Money is deeply personal.

Money is deeply personal. 

An individual’s unique emotional connections, experiences and values all help to shape their own personal relationship with money.

Financial coaches have the opportunity and responsibility to understand their client’s values, biases and behaviors, and make personal finance truly personal by encouraging clients to share their experiences and deepest concerns, especially when they relate to their financial circumstances.

It is these priorities that make it incumbent on the coach to connect with clients emotionally, and earn genuine trust to be able to identify, understand and collaborate on achieving their client’s goals, in other words, the things that matter most in life.

Coaching models, coaching methods, coaching skills and coaching experience all vary from coach to coach, however every coach must endeavor to help their client contemplate how reaching their financial goals will improve their lives. Coaches must help clients believe that a more financially rewarding life is not beyond their grasp.

Building trust, sharing values, making an emotional connection, enjoying the benefits of collaboration are all keys to a successful coaching relationship, however, none of it matters unless and until the client takes action.

Action is make or break.

Helping clients attain their desired quality of life through helping them understand their behaviors, overcome inertia and hurdle their roadblocks is the coach’s highest and best value.

When the elements of empathy, understanding, curiosity, and open communication are combined with the coach’s technical financial expertise and ability to motivate the client to take action are all present, then the client should feel they are in the ideal environment to confidently take the required steps toward meaningful, life-changing action.  

The Secret Language of Money

If my country were my client…

If my country were my client, I’d tell her its time to fix her family finances, before it’s too late.

I’d tell her it’s long past time to put together a serious budget.

I’d tell her to stop spending foolishly, as if she was able to print an unlimited supply of money down in the basement.

I’d tell her to stop borrowing, cut up her credit cards and pay back who she owes.

I’d tell her that throwing serious money at childish charades and flights of fancy is not “investing,” it’s dangerous.

I’d tell her it was time to play the long game with financial determination so fierce it would ensure the future of her grandchildren’s grandchildren.

And finally, I would advise her to stop hiring dishonest and unskilled employees who will deliberately destroy her standing in the world economy.

She has problems beyond money, but she’s strong, and brave, and good, so I give her my best advice with due respect, loyalty and love for her and her whole family, because they deserve better.

I can dream, can’t I?


Fix the money. Fix the future.

13 WARNING SIGNS YOU SHOULD HIRE A MONEY COACH

We are taught from an early age that money doesn’t equal happiness, and that’s generally true.

But when we think about money, we generally want to know a few things: How can I make more? How can I keep from losing it?  How can I be a better investor? How can I best manage my life, financial and otherwise, so that my family and I can live a healthy, worry-free life?

These are big questions, often uncomfortable questions, but they must be asked. And answered.

We’re fortunate to be a highly educated and informed society, but regardless of what we know, or what your education prepares you to do, most Americans need help with money. Why? Because our educational system has failed to realize that “money skills” are something every student from K to 12, and the graduates of higher education, should possess.

Whether it’s your inability to balance your checking account, your feeling of helplessness when your credit score is plunging, the terror you experience as you watch your 401(k) balance plummet, or on the flip side, you believe you’re smarter than the market, even when your returns are regularly in the tank, these are signs that you may need a money coach. 

Many people don’t recognize the warning signs that they should seek help organizing and optimizing their financial life. Others may be so embarrassed by their financial situation that they avoid seeking the help that can get their life turned around.

If any of this strikes a chord with you, you may be a candidate for money coaching, so to get the juices flowing, here’s a short and incomplete list of warning signs that professional money coaching may be a solution for you.

  1. You’ve not set clearly defined and articulated goals. “I want to be rich,” is not a goal, it’s a wish. “I want to accumulate $1 million before I retire in 28 years.  I make $80,000 a year, so I will need to save $10,000 a year at a 7.5% desired rate of return.” Now, that’s a goal.
  2. You don’t know what you own, you don’t know what you spend. This is big. You need to know where you are so you can get where you want to go, right?  A Personal Income Statement (how much you earn minus how much you spend) and a Personal Balance Sheet (assets you own minus how much debt you have equals your net worth).

    You don’t know what you own, you don’t know what you spend.


    These two statements will give you an accurate snapshot of your current condition.

  3. You’re saving less than 10% of your earned income.
  4. You don’t follow a financial plan because you don’t have one. Savings, investing, emergency funds, insurance, reducing debt, raising your credit score, tax minimization, retirement preparedness, having a will…all part of a cohesive plan. Be honest: did you wince after reading one or more of these? Don’t worry, most people do. Time to get help.
  5. You skipped the free money window! In other words, you are not participating in your employer sponsored 401(k) that matches your contributions. This is a huge mistake, and one that can be rectified easily.
  6. You don’t know the best ways to have your money make you money for you. It’s not about the “best investments,” it’s about the “best investments for you.” Big difference.
  7. Once you’ve made money, you don’t know how to keep it. Making money is half the battle. Keeping it is key to your future financial health.
  8. You lose invested money. You continue to do the same things, and you lose money again. A qualified, credentialed coach can help you break this destructive cycle.
  9. Handling money can be scary and overwhelming. We all have biases and behaviors that determine how well we handle money. These inherent biases often allow us to succeed with money, but too often they manifest in potentially damaging behaviors.

    Handling money can be scary and overwhelming.


    An experienced, credentialed coach can plug that drain so you can make smarter, informed decisions about your overall financial wellness. When it comes to money, we all have the potential to be our own worst enemy. Low financial literacy, bad habits and wonky behavior will kill even the best laid plans.

  10. Your IQ is higher than your credit score. There are steps you can take to improve your credit score that will pay dividends in your overall financial health.
  11. You think CDs are a safe investment. If you are reading this the day of publication, CDs are paying less than 1%, but inflation is running at 7% (or more). This makes every dollar in your CD worth about 94 cents. CDs may be “secure,” but they’re not inherently “safe.”
  12. You keep making the same mistakes. You want a coach to help you avoid costly mistakes, and most experienced money coaches have made those same mistakes. It’s called “earning your stripes the hard way,” and hard knocks are the best teachers of all. If you work with an adviser, coach or planner that hasn’t made mistakes, fire them! 
  13. You have a difficult time visualizing and understanding the four necessary elements to a beneficial money coaching relationship, namely: Historical Context (the past), Daily Events (the present), Forecasts (the future), and most importantly, Your Personal Info (critical, first-hand life experiences, behaviors and biases). 

To enjoy a productive and collaborative coaching relationship, these four elements each require examination in the context of two worlds: the world at large and your world.

The signs that you may need a money coach are virtually unlimited, and the signs from your own life may surprise you, and this list of 13 (a really ominous number, I admit!), is simply a starter list; broad, general strokes to get you thinking.

Money coaching is a relatively new and unusual concept to many people, but don’t you owe it to yourself to take a look at the warning signs in your own life and seek the help you need?


18Jun/18

Investment Performance Often DOES NOT EQUAL Investor Performance

The Fix The Investments Series A very large active mutual fund management firm (and to be fair, one that has earned the respect they deserve) has declared the active-passive debate to beRead More…