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Who Should You Turn to for Financial Advice?

Posted on February 19, 2019

woman over a laptop holding her head confusedThe world of finances is full of risks. A bad investment, not having enough money saved in your emergency fund, purchasing a house only for the market to crash right afterward. With every financial choice, there comes risk and a chance to lose money. Plus, finances can be a confusing and scary thing to try and learn on your own.

But, you don’t have to make important financial choices completely blind. It doesn’t have to be a roll of the dice whether you make the right choices. There are many resources and people ready to help, from providing general financial education to a professional assisting you with making a specific choice. Here’s our guide on who to turn to when you need some financial advice.

Talking to your Parents or Other Family Members

Of course, a great first resource for advice, financial or not, is your parents and close family members. Likely, they’ve gone through similar financial decisions and can help shed some light on your situation.

A major benefit to asking your family for financial advice is they are likely to be fully honest with you. Hopefully they can give good advice for your specific situation and provide the support you need.

Be aware though, that family members can make mistakes. If they aren’t great with their own money or the problem is beyond their experience, they might not give the best advice. It could be out of date, incorrect, or just the wrong information for you, so take what they say with a grain of salt. Use your own judgement and do additional research.

Research Advice Online

young man and woman sitting next to each other, woman looking at laptop, man looking at iPadThe internet is a great place of learning and knowledge, and there is a lot of information pertaining to finances. Whether you are looking for beginner info on something or need something incredibly specific, there’s likely a blog article or online forum post that can help. You can get advice from the leading experts in finances at many major websites.

Online research does have its drawbacks. Anybody can write and post advice, regardless of their experience in the subject matter. You’ll need to research who wrote the advice before applying it to your life. Also, advice given with pure intentions from across the country, or even the world, might not work just because of vastly different economies and circumstances.

For online advice, Pioneer partners with GreenPath financial wellness to help educate our members. If you are a Pioneer member, you have unlimited access to financial counselors and online financial articles for free!

Meeting with a Financial Advisor VS a Financial Planner

The world of finances are filled with professionals who make their career of guiding people to success. Financial advisors and planners specialize in helping everyday people make sense of their financial situation and make a plan.

It’s important to note, that there is a difference between a Financial Advisor and a Financial Planner. Anybody with a financial background and expertise can call themselves a “financial advisor.” This could be your accountant, an investor, or somebody working at a bank. They can give useful advice, but there is no organization or requirements that monitors who calls themself a financial advisor.

On the flip side, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) has to be certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., by completing an education program, taking an exam, demonstrating financial planning experience and continuing their education. Typically, a CFP is experienced and able to work on all things concerning personal finances.

When it comes to who to go to, you need to consider a few things. A financial advisor typically is either free or at least cheaper than meeting with a CFP, but it also could mean they have much less experience than a CFP. Additionally, a financial advisor might have ulterior motives when helping you come up with a plan, such as receiving a monetary reward for referring people to a specific service or bank. On the other hand, a CFP legally has to act in your best interest.

If your financial situation is incredibly complex, it’s worth meeting with a financial advisor, or even a couple of them. That doesn’t mean though you should stop doing your own research. Compare what they say to what you’ve learned, ask questions, and be careful about signing any legal documents. If you find yourself still needing extra guidance, and you can afford paying for it, find a trustworthy CFP to meet with.

Guidance from Pioneer

As a Pioneer member, we are always ready to assist you in any financial situation you find yourself in. From opening up new accounts, consolidating your financial info, and overall advice, we are ready to help. You can always stop by a branch, chat with us online, or give us a call.

Plus, Pioneer is more available than ever with the myPioneer Personal Assistant app. You can get in touch with a Pioneer representative 7 AM - 7 PM, Monday through Saturday, for help with your finances. Download the app to your smartphone or tablet and talk with us today!

Download the myPioneer Personal Assistant!


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