Mentors play vital roles in our lives by guiding us through the unknown. A financial mentor has the power to impact every facet of your life by helping you understand and build your wealth to the level of achievement you desire. So how do you find someone you can trust to lead you down the path to financial freedom? Do they need to be a professional money manager? What traits should they have?
Where is your financial mentor?
How to Spot a Financial Mentor That’s Already in Your Life
It’s quite possible that you already know your financial mentor, you just haven’t realized it yet. Good money mentors share many of the same common traits that are easy to identify when you know what you’re looking for.
They’ve had solid financial footing for some time – You wouldn’t take health advice from someone that doesn’t practice healthy habits. The same logic goes for your financial wellbeing. Seek out a mentor that has had good money habits for some time, and consistently holds true to them.
They are willing to share their knowledge – No matter what you need guidance on, a good mentor is a person that genuinely wants to impart wisdom. Think back to your high school days when you had numerous teachers in a single semester. Some stood out because they had a zest and seemed truly invested in your success, while others were watching the clock more than the students. If someone isn’t interested in sharing their financial insights, you need to keep looking.
Their financial situation is what you want for yourself – A good mentor doesn’t have to be a millionaire if that’s not your ultimate goal. However, your mentor should be someone that has already reached the level of financial freedom you want. It’s also important that they reached their financial success using legitimate means and did so in a way that’s possible for you as well.
They’re a good listener – In order to guide you, a mentor needs to understand what you want to accomplish, where you’re falling short and which strengths you can capitalize on. All that is determined through listening.
The two of you click – There’s a good chance that you’ll spend a fair amount of time with your mentor, which is why it’s important that you enjoy each other’s company. Both of you are more likely to stick through the good times and bad times when you genuinely like and respect the other person. It’s about having a role model, not someone that you just come to when you need questions answered.
How to Find a New Financial Mentor
Sometimes finding your financial mentor is as easy as looking at the people around you. Other times you may have to look a little harder. Start by taking a look at those that are closest to you, then cast a wider net if needed.
Start with your family – No matter how old you are, your parents have experienced more in their financial lifetime. Most family members make good financial mentors because you know they have nothing but your best interest at heart. Even if they are not the right financial mentor for you, they may be able to introduce you to some of their money mentors.
Look to your office – A good supervisor usually has a mentor mentality. If you’ve already tapped someone as a career mentor, they could also be a great resource for financial guidance – or know someone else who can. Additionally, someone in accounting could be a viable money mentor. Anyone in this department should have a firm grasp of numbers and an understanding of complex financial matters. You may get lucky and find that your company provides professional financial mentoring services to their employees.
Join a professional organization – There are a lot of benefits to joining a professional organization, and mentorship is definitely one of them. Seek out someone who is actively involved in the organization, because chances are they already have a mentor mentality.
Look to your trusted financially savvy friends and networks – If a close friend has achieved the type of financial success you want for yourself, ask them how they did it. Even if your friend had a mentor of their own they can possibly point you in the right direction to get started. Oftentimes like-minded friends and colleagues are also great folks to learn about money with. Start an investment club, and get to know how your friends think when it comes to financials – some may be bigger risk takers than you, or others may not have much skin in the game. It’s a good litmus test.
Turn to the experts – Sometimes it pays to seek out the assistance of a professional. Do your research to find someone who currently works with the type of financial tools you’re interested in and has the qualities listed above. You may need to meet with a number of people before finding the one that’s right for you.