What Does a Financial Advisor Do for Gen X and Gen Y?

5 min read
July 22, 2015

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You're in your 20s or 30s. You earned your college degree and you spent a few years establishing yourself in the workforce. You're a young professional and you're -- finally! -- making a significant income.

Your earnings not only cover your living expenses, but you have some left over each month and you want to think about how you can best utilize that cash. Maybe you want to know how to invest it in the market wisely, or perhaps you're interested in investing in yourself.

Or perhaps you're still working toward this financial point. You're still trying to figure out how to pay off your student loan debt while juggling the cost of living and taking care of yourself, and you'd love to learn how to make more money so you can reach your financial goals. You could be thinking about how you could achieve your career goals, too -- you'd love to work out your finances so you can quit your job to freelance, or event start your own business.

Maybe you'd like to understand how you can make your money work for you so you can quit your job just to travel the world.

Getting on the Right Financial Path

If any of this sounds familiar, you're not alone. Those in Gen Y and Gen X want to do more with their money. They want to learn about personal finances and understand how they can reach their goals. But many of us simply don't know where to start.

This is where a financial advisor can step in to lead the way. Unfortunately, lots of people in their 20s and 30s don't really understand what a financial advisor can do for them -- and they don't know how to find the RIGHT financial professional. If you think "financial advisor" and immediately think of someone who pushes products and makes sales, take a step back.

Then get to know a fee-only financial planner who works as your fiduciary. XYPN is a great place to start. Our advisors charge a flat, monthly fee for financial planning and don't make commissions off sales. They also don't require any asset minimums, and started businesses to help people like you.

That means people who are going through quite a bit. Advisors can help young professionals who are hitting milestones. Or couples who are starting their lives together, and perhaps even starting families. They help people who want to know the answers to big financial questions, like how do I pay off my student loans? How do I start investing? Should I start my own business or work for myself? Can I take a year off to travel the world?

Again, when you're in your 20s, 30s, and 40s, you experience a lot of changes and transitions in your life. There’s a lot going on, financially speaking, between buying and selling real estate, relocating, changing jobs, going back to school, starting (and selling) businesses, growing families, and more.

What Does a Financial Advisor Do to Help You?

A financial advisor can begin helping you by providing with basic financial skills and education in personal finance and money management

You may want to do the right thing with your money -- but you simply don’t have the financial education need edto make the most of what you earn. The right advisor can make a positive impact in your life by teaching you how to budget, showing you the benefits of contributing more to a 401(k), and helping you create an action plan for future goals.

Financial planning can start with budgeting and cash flow management. This means helping you understand where your money is coming from and where it’s going, and teaching you about the ins and outs of your income and expenses so you can feel empowered to live your great life in which you feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.

Financial Advisors Help You Plan Education and Career Decisions

If you have student loans, you likely want to make the most of the education those loans helped you earn. Advisors can help you create an action plan around debt management, how to continue investing in yourself, and developing your career.

Advisors can also get you on the right track with debt management. This includes creating a plan to pay down student loans, mortgages, car payments, credit card debt, and more. A professional can show you how to pay your loans back (or find the best way to do so) and introduce you to all the options available. They can also work with you to determine when it makes sense to go back to school -- and when it might be smarter to find other ways to advance both your work and your salary.

Speaking of, career management can be part of a comprehensive plan for your finances. A financial advisor who understands that you don't want to work in a job you hate your whole life can help you with things like transitioning to a job or understanding the importance of salary negotiations (and how to do it).

In the same area, financial advisors can help you make the most of company benefits. Maximizing these is important — you could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year by working through your options and setting up what you need.

If you're more entrepreneurial-minded, planners can help support you if you want to start a business (or at the very least, a side hustle). You can put an advisor to work by having them focus on the whole cash flow picture — the income side of things can be included in the conversation, instead of putting the focus solely on expenses.

Getting Help Planning for Changes in Life

People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are busy buying homes, getting married (or divorced), having babies, changing careers, starting a business, taking a year to travel the world. That's a lot going on, and having someone to support you to make the right financial moves can make a big difference. Don't think an advisor is limited to talking investments and retirement plans -- they can help with the whole picture.

When it comes to figuring out what does a financial advisor do for you, you could also consider the perspective of New York Times' Sketch Guy columnist Carl Richards: an advisor helps making the right financial decisions just a little easier, and can stand between you and a big money mistake.