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Financial coach vs. financial planner — what’s the diff?

Let’s face it — Australians spend most of their waking hours in the pursuit of money. There are over 13 million workers in the ‘Lucky Country,’ but it might surprise you to find out that only about 1.8 million of them pony up for professional financial advice. And part of that is because many Aussies don’t know where to turn. There are a few key differences between financial coaches vs. financial planners — and I’m here to make them crystal clear.

Who’s who in the zoo?

If you’re keen to take charge of your finances, the first thing you need to understand is who can help you and how. When it comes to making the choice — financial coach vs. financial planner — it’s all about goals and cash flow.

Choose a financial coach (like yours truly!) if you want to better understand the basics of personal finance. My job is to empower you to reach your goals and learn how to manage your finances in a way that works for you.

Choose a financial planner if you’re looking to build on existing wealth. They’ll help you lay the groundwork to achieve your long-term financial goals. But here’s the rub: you need to have assets in place before a financial planner can help you. If you’ve got nothing to invest in, any financial planner worth their salt will P-A-S-S on you.

Financial coach vs. financial planner — main priorities

As a financial coach, I work one-on-one with my clients who want to save money, create a budget, pay off debt, or feel more confident about their financial decisions. And the best way to smash these noble goals is by creating a realistic budget and cash flow plan.

On top of that, we’ll identify your money story and spending type, which goes a long way to pinpointing your long and short-term goals. 

Financial planners, on the other hand, generally work with people to grow the assets that they already have. A financial planner will help you build an investment portfolio, manage assets, and plan for retirement.

Financial coach vs. financial planner — how they roll

Financial coaching is a relatively new phenomenon, which has drawbacks and benefits. It’s an unregulated industry — anyone can call themselves a financial coach. That means it’s up to you to make sure that your prospective coach has the right skill set.

As a financial coach, I draw on what I learned in my Cert IV in Finance Broking and Financial Services, along with my 17 years in the renewable energy sector, to support my clients. Not only that, I’m endorsed by the strategists and financial advisors at Mortgage Escape Australia and Money Maze

For best results, choose a financial coach that’ll be by your side for the long haul. I’m here to help you work out your goals and create a plan that suits your lifestyle. Not only that, I’ve got your back when it comes to accountability, too! Monthly check-ins mean I’m always on the sidelines if you need support or encouragement.

Financial planning is a whole different ball game. Industry professionals are registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This guarantees that the planner holds the qualification to give financial advice (which a financial coach cannot do). 

Meetings with a financial planner will be less frequent and more focused on planning for the future. You’ll address managing your existing assets, determining your interest in investing, and your risk tolerance. Not only that, you might cover estate and retirement planning, as well as the insurance coverage you might need to cover your bum. 

Once you approve the advisor’s financial plan, they’ll manage your investment portfolio for you. Your portfolio might include stocks, real estate, bonds, or cash. If you’re keen on cryptocurrency, be sure to find a financial planner who specialises in digital assets.

Financial coach vs. financial planner — the bottom line

Pun intended, people. If you’re looking for a solid budget and cash flow plan, as well as some lessons in financial literacy, with a side of support and accountability — a financial coach is for you.

If you need specific investment, money management or business advice, you might like to consult a financial planner. In fact, many of my clients find that the skills they learn in my coaching sessions actually help get them to the point where they have the assets to bring on a financial advisor!

If you think financial coaching might be for you, I’d love to chat. Take the first step today by booking a FREE 15-minute discovery call

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