When and where do we learn personal finance behavior? Young adults who receive financial education are less likely to carry credit card debt, and more likely to apply to and receive grants and financial aid. Despite this fact, the Council On Economic Education goes on to say that less than 17% of students were required to take at least one semester of personal finance in high school.
Wondering what I could do to help address this socioeconomic shortcoming, and my own financial literacy gap led me to a career in financial planning. I’ve really enjoyed educating myself since entering the financial industry in 2007, but I relish in educating others.
I decided to pursue financial planning in my mid-thirties, joining a major investment company in 2007. But my new career ran headlong into the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes. I will never forget the lessons the Great Recession revealed. Such turmoil separates the experienced from novice investors – those who saw that downturn as a buying opportunity from others who chose to lock in their losses.
So that brings us to today and my new role here at My Financial Coach. The last two years have demonstrated again the unpredictability and irrationality of the markets, and recent volatility has investors wondering if we’re poised for a correction. If we question what the next phase in the market has in store for our financial plan, we’re asking the wrong question. The unconflicted advice we give here at My Financial Coach tells us the question we should be asking: “How are my strategies and investments aligned with my financial goals?”
A sound financial plan should put your interests first. Assembled in partnership with a fiduciary, an unconflicted and disciplined plan will keep you moving toward your goals. Through ups and downs, the markets serve you well, as they always have.
Jonathan Vander Werff, CFP®