A financial mentor is a trusted person or counselor that helps people in the arena of business, personal finance, and investments. Mentors can be anybody, but they typically have several characteristics in common. For instance, they are all loyal advisers who have the person’s best interests at heart.
A financial mentor is someone who helps you plan brilliant scopes for how to spend, save and invest your money. Money can get very complicated and having a trusted financial mentor can bring clarity and context to your financial decisions and make things like investing and saving a little easier to do.
How to Find a Financial Mentor
Decide What You Want in a Mentor
First, take a look at your present financial situation. List out your financial strengths and weaknesses, and set some goals for your self.
If you have a better understanding of your personal budget but need guidance to break into the housing market, you might want to sit down with someone in your family who owns the property and knows what it’s like to be a first-time house hunter. Or better still hire a financial expert
Find Potential Candidates
Financial mentors can come from anywhere, even your own family. Start with your immediate, and create a list of those who have a good grasp on their finances. Approach your relatives, friends, or even acquaintances who successfully run small businesses or manage their debt well.
Partnering with a mentor whom you are already familiar with can not only save you money, but it also begins with a deeper level of trust. In many cases, people may also be more comfortable opening up to someone who is closer to them.
If you need to find someone outside your circle, ask around for referrals. Word of mouth and personal references are typically much more reliable than a Google search only, especially if you’re a novice.
Find ‘The One’
Once you narrow your search to a few potential mentors, make a list of questions to ask them, and to ask yourself. Here are a few to get you started:
For potential mentors:
- How long have you been a coach (financial mentor)?
- What’s your business specialty?
- What’s your greatest financial success/failure?
- Have you ever been in my situation? What did you do about it?
- What is your availability?
- What’s your plan to help me reach my set goals?
- Can I relate to this person?
- Do they know how to teach?
- Are they good listeners?
- Are they trying to sell me anything?
- What’s my gut reaction?
Be a Good Student
During your first few meetings, work together with your financial mentor to set expectations and lay the groundwork. Draft a plan, how you’ll get there, and how often you’ll communicate.
And remember that as much as you expect them to be a good mentor, you should be a good student as well. Listen carefully, take good notes, and implement your mentor’s suggestions. And, if at any point you feel like your mentor doesn’t have your best interests at heart, you can back out.
How to be a Financial Mentor
There are different levels of being a financial mentor, each with a different degree of commitment for you and the person you’re mentoring.
This is the most indirect type of mentoring, and you’re probably doing it already. Whether you know or not, people observe how you spend (or save) your money. They see that you bring your lunch to work instead of buying food every day. Usually, people will observe you before they ask you for assistance.
You may also share helpful information by posting on social media, sending someone a link to an article, or lending books to read. This level of mentoring is more formal than modeling, but it still doesn’t require a measurable investment of your time.
Some people need more than knowledge. They need to learn basic skills like how to make a monthly budget, or how to save every month. Obviously, this will require more of your time and energy. If you don’t have the time to assist the person directly, you could help find someone who can offer the direction they require.
Financial mentors can help out with many scopes of your life. They can make helpful advice for getting out of debt. They can guide you with good and smart investment ideas. They can share personal, actual experience for navigating through challenges with a business that you own.
They can even guide you in your career development. Whatever help that you specifically request from a mentor, you should always be thankful to them.