A recent survey from Northwestern Mutual found that only 40% of Americans have set financial goals and only 17% have sought the advice of a financial advisor.
Another recent survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 73% of Americans felt they could benefit from professional financial advice.
So what gives? Why do so many Americans feel they can benefit from working with a financial advisor but yet so few actually have one?
It’s not you, it’s me
This saying really holds true here. The fee structure that the majority of the industry uses has boxed out the vast majority of Americans. Most Registered Investment Advisors (RIA’s) look to work objectively with clients and charge a fee based on the assets they manage.
For example, you have $500,000 to manage, they charge you 1% on the assets and provide financial planning and investment management services.
Many of these advisors have grown successful businesses over the years. As their businesses grew, they raised minimum asset thresholds as supply and demand warranted.
Many advisors now have asset minimums that range from $500,000 to $2,000,000 to establish working relationships. While this has been great for their business, it has left a void for Americans who seek objective financial planning and investment advice but don’t meet the asset minimums to work with an advisor.
I recently founded Stone Steps Financial because I believe that young families and professionals should have the opportunity to work with a financial advisor regardless of investable assets or net worth.
And I am not alone. More and more advisors, like members of the XY Planning Network, are looking to help Americans who are not yet millionaires. (Full disclosure, I am a member of the XY Planning Network.)
I founded Stone Steps to provide financial planning and investment management services that are accessible, affordable, accountable, and academically based.
With a CFP professional, you can get clear about where you currently stand financially, develop and implement your financial plan, and work collaboratively to make changes along the way.
But can I afford a financial advisor?
Planning doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg. Many planners now offer ongoing financial planning services for an initial fee and then $100-200 a month. Some also offer services for a few hundred dollars to address one or two of your most pressing financial questions for a one-time fee.
Access to a financial planner can and should be affordable to most Americans. If you decide that you would like to work with one, feel free to reach out to me directly, search for a planner at Letsmakeaplan.org, or visit XY Planning Network to find an advisor.