By Nicholas W. Stuller
Angela Poupart, the daughter of missionaries, is thirty-one and grew up in the Midwest. Due to good parenting, Angela was unaware she came from a lower income household. Early on, she was taught the perspective that climbing the corporate ladder would grant her success, but that never appealed to her, and her overall quest wasn’t centered around becoming a millionaire. She is a creative person who likes to understand the functionalities of the things around her, which led her to becoming more inquisitive about her finances and how they were being managed in her life.
She went to community college to save money, then transferred and graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in New Media and Communication Technology. She is fascinated with the topic of human computer interaction and understanding how people interact with product interfaces. Upon graduating, she accumulated thirty thousand dollars in school debt, something she is not comfortable with as her parents taught her that debt can be very problematic. Angela wants to accomplish several things in her personal finance journey. She wants to invest for retirement, but also fund her passions. She feels that there is a narrative that investing is only for retirement, but not for being a tool to pursue your dreams, which for her may include starting a business one day. Her frustrations stem from not knowing where to start looking for the right resources to help her and feeling unsure of which steps to take.
Angela went to someone who has been in the financial services industry for over thirty years and asked this person what she should do. The reply? “Until you have twenty-five thousand dollars to invest, there is not much you can do.” This same person also suggested reading the Wall Street Journal every day. She did read the WSJ for a while, but was not able to connect to it, and found it was not answering her questions. Angela told me this was not the first time someone gave her advice that was not helpful. This advice was pretty bad for her; in fact, this is simply not correct for anyone in her situation.
During our interview, I told her there were thousands of advisors who catered specifically to Gen X and Y consumers. I followed up by telling her about the XY Planning Network, a company that teaches advisors how to set up a financial planning practice to cater to this demographic and has a directory of members to select from. There are over six hundred advisors that belong to this network. Angela can get an affordable financial planner who will tell her all the things she should be thinking about financially. Angela is among the many who do not know what they don’t know. If you’re in this situation, getting a financial planner is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Angela has since moved to New York, paid down a good amount of her debt, and is actively evaluating different planners. Angela had a great view on why she plans to get a financial planner. “We all put at least forty hours of work into our job and spend an incredible amount of effort into doing our job well. The output of that work is money, yet so many people don’t put any effort into what to do with the money afterwards. The effort should be continuous throughout the whole cycle, but it’s not. It makes no sense.”
This story first appeared in my book THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOUR WALLET FREE: Secrets to Finding the Perfect Financial Advisor, published in 2018 by Post Hill Press.
Nicholas W. Stuller is the Founder and CEO of MyPerfectFinancialAdvisor the premier matchmaker between investors and advisors using personalized data, proprietary algorithms, and deep industry experience.