As I discussed in my last article, wealthy people need help with investment planning, tax planning, risk management, insurance planning, retirement savings, and estate planning.
In theory, all people need help with those things, but in reality, some people more urgently need help with financial planning such as repairing their credit score, buying a home, getting a mortgage, buying a car, paying off student loans, and digging out of credit card debt. This group needs help with these fundamental issues before worrying about investing and the aforementioned topics.
Who Needs Financial Planning?
As I discussed in my last article, most financial advisors make money by collecting a fee based on assets under management (AUM). So what do you do if you need financial help but don’t have assets to invest? Unfortunately, you may be out of luck. And that’s a problem.
We live in a world of haves and have-nots. Financial planning is traditionally a game reserved for and played by the wealthy. People with resources need help managing their money and can afford to pay for advice. People without resources need help but can’t afford to pay for it and are often left behind.
I wanted to be a financial advisor for years. In some ways I still do. But I have a tough time accepting the cold hard fact that not everybody has access to financial planning and people are left out. I believe in inclusivity and helping all people regardless of how much money they have. All people need financial help, guidance, and advice. Therefore I want to help all people.
As I mentioned earlier and mentioned in my previous article, financial advisors make money off of people with money. Financial advisors are always prospecting and searching for wealthy clients. No advisor I know of is searching for people without money to invest.
Unfortunately, nobody has found a way to make money helping people who can’t afford to pay for advice. That’s why nobody is doing it. If and when somebody finds a way, they’ll do it. That’s capitalism. Capital flows to profitable opportunities and businesses. And if people can’t make money doing it, they’re not going to do it. Returns drive investment decisions.
Maybe there is a way, and maybe I need to think more about it. Maybe others need to think more about it.
But that’s not helping right now. That’s not doing good right now. This doesn’t change the fact that many individuals have financial problems and need help but can’t get it because they don't know where to turn.
All people — not just wealthy people —- need help with their finances. All people have financial issues and problems. They are different problems, but they are still problems. All people need help, and all people should have access to help.
This is not an attack on the wealthy. Rather, it is a cry for help for people left behind. This is stating the facts.
So who’s dropping the ball? The individual? Parents? Schools? The government? Businesses?
Entering the Market as a Financial Planner
What’s the solution? There’s definitely a hole in the market that needs to be filled. Who will fill it? How will it be filled?
Here are possible solutions for people to ponder:
- Find a way to make providing financial advice to those who aren’t wealthy a profitable business
- A nonprofit
- Financial literacy in schools
- Free information and education and do-it-yourself companies like CentSai
- The government
As far as I’m concerned, access to financial help is a right.
No teenage high school student should sign their name to thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of college loan debt without knowing the financial implications and consequences. No teenage high student should be able to apply for a credit card without knowing the consequences.
I don’t know the answer. But I do see and recognize that there is a problem. And it gets me fired up and gets my blood boiling because I don’t like seeing people go without the help they need and deserve.
Every individual and company working to fight the battle and tackle the challenge deserves credit and praise. It’s important and meaningful work.
Until somebody is able to successfully address the issue, the divide will persist, people will go without, and people will move in the wrong financial direction.
Once you’re in a hole it’s tough to get out. We must help people get out. And we must help people from getting in a hole in the first place.