Providing Millennials with the Financial Planning They Need
There are two common but differing opinions about millennials floating around society. The first is that our generation is lazy, and we feel “entitled.” The second is that we are going to change the world because we don’t settle for following in the set paths that have been established before us. As a millennial that has had to work hard on all levels, including being a 4x Olympian and entrepreneur, I have to say I agree with the second opinion. Millennials are different than previous generations, but that’s how we are going to set ourselves apart. We challenge the status quo that has been established and aren’t afraid to ask why.
The Need for Financial Planning Services
There was not a lot of financial literacy in my house as I was growing up. I was part of a large family and there wasn’t excessive income, so I didn’t learn how to budget or how to plan for my financial future.
However, I did understand the importance of hard work and saving money. I was a natural born entrepreneur. When I was in middle school I sold Swedish Fish from the local store to other kids in my school. I was able to get them to pay double the price that I paid by selling them on the value that I was providing by saving them a trip to the store. I made myself a nice little business selling candy. However, my basic knowledge could only carry me so far.
Later in life and after three years at the University of Miami, I became a professional athlete. I went from living the life of a college student to making over $200,000 annually. I was a finance major in school and always loved math and money. But, when my income skyrocketed I knew immediately that I needed someone to help me handle my finances.
The Problem with Old-School Financial Advisors
Old-school financial advisors are used to working with clients that don’t want to be in the details. They simply take your funds, invest them, and send you a report periodically. They are not concerned about educating you on the process or answering your money questions.
I was looking for a financial advisor that would assist me with everything from investing to educating me on the daily financial decisions that I would need to make. I was in a new situation and had to figure out what it meant to make six figures. What I found instead was a financial advisor that helped me buy life insurance and investment accounts.
I wanted to be educated on everything from creating a budget based on my income to how to decide if it was better to buy a house instead of renting an apartment. I was looking for answers, not a product or solution. I wanted to play an active role in my financial life. I wanted an advisor that would be open and honest with me, telling me everything I needed to know. That’s not what I found.
In 2007 when the economy started to tank I received a call and my advisor informed me that “we” had lost a lot of money. He didn’t tell me numbers, just that he wanted to keep me informed. He acted like he was doing me a favor by letting me know. That was the end of the line for me. I fired him and set out to educate myself.
The Start of Worth Winning
I’d like to say that was the last financial advisor I worked with, but that would be a lie. After talking to my peers and other professional athletes I hired a second advisor, who ended up worse than the first. I also realized that people didn’t like to talk about money and most of them couldn’t answer the basic questions about their own financial planning. When I had another horrible experience with this advisor, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
After doing research I found the Certified Financial Planning Coursework and jumped in. It was exactly what I had been looking for the entire time. I was ready to become a financial planner that could truly be a resource to others.
I worked for several companies that were doing the work I wanted to do and was able to benefit a lot from my time working. After watching these companies, and other professionals work to serve young people with their finances, I was hooked. In 2016 I took the step of starting Worth Winning. The focus of the company is on helping millennials and professional athletes understand their finances and that money is simply a tool to help them live a life they value.
Important Money Tips for Millennials
I am loving my life as an entrepreneur and enjoy explaining to clients exactly what it is that I do and how I can help them understand their finances. I have worked to create tailored services that are affordable, but fit my client’s needs. From my own personal experience and working with clients, I have discovered the following tips that every millennial should know:
• There’s an app for that. Technology is our friend and it has some amazing tools to help you with organizing your finances. It doesn’t have to be a thing you dread it can be as simple as a few clicks right after you make a purchase.
• Deciding to work with a financial planner requires trust and transparency. Isn’t it ironic that it is less taboo to talk about the intimate details of your sex life with your close friends then it is to reveal the reality of your financial status?
• Do not allow embarrassment or shame to prevent you from getting help. You may have a lot of student loan debt or made poor financial decisions in the past, but it’s time to set the feelings aside and get to work creating a plan that works for you and your future.
• Life doesn’t always go as planned, but that doesn’t mean you don’t plan. It means that you develop a plan that has flexibility built into it. Nothing, it seems, changes faster or with less predictability than life’s monetary needs. But having a clear vision of your future and a step-by-step blueprint for building it will actually help you regroup, re-evaluate, and realign your goals when the unpredictable happens.
The Future of Worth Winning
I am excited about the direction that Worth Winning is taking in 2018. We are ready to ramp up the number of clients we are serving. In January we saw the kick off of our podcast, Worth Listening. The mission of the podcast is to get people comfortable with the idea of opening up about financial matters. This is the first step in taking control of your finances. We want to teach people to be transparent about their financial situation instead of feeling ashamed or embarrassed about it.
Worth Winning will also be holding webinars and half-day seminars. These seminars will offer an affordable option for groups to obtain the assistance they need with financial planning. We will continue to work to find and create the solutions that young professionals need as they strive to have a life worth winning.
Article by Lauryn Williams, founder of Worth Winning (www.worth-winning.com)
Lauryn Williams is a 4-time Olympian, 3-time Olympic medalist and the first American woman to medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
While pursuing professional sports Lauryn interacted with not one but two financial advisors that didn’t provide the services she needed. She asked friends what they were doing about their finances and the answers were vague and unsettling. Constantly looking for ways to make a difference in the lives of others she decided to put her Finance degree and MBA to use to fill the gap for young professionals. Eager to learn everything she then pursued the Certified Financial planning certification.
Her company, Worth Winning, offers virtual services to help young professionals get the answers to the financial question that matters most to them. Whether that is creating a budget, figuring out a plan for paying off student loans, setting goals for savings or understanding your 401(k) Worth Winning is ready to help with all things personal finance.