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Changing trajectories: how financial planning puts Black folks on track

by Paul Morgan

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to turn to the internet for financial advice. However, this convenience comes with a major drawback – the internet lacks the ability to provide a complete view of your finances. This is where certified financial professionals come in. With their education, training, guidelines, and standards, they are equipped to offer reasonable financial advice on various topics.

In the Black community, passing down financial knowledge is a common practice. However, it is important to be cautious about the accuracy of the advice being shared. Incorrect financial advice can lead individuals down the wrong path and have serious consequences. This is why it is crucial to seek guidance from certified financial professionals who have the necessary credentials and knowledge.

It is important to understand the differences between professionals, financial influencers, and financial coaches. While influencers and coaches may offer advice, they are not required to have the same level of expertise as certified professionals. Licenses, regulations, and tests are in place for financial professionals to ensure they adhere to rules and laws governing the industry.

Proper financial advice is vital for increasing financial literacy, building generational wealth, and being well-prepared for retirement. Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs) are professionals who specialize in different areas of finance. CFPs provide a holistic view of one’s financial life, while CPAs assist with taxes, and CFAs are experts in investing and wealth management.

For those who may not meet the requirements or afford the services of certified professionals, financial coaching can be a cost-effective alternative. However, it is important to note that financial coaches have limitations due to regulations and licensing requirements. Some Accredited Financial Counselors have certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.

It is crucial to be cautious of scammers on platforms like TikTok and Instagram who offer bad financial advice and encourage illegal practices. Researching the recommendations of influencers before acting on them and consulting with a certified finance expert can help avoid taking misleading advice.

When looking for a finance professional to work with, there are several factors to consider. It is recommended to ask potential financial planners or coaches questions about their typical clients, their background, their personal finances, their mission and purpose, and what they believe clients may be overlooking. Additionally, it is important to assess whether they ask detailed questions about your household and financial landscape, provide recommendations based on accurate information, have your best interests in mind, and are willing to educate you on available options.

Finding a financial professional to work with is relatively easy, as there are numerous personal financial advisors in the United States. Many offer free consultations or introductory calls to determine if their services align with your needs. Remember, just like going to the doctor, it is important for your financial professional to have a thorough understanding of your financial situation and goals.

In conclusion, seeking guidance from certified financial professionals is crucial for making sound financial decisions. They have the necessary education, training, and expertise to provide reliable advice. While financial influencers and coaches may offer advice, it is important to verify their credibility and suitability for your specific financial needs. By choosing the right finance professional, you can increase your financial literacy, secure your generational wealth, and ensure a more financially stable future.

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