When someone asks if you’ve got a financial plan, the first thing that may come to mind might be that scene from Friends where Phoebe says: “I don’t even have a pla-.” Just trying to figure out if you can swing cocktails at that cute new bar down the street and your weekly Trader Joe’s run is hard enough on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, you might not feel like you know an adequate amount about money, in general, or earn a sufficient amount of it to be thinking seriously about your financial future. You might’ve heard buzz about hiring a financial planner to help you manage your money and investments…but is the payoff really worth it? We did some research to see what financial experts and women like you have to say about bringing in a pro to manage the Benjamins.
You’re Never Too Young For a Financial Planner
Although the stereotype is that financial planners are only needed by well-off, older people who are decked out in Ralph Lauren, the times are definitely a’changing. Having someone help you get your shit in order so you can focus on other things can actually be a smart investment.
“Traditionally, people sought financial help once they were having a child,” says Heather Goodman, San Francisco-based COO and president of True Capital Management. “But because more women are in the workforce, and the millennial generation is waiting longer to have kids, more people are seeking out a financial planner in their mid- to late 20s.” And she believes money management should happen even sooner. “I think financial planning should start as soon as you’re in college,” says Goodman, stating that it’s good to just get a handle on the basic idea of how much is going into your account and how much is coming out early on, even if it’s a small amount. “I don’t think it should wait.”
According to a study by Pew Research Center, millennial ladies are working more and making more moolah than generations before them (no shade: we know the patriarchy has held women back), so we’ve got more money to be managed. Let’s face the facts: this shit can be hard, especially when we’ve got a million and one things on our plate. It’s OK to ask for help. “The nice thing about a financial planner is that it ensures that you can dedicate your time to other things while you are living your best life,” says Lazetta Braxton, Maryland-based founder and CEO of Financial Fountains, a financial planning firm. “It comes down to delegating.” Recommendations from family and friends who are in similar financial situations as yours is best, but you might also want to head to FINRA.org, where you can check out the background of the Certified Financial Planner — make sure they’re certified — you’re thinking of hiring, recommends Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial Takes on Investing: A Beginner’s Guide to Leveling Up Your Money.
You Don’t Need a Lot of Dough to Call In a Pro
“I have, like, zero money for a financial planner to manage,” says New York-based SuperShe member, Rose. But, in reality, you don’t need to be makin’ it rain to benefit from a little financial assistance. Any amount of money in your bank account can be managed to help you save up for that Chevy Traverse to take the kids to practice or to renew your Class Pass subscription.
When Cristina, a New York-based SuperShe, had a friend recommend a financial planner, she also thought that she didn’t need one, since she wasn’t exactly rolling in riches. But she kept an open mind and met with the planner; he seemed trustworthy (no Bernie Maddoff vibes, she says), so she hired him. “Fast-forward two years, and now he’s managing 75 percent of my money, helping me set up a cushy retirement and also an excellent rainy day fund, which means I never have to take on a client or project that don’t align with my values just for the money,” she says. “Basically, he’s the career coach that I didn’t know I wanted or needed, and I’m so grateful. Not to mention, he’s helping me grow my net worth well beyond what I thought was possible.”
Um, we’ll have what she’s having.
Finance Stuff Can Be Tricky
There’s no shame in admitting we get help with our green ‘cause we’d rather not deal with that finance shit ourselves. “I don’t know a fucking thing about managing my money in the long-term,” says Clare, a SuperShe from Connecticut, who is considering finding a financial planner. “I can budget month-to-month, but planning ahead when I’m only 22 is tough, and I honestly don’t want to do it myself. I’d rather have someone I trust take care of it while I learn more about it.” A financial planner’s whole shtick is taking an objective look at your finances, managing tight budgets, helping you with investing, and making sure you’ve got a doable plan for your future.
Whatever your financial sitch, it’s up to you to decide if you want a trained professional to lend a hand. You’re a SuperShe, but you don’t have to be a superhero all the time; totally cool to ask for help if you want it. But if you’re a boss when it comes to managing your bucks, keep doing you. We’re not here to tell you how to live your life.
In the wise words of Beyoncé: “You’re a grown woman. You can do whatever you want.” Just know that babes like you are killing the financial game these days, and people are eager to help you out as you grow and charge toward your badass future.