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What is Financial coaching services

Thursday, February 05, 2015

A new and fast growing advisory service - Financial coaching services


Financial coaching definition


So what is Financial Coaching?  The industry is so new there is no accepted financial coaching definition.  One can turn to Wikipedia for a definition of Coaching.  Coaching is defined as ‘training or development in which a person called a "coach" supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal’  So how can this definition be expanded to a Financial Coaching Definition? 


Wiki further goes on to outline a sub category of Financial Coaching being ‘an emerging form of coaching that focuses on helping clients overcome their struggle to attain specific financial goals and aspirations they have set for themselves. At its most basic, financial coaching is a one-on-one relationship in which the coach works to provide encouragement and support aimed at facilitating attainment of the client's financial plans. Recognizing the array of challenges inherent in behaviour change, including all too human tendencies to procrastinate and overemphasize short-term gains over long-term wellbeing, they monitor their clients’ progress over time and hold the client accountable. This monitoring function is hypothesized to boost clients’ self-control and willpower. Previous studies in psychology indicate that individuals are much more likely to follow through on tasks when they are monitored by others, rather than when they attempt to ‘self-monitor’. Although early research links financial coaching to improvements in client outcomes, much more rigorous analysis is necessary before any causal linkages can be established. In contrast to financial counsellors and educators, financial coaches do not need to be experts in personal finance because they do not focus on providing financial advice or information to clients.


The obvious flaw in Wiki’s Financial Coaching Definition is that it states that financial coaches do not need to be experts in personal finance because they do not focus on providing financial advice or information to clients.  It is correct that Financial Coaches cannot provide Financial Planning advice as they would need to be Licensed Financial Planners to do so. However, I fail to see how a coach can coach someone on their financial life without having any expertise in personal finance issues.  Even the term personal finance is ambiguous.  The term ‘personal finance’ financial management which an individual or a family unit is required to do to obtain, budget, save, and spend monetary resources over time, taking into account various financial risks and future life events.  When planning personal finances the individual would consider the suitability to his or her needs of a range of banking products (checking, savings accounts, credit cards and consumer loans) or investment (stock market, bonds, mutual funds) and insurance (life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance) products or participation and monitoring of individual- or employer-sponsored retirement plans, social security benefits, and income tax management. Are these not highly specialised areas in which advisors need experience, qualifications, registrations and licenses to advise? 


To my way of thinking using a ‘Financial Coach’ who has no experience, qualifications, registrations or licenses in financial fields is akin to paying a sports coach who has played football all their life to coach a girls netball team.  Why would you pay financial coaching fees to someone who is not able to provide financial planning advice, tax advice, or finance advice?


So who do you turn to for Financial Coaching Services? 


If you are seeking financial coaching services or financial coaching packages you would be wise to turn to professionals or a professional advisory firm that are experienced in their field of advice, and licensed, qualified and registered with professional bodies such as NTAA, CPA, FBAA, MFAA, PIPA, PIAA.



Coaching and mentoring program's


So when looking for Financial Coaching Services I think I have made my point clear enough that the individual or business should be experienced, qualified, licenced or registered.  I also think you should be looking for and individual or firm that offers financial coaching software, financial coaching tools and financial coaching packages.   Coaching and mentoring program's can greatly assist you develop wealth creation strategies.


Financial coaching fees can be worth paying if the financial coaching fees are paid to suitably qualified professionals whose advice can greatly assist you create personal wealth.  Financial coaching fees can be reduced via subscribing to coaching and mentoring programs and financial coaching packages as these tend to be cheaper than one on one financial coaching services.  However coaching and mentoring programs and financial coaching packages as they are not one on one take more commitment as you have to be self-disciplined enough to follow the coaching and mentoring programs and financial coaching packages.



What if you are looking for the coaching definition business?


If you are seeking financial coaching for business there is once again no accepted coaching definition business. Some business coaches talk about leadership coaching definition, performance coaching definition or executive coaching definition.  But once again nowhere in all these definitions or explanations do you actually find a requirement for a coach who is holding themselves out to be a business coach to be experienced, qualified, licenced or registered.  


Personally I would not take business advice from someone who is not, at the very least, a CPA, NTAA of Chartered Accountant and preferably someone who is also a Registered Tax Agent.


What is the purpose of coaching?


As explained above coaching is ‘training or development in which a person called a "coach" supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal’. In terms of Financial Coaching Services financial coaching means to coach a client on their personal finance issues which should include topics such as

  • Protection against unforeseen personal events, as well as events in the wider economy
  • Transference of family across generations (bequests and inheritance)
  • Effects of tax policies (tax subsidies and/or penalties) on management of personal finances
  • Effects of credit on individual financial standing
  • Planning a secure financial future in an environment of economic instability

All of these topics require the financial coaching services person or business to be suitably experienced, educated, registered and licensed.  Don’t sell yourself short or waste your money paying financial coaching fees to someone who is qualified only as a life coach.

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