Last week I introduced to you what a full fledged financial plan is and what it should entail. But how do you get one? Are you on your own? Where do you look for help? Here are 3 ways to get a written financial plan.
3 ways to get a Written Financial Plan
There are many ways to get a good financial plan. I’d like to discuss three great ways to get one.
1) Hire a Financial Advisor
As I have written about before, I don’t have a financial advisor. In fact, I never have. Why is that? It’s not that it’s a bad thing. Even William Bernstein thinks that most docs should have one. Why not me? A couple reasons really. A couple years ago I didn’t know a lot about finances and I was so focused on destroying my student loan debt that I felt I didn’t need one yet.
Then when I was introduced to the White Coat Investor I learned there is a lot more to know and do for my financial planning. One thing he said was to get some knowledge first so you don’t go to a financial advisor with no knowledge and get swindled. So I decided to get an initial financial education. By the time I got educated and read several books, I felt like I could do it myself. I’ll discuss more later on what I did to get educated enough to feel like I didn’t need a financial advisor.
Hiring a financial advisor can be a great thing. Just make sure you go in with some knowledge of investing and financial planning. That way they don’t sell you products you don’t need. You need an advisor, not a salesman. A great place to research good financial advisors is on the White Coat Investor’s website.
You don’t need to go to go to an advisor for everything or forever either. Maybe you go to them to help you get an initial financial plan and then you can implement and maintain it yourself. Or maybe they help you implement it and you maintain it. Or they can even help you maintain it for a while until you feel comfortable doing it on your own. Once you are on your own if you want changes or just need advice or an opinion, you can go back to them. There is no reason to feel like it should be all or nothing. If your advisor tells you its all or nothing, then they likely aren’t the advisor for you.
2) Do it yourself
If it sounds like a big job, that’s because it is. In order to truly be able to have the knowledge to write a full financial plan, you will need to have a serious financial education. You could have training or a financial advisor yourself. Or you could just get this education on the side. However, this will take a lot of time and work.
There are dozens of books you should likely read. There are probably several forums and blogs and websites you should read and follow. Making sure you are reading the right content is also very important. Make sure you are reading trusted resources and that the overarching message of each source is in line with the other sources.
Reading several books, blogs, and financial websites is part of all three ways to get a good written financial plan. If you hire an advisor, you still need to read some of these things to have some knowledge. However, if you are truly doing it yourself then you should read and study a lot more.
A good place to get started on your reading to be able to do this on your own is to see my recommendations of books, blogs, and podcasts in my financial education resources tab. See my review of one book that changed my financial life.
And last but not least…
3) Do it yourself with some help
This is what I did. I didn’t want to hire a financial advisor. Financial planning and investing is something I am passionate about and enjoy and so I wanted to do the work myself and be in charge myself. I really like being in charge. That’s why I am a practice owner and not an associate. However, just like there is no shame in being an associate dentist, there is no shame in hiring a financial advisor if it is a good one.
I did a lot of reading and research, but I didn’t feel like I had the time to really dig in and read as much as I should if I really wanted to do this myself. I had read several books and blogs. Financial podcasts were part of my daily routine, but I felt like I needed little hand holding.
Low and behold I found the White Coat Investor “Fire Your Financial Advisor Course”. This course takes you step by step through making a full fledged financial plan. With the knowledge from the many books and blogs I read, the course really helped bring everything together and give me the confidence I needed. By the end of it I had a full written financial plan that I was very proud of. I review it every month still and stick to it. I know if I stick to it, it will lead me to the financial success and freedom I desire.
On to Financial Independence
The important thing I want you to take away from this is getting a full WRITTEN financial plan is a must. You don’t need to wait until your student loans are paid off or wait until you have a certain net worth. As soon as you start your first real job making 6 figures you need to have a plan of what you are going to do with that money. Every single dollar you earn should have a name to it.
If you have any questions about any of these three ways to get one, please feel free to reach out to me. You can contact me here. Remember, you don’t have to be a slave to debt. Together we can become debt free, financially literate, and financially independent.
-Debt Free DDSTrack all of your accounts with Personal Capital. I do, and it is great.
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*Nothing on my website is professional or legal advice. I am only sharing information that I have learned and it may or may not be accurate. I am not liable for any problems you may have by following this advice. Please do further research and get professional and/or legal advice about any of these topics. This post likely contains affiliate links. This site could be paid for clicks or purchases made through these links. See my disclosure here.