Art by Jonan Everett
Financial advisers are all the rage for people who are saving toward financial goals, such as putting kids through college and building a nest egg for retirement. While the cost of a financial adviser can make those who aren’t millionaires feel as if they can’t afford one, it raises a question: Should you get a financial adviser if you’re broke?
Do I Need a Financial Adviser? A Personal Decision
Overall, a financial adviser can be a great option, even if you aren’t making a ton of money. Such advisers can help you make smart investments and achieve short- and long-term goals. However, these professionals do cost money, and for someone who isn’t rolling in dough, the expense may not be worth it. Whether or not you need a financial adviser is ultimately a personal choice.
It’s important to examine your financial situation and goals before making your decision.
Do you work in a field in which your earnings are expected to grow over time and want to be able to use that money wisely? What are your plans and dreams? Thinking about these can help you decide if using a financial adviser is right for you.
Think Short Term if Long Term Won’t Do
If you can’t afford to keep a financial adviser around long term, you can hire one to help you in the short term. There are quite a few new companies that offer the opportunity to talk to financial advisers on an as-needed basis, which is especially useful to people with lower incomes.
While these companies may be a bit more expensive up front, they are great options to help you start getting your finances in order, without having to worry about sales pitches or paying monthly retainers.
Consider an Online Service
Would you ever trust a robo-adviser? You can do just about everything online these days, and finances are no exception — not only can you bank and invest online, you can also get financial help. If you feel that hiring a financial adviser is too expensive or time-consuming at this point in your life, a robo-adviser could be the answer you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that robo-advisers won’t be able to do everything traditional advisers can do. However, they’re still a great option for people who are just starting out on their financial journey. Another great thing about robo-advisers: They offer the opportunity to speak to a human if you need to. These interactions will cost extra, but not as much as it would cost to talk to a traditional financial adviser in an office.
You Can Be Your Own Adviser
Who says you can’t learn about investing and setting financial goals yourself? If you’re broke and need financial help, there’s a plethora of information online to help you start making better financial decisions, including classes, blogs and websites, and books.
There’s nothing wrong with trial and error when you’re broke and trying to learn about your finances. That said, it’s important to make sure that you’re at least getting the best, most accurate information available. Choose only those blogs, websites, and courses that have been vetted, have good reviews, and are run by financial professionals who have the proper credentials.
Is a Financial Adviser Worth It? The Bottom Line
So is a financial adviser worth it if you’re broke? In short, yes. But that doesn’t mean you absolutely have to hire one. Getting on a better financial path is never a bad idea, and a trusted financial adviser can help you do that.
Overall, hiring a pro isn't just for the rich. In fact, it may be most beneficial to those who want to make sure that they will have enough money for retirement and that they aren’t wasting money on things they shouldn’t be.