clients on that sort of thing?”

“Of course I do. In fact, it’s what I spend a lot of my initial client time working through.”

In our first meeting we spent ten minutes reviewing their stock allocation, and then the next 70 minutes working on an approach to better manage their monthly spending and consolidating their credit cards.

I have a fundamental belief that everyone needs a financial advisor. Millennials have a huge advantage over their elders when it comes to investing, but they have to take advantage of it now:

  1. Time is on your side - Money grows over time and it makes a profound difference over a long period of time. As an example, if you invest $2k from 19 years old to 26 (8 years) when you retire, you will have $1MM. If you wait until you are 27 to start saving, you would have to put away $2k each year until you are 65 (39 years), and still only have $900k. So start early!

  2. Setting up good habits - It is always easier to start with a strong and thoughtful foundation, rather than reseting in the future, due to bad behavior. Lets set up good habits now so that you will benefit in the long term.

Whether it is helping to budget/monthly spending, set goals, mediate differences between partners, set up investments, talk taxes or buying a car, a financial planner can be a steady hand to help.

If you are a young professional, you may think a financial advisor doesn’t make sense for you because you likely

  • Don’t have much of an investment nest egg

  • Don’t own a house, and are very likely renting

  • Live paycheck to paycheck

  • Have debt due to student loans and/or credit cards

  • Don’t have kids and thus have fewer variables in your life equation

  • Have long time before retirement

  • You use an online tools/service for budgeting or saving

If some subset of that list resonates with you, here are some things to be thinking about:

  • Am I successfully balancing my short/mid/long term goals?

  • Am I saving enough?

  • Am I spending too much?

  • Do I love what I do at my job?

  • Do I have disability, term life and health insurance?

  • Am I accessing all of the amazing array of benefits my company offers (ESPP, anyone?)

  • Does my partner see eye to eye with me on spending and saving?

  • Is there harmony between my spending and my values and goals?

  • Should I be consolidating your debt?

Too often it seems that young professionals make their decisions in isolation, without seeking advice from someone with more experience. Perhaps there is information around the internet that could be gleaned from a quick google search. A financial advisor, who gets to know your background and experiences, can provide much of the needed support to help get your financial house in order for the long run. Helping you set up much of the foundation, so that you can answer the questions above, with certainty and confidence.

You don’t need a small fortune to start this process and to get competent help, Chamberlain Financial Advisors is here to help! I spend the time getting to know you. I understand your context, so that the advice I give you, meets your specific needs. Lets create a plan that will help you build to that fortune, so that your future self is delighted to meet you. And don’t worry, I get that you are busy, I work to make your life easy. We can meet for lunch, after work for a drink, or I can come by your house for consultations.