Do financial advisors need financial coaching?

By Michael McNamara

Blue Sky Consulting, LLC


I would like you to think about something. Think of professional sports for a moment. With few exceptions, every team and most individual sports have coaches of some sort. When you think about it, professional athletes are the very select few that are at the top of their game. Their unique combination of talent and determination has gotten them to that very select place of being paid, sometimes very, very well, to play a sport.

In spite of all this talent, virtually every one of them, in one fashion or another, has a coach to take and keep their game at a very high level. Consider Tiger Woods for a moment. In spite of some of his recent troubles, he is arguably one of the best golfers in the world and yet he employs a coach to keep him at that elite level.

Why should financial advisors be any different? They spend their lives coaching and advising their clients on building a sound and secure financial future. But what about their own financial future? Who helps them guide and review financial decisions that they make.

I would make the argument that financial advisors need as much help with their finances as the clients that they advise. Is it possible that they might let their ego get in the way of allowing someone else to have an opinion of how their personal finances are organized?

Advisors may not want to consider that they don’t have all of the answers, especially when it comes to managing their own personal finances. When it comes to learning things that may be out of the box, they also might not want to be in a position of not having all of the answers, especially when it comes to new ideas.

Much like the car mechanic whose automobile is the last one to get fixed, financial advisors might strongly consider working with someone who can offer an objective view of their finances, especially when it comes to managing their liabilities. Having a plan for strategic debt elimination is as important as having a plan for growing assets and creating opportunities for retirement income.

I recently did an online search for financial coaches for financial advisors and didn’t find anything. That could be because they just don’t exist or because they do exist and just don’t market themselves that way.

Certainly there are coaches that teach advisors how to best run their financial practices, but that’s different in my view. That could be put in the category of business coaching rather than financial coaching.

Having a financial coach to oversee and help provide perspective to a financial advisor may well open that advisor's eyes to thoughts, ideas and strategies that they may have never considered before. It might also bring a view that could add significant value to the advisor's client relationships as well.