Author Topic: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice  (Read 2757 times)

caracarn

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Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« on: February 06, 2018, 02:27:06 PM »
So every once in a while as I talk with friends and family teaching them about living simply and running your finances simply someone will mention that I should do this as a job. 

I certainly enjoy helping people and providing advice, but I am totally uncomfortable peddling the BS that everyone here understands is not needed for investing or personal finance success.  My wife and I began talking about this again over the holiday break and I caught the bug and was trying to figure out how I might be able to do this an make a few hundred extra dollars a month.

Here are the points I've thought of so far:
  • As I've told my wife, walking someone through how to invest in index funds and decide on a simple asset allocation and perhaps teaching them to use a budget tool like YNAB would require one session for an hour.  In that time they'd have everything they need to be successful for the remainder of their lives, so I do not see a repeat customer situation.  My wife says I'm nuts and that most people will need to keep coming back for a refresher or a tune up in a certain area etc.
  • The advice is so basic, I'm not looking to charge anything more than $25 to $35 for an hour of my time.  I just enjoy helping people and I think the turn off of crazy advisor fees of $100/hour or a % of assets keeps regular people who need the help and can benefit from talking to someone.  So they get no advice or crap advice.  I'd even be willing to do it for less if someone felt that was too much or the feedback here was to lower it even more.  I do wonder though if it is too cheap if people feel the value is also low.
  • I thought to get people to trust me/come talk to me I need to look at a CFP.   But getting that requires spending 6,000 or 4,000 hours working under a CFP.  That then would place me in the financial planning industry that I so abhor and am looking to fight against, so that is a no go for me.  I'm not going to peddle products that I know are worthless to people when they can do it all themselves with just a little guidance.  Again, my wife thinks I'm over complicating it and that since I am not looking to actually do the investing for people but instead just to educate them on how to do it for themselves that it would be easier than I think to have people talk with me.
  • No idea how I'd go about making people aware of my services.  I'm not looking to make this my job, so I am not going to spend a ton of money to run ads, but not thinking that just posting signs at the library or other bulletin boards will get any traction.  If I could just get a handful of people each month I'd be happy as I said making $200 or so a month on this (8 people).  If they need more help maybe it burgeons into more.  Also not sure what I'd call what I offer?  Personal financial coach? Personal finance teacher?  Not advisor as I think people then assume the wrong thing.
  • I assume I'd just meet them at their homes, or at a library or something.
  • My goal and the passion that drives me is to help people more than to make money on this.  I also feel those who can benefit the most are those who can afford it the least.  Thinking kids just out of college or people not in high paying jobs.  I toyed around with the idea of just doing this for no money at all and connecting with people who are struggling, but once again not sure where to connect with people and how to engage them? Job services agency at my county?

My wife keeps encouraging me to do this in some way because she hears me talking about finance to people every chance I get and she thinks my approach would be welcomed more than I give it credit for.  People are hungry for honest, affordable help.  It would seem that just wanting to do it as a side hustle gives me the flexibility to charge very little and just enjoy making a positive impact in people's lives.  I just have no great ideas on how to begin.

ToTheMoon

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 02:47:51 PM »
Try contacting a local literacy foundation/group.  Financial Literacy is usually one of their mandates and not too many people have the knowledge to teach it.

I facilitate sessions (usually 6 weeks at 1.5 hours per week) with different groups.  They do all the advertising, provide the space etc, and I get paid as an employee.

Works for me as I would talk about it all for free anyhow!

(I'm on my phone at the moment, but if you want more info just PM me.)

Cwadda

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 03:54:17 PM »
PTF

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 06:35:02 PM »
I've been looking into doing the same for a while. I stumbled upon this article months ago and it really brought clarity to becoming a "financial coach." I hope it helps you too.

https://www.kitces.com/blog/financial-coaching-what-it-is-and-how-to-become-one/

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Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 07:02:41 PM »
See some other threads around here about this.  Plenty of people have done it.  See the entrepreneurship board. 

Be aware that you probably can't charge for advice re: particular investments, otherwise you would need to become/register as a financial advisor which has its own particular costs, burdens, and so on.  Sounds like you want to stick to more generic coaching or planning.  Check the laws to be sure you don't run afoul of that. 

rosarugosa

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 04:32:52 AM »
In my experience, the people I know who need it the most are the least receptive to even free coaching.

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 06:32:03 AM »

Here are the points I've thought of so far:
  • As I've told my wife, walking someone through how to invest in index funds and decide on a simple asset allocation and perhaps teaching them to use a budget tool like YNAB would require one session for an hour.  In that time they'd have everything they need to be successful for the remainder of their lives, so I do not see a repeat customer situation.  My wife says I'm nuts and that most people will need to keep coming back for a refresher or a tune up in a certain area etc.

I think you need to do much more than talking about investing in index funds and teaching them YNAB. You would first need to do psychology to teach them that it might be a good idea to not spend their entire income. You might need to cure them from consumerism and teach the fact that buying stuff doesn't make you happy in the long run. You should be able to help people who are desperate and up to their neck in high interest debt. You need to know where these people can get additional help from the government/state and how personal bankruptcy works and when that is applicable.


I do wonder though if it is too cheap if people feel the value is also low.[/li][/list]

Yes, people tend to take you more seriously when you are expensive. As an advisor you'd better not be cheap.[/list]

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 07:32:44 AM »
Try contacting a local literacy foundation/group.  Financial Literacy is usually one of their mandates and not too many people have the knowledge to teach it.

I facilitate sessions (usually 6 weeks at 1.5 hours per week) with different groups.  They do all the advertising, provide the space etc, and I get paid as an employee.

Works for me as I would talk about it all for free anyhow!

(I'm on my phone at the moment, but if you want more info just PM me.)
Not sure what a "local literacy foundation/group" for this is or how to find them to contact.  Through my local government?  Through libraries?  Do you have some example of such groups so that I understand what I am searching for.  Certainly sounds promising.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 08:00:33 AM »
I've been looking into doing the same for a while. I stumbled upon this article months ago and it really brought clarity to becoming a "financial coach." I hope it helps you too.

https://www.kitces.com/blog/financial-coaching-what-it-is-and-how-to-become-one/

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Thank you!  Some good ideas, but the challenge with this or anything else I have found, is I am looking to do a small side hustle not run a full fledged business with the goal of changing careers.  A lot of the advice he gives seem too involved for the clients I am picturing, which are mid-income people with challenges.  It did help me settle on "financial life coach" as the name of what I am doing, because it is about getting people out of bad habits etc.  Just not sure how much of the "how" applies to someone looking to make a few hundred a month, versus thousands a month as was his target.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2018, 08:05:15 AM »
See some other threads around here about this.  Plenty of people have done it.  See the entrepreneurship board. 

Be aware that you probably can't charge for advice re: particular investments, otherwise you would need to become/register as a financial advisor which has its own particular costs, burdens, and so on.  Sounds like you want to stick to more generic coaching or planning.  Check the laws to be sure you don't run afoul of that.
Yes, this seems to be a gray area having read the article above.  It seems like a really weird area.  I think if the advice is something like covering that they can invest in individual stocks or an index fund and what the pros and cons are of each and then not get specific on Vanguard versus Fidelity for example but instead share expense ratios and that to save money they want to minimize them.  That would seem to be OK, but telling them they should pick VTSAX would be too specific.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 08:06:53 AM »

Here are the points I've thought of so far:
  • As I've told my wife, walking someone through how to invest in index funds and decide on a simple asset allocation and perhaps teaching them to use a budget tool like YNAB would require one session for an hour.  In that time they'd have everything they need to be successful for the remainder of their lives, so I do not see a repeat customer situation.  My wife says I'm nuts and that most people will need to keep coming back for a refresher or a tune up in a certain area etc.

I think you need to do much more than talking about investing in index funds and teaching them YNAB. You would first need to do psychology to teach them that it might be a good idea to not spend their entire income. You might need to cure them from consumerism and teach the fact that buying stuff doesn't make you happy in the long run. You should be able to help people who are desperate and up to their neck in high interest debt. You need to know where these people can get additional help from the government/state and how personal bankruptcy works and when that is applicable.


Yes, good point on breaking bad habits.  I see that from some of the other feedback and articles people pointed me to.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 10:01:32 AM »
See some other threads around here about this.  Plenty of people have done it.  See the entrepreneurship board. 

Be aware that you probably can't charge for advice re: particular investments, otherwise you would need to become/register as a financial advisor which has its own particular costs, burdens, and so on.  Sounds like you want to stick to more generic coaching or planning.  Check the laws to be sure you don't run afoul of that.

Have searched the boards for "coach" and "financial coach" and am coming up empty.  Any idea how I can find the other threads you reference?

turketron

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 11:05:15 AM »
PTF, I'd love to do something like this as a side hustle. The linked "How to Become a Life Coach" article is interesting, but it's definitely more geared to making a career out of it rather than just as a side gig.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2018, 12:15:42 PM »
PTF, I'd love to do something like this as a side hustle. The linked "How to Become a Life Coach" article is interesting, but it's definitely more geared to making a career out of it rather than just as a side gig.
I'd agree.  For example I will not go through setting up an LLC for something that I feel will generate maybe $2-$5K the first year if I'm lucky.  I also am not sure how the bundling into a 3 or 6-month program they way the author does will work either, because I do not feel in my area that the people that will seek me out for $300 for 3 months even if I modeled it out in 9 hours of work as he indicated which would get me in the $30-$35/hours range that seems like something someone without a lot of cash flow would be willing to stomach.  I get the argument that I should be able to find $125/month in savings for them easily but convincing people of that up front is the challenge.  I do not think my clients are going to be in the $80K-$200K income range.  If I find myself pleasantly surprised then I'd certainly modify, but for those in the $30-$50K range which is what I think will be more likely in my neck of the woods $1,200/year is a lot of money.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2018, 12:27:00 PM »
In my experience, the people I know who need it the most are the least receptive to even free coaching.
That's what I am worried about and why just trying as side hustle.  I think stirring up clients will be tough.

turketron

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2018, 12:46:00 PM »
hmm, just came across the Center for Financial Security at my local university (UW-Madison): https://cfs.wisc.edu/. They offer 2 day training classes on Financial Coaching a few times a year for a couple hundred bucks. Might be worth going to!  https://cfs.wisc.edu/2017/12/07/march-2018-financial-coaching-training-2/

ToTheMoon

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 08:46:24 AM »
Try contacting a local literacy foundation/group.  Financial Literacy is usually one of their mandates and not too many people have the knowledge to teach it.

I facilitate sessions (usually 6 weeks at 1.5 hours per week) with different groups.  They do all the advertising, provide the space etc, and I get paid as an employee.

Works for me as I would talk about it all for free anyhow!

(I'm on my phone at the moment, but if you want more info just PM me.)
Not sure what a "local literacy foundation/group" for this is or how to find them to contact.  Through my local government?  Through libraries?  Do you have some example of such groups so that I understand what I am searching for.  Certainly sounds promising.

A quick Google found this: https://www.kent.edu/kent/ohio-literacy-resource-center-olrc

Perhaps contact them and ask if Financial Literacy is part of their mandate, and if they can point you to any others in the region?

This is the one I work for: http://www.cbal.org/.  Might give you some idea of what to keep an eye out for.  Libraries may also be good to approach.  They do all sorts of cool programming - not sure about how you might get paid, but i'm sure there are grants etc that can be applied for if they know they have someone who can deliver the program for them.

Best of luck. 

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2018, 12:35:38 AM »
See some other threads around here about this.  Plenty of people have done it.  See the entrepreneurship board. 

Be aware that you probably can't charge for advice re: particular investments, otherwise you would need to become/register as a financial advisor which has its own particular costs, burdens, and so on.  Sounds like you want to stick to more generic coaching or planning.  Check the laws to be sure you don't run afoul of that.

Have searched the boards for "coach" and "financial coach" and am coming up empty.  Any idea how I can find the other threads you reference?

Search financial planning.  Search financial advising too probably.  Threads on these same issues. 

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 06:53:02 PM »
I was thinking of doing the same thing myself a few years back, that is fee based financial advice NOT sales, but on a full time basis, considering I was coming from a banking background.  I opted not to mainly because I'm in a small market area.  I see we share some of the same thoughts, here are some of my additional insights:

In order to drum up business I was thinking I would give presentations to groups (workplaces) for no charge, and generate individual interest from there.

You mention follow ups, and I agree with your wife, these would definitely occur.  People wanting to check in after a year, or running into new difficulty or getting new job with a higher income, or running into money.  I would expect a fair number of repeat customers. 

I was also thinking of charging something along the same line, about $35/hour, and also thought that this might be too low and people would wonder why I'm charging so little, and may not bother.

I'm already halfway to a CFP, however as you point out, once you use that designation, you have to abide by the national standards or
whatever you would like to call it, which would impact the advice I would provide.

I thought I would brand myself and a financial coach AND financial planner, simply because I felt that people may not want to come see only a "financial coach" because people might see them/hear about them going to see the "financial coach" and most would assume they are having some bad financial issues. 

I was thinking of meeting clients in a shared office space, however this is also hard to find in my small area, especially handy to where I live.  Other people's homes were out of the question for me, too many distractions for the clients.  I also thought of the library, but I don't think they allow a for profit business to run out of their free spaces, maybe not an issue if you are there a few times a month.




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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2018, 07:13:05 PM »
I think you're wrong about your fee. It's too low. No one will take you seriously if you charge only $35/hour. Plus, you will have some costs - you likely want some kind of E&O insurance, software costs, education costs. You probably need the Series 65 exam in order to give advice about index fund investing.

I have plenty of clients who just need basic financial planning advice to ask basic questions and who don't want to undertake a whole AUM relationship. You could do a basic $100/hr fee and then offer a lower hourly fee for ongoing services.

You'd find clients by reaching out a meeting with CPAs (outside of busy season) and telling them what you offer. Going to networking events and talking about what you do. Offering to do speaking engagements to groups seeking speakers. Things like that.

- Do I have enough in retirement?
- What retirement plan is for me?
- What is the best way to save for college and retirement at the same time?
- Basic budget tracking and accountability

Problems:
- many people won't track their own spending - you may need to charge them to upkeep a Quickbooks or Mint account with their personal spending and bank linking, then meet with them once per month to discuss their budget goals and ways to improve
- many people have good intentions, but then get overwhelmed with setting up their accounts - will you help them set them their Fidelity or Vanguard account and show them how to select funds? What if they want you to also purchase the funds?

SwordGuy

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2018, 09:02:50 PM »
In the US, consider teaching at the local community college for their continuing adult education department.

Pay's not great, but you'll get the word out and get to practice what and how you want to teach.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2018, 06:09:04 AM »
I was thinking of doing the same thing myself a few years back, that is fee based financial advice NOT sales, but on a full time basis, considering I was coming from a banking background.  I opted not to mainly because I'm in a small market area.  I see we share some of the same thoughts, here are some of my additional insights:

In order to drum up business I was thinking I would give presentations to groups (workplaces) for no charge, and generate individual interest from there.

You mention follow ups, and I agree with your wife, these would definitely occur.  People wanting to check in after a year, or running into new difficulty or getting new job with a higher income, or running into money.  I would expect a fair number of repeat customers. 

I was also thinking of charging something along the same line, about $35/hour, and also thought that this might be too low and people would wonder why I'm charging so little, and may not bother.

I'm already halfway to a CFP, however as you point out, once you use that designation, you have to abide by the national standards or
whatever you would like to call it, which would impact the advice I would provide.

I thought I would brand myself and a financial coach AND financial planner, simply because I felt that people may not want to come see only a "financial coach" because people might see them/hear about them going to see the "financial coach" and most would assume they are having some bad financial issues. 

I was thinking of meeting clients in a shared office space, however this is also hard to find in my small area, especially handy to where I live.  Other people's homes were out of the question for me, too many distractions for the clients.  I also thought of the library, but I don't think they allow a for profit business to run out of their free spaces, maybe not an issue if you are there a few times a month.
Thanks for sharing.  Yes, seems we have similar thoughts.  Even after reading the articles in the links I have some ideas but just not seeing a clear path forward for a side hustle.  All the material seems to be for career change to this, and then it just follows any service business and requires thousands of investment for legal setup fees and advertising.  If I'm charging a reasonable rate, even the ongoing monthly fee of a website at Blue Host for $15/month seems to make little sense to drum up $100 - $200 or business a month.  Ugh.  This is the same circuitous thought process I have gone through every time when I figure "I need to spend at least $500 just to get some basics together, and that will take me 6 months or more to recover." and then I hang the dream up in the closet again until I get the itch to examine.  This was the first time I've really seriously thought about it again after finding MMM, so that led to asking the question.  Sadly, does not seem to be some contrarian Mustachian approach to this waiting to be revealed as happens in a lot of other life areas.

I did search the board for "financial planning" and "financial advising" and found this thread.  So not much old stuff I could find here either.  Maybe those older posts are long gone or used some other words.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2018, 06:09:43 AM »
In the US, consider teaching at the local community college for their continuing adult education department.

Pay's not great, but you'll get the word out and get to practice what and how you want to teach.
Hmm.  This might be an avenue I have no considered yet.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2018, 06:17:19 AM »
You probably need the Series 65 exam in order to give advice about index fund investing.

This is where the interpretation of a local regulation gets fuzzy and why it seems to not be worth it.

So are you saying, in your understanding, that simply telling people "It is usually less costly from an expense perspective to used index funds as your investment tool versus sector funds or individual stocks?"  Giving that advice requires spending money to take an exam?  That's all I would really expect to do there and maybe teach them how to look at fund listing and find things like expense ratio so they can compare them.  At the most suggesting Fidelity and Vanguard have historically had the lowest fees but that they should research and verify for themselves.

Regarding some of your other items, no I am not interested in doing the work for them.  I see my niche/model being the individual who feels that this finance stuff really can't be this hard and why would they want to pay someone to do something they can easily do themselves?  It really is just coaching about what and why of a budget, what and why of investing and teaching them to fish, not fishing for them. 

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2018, 07:59:05 AM »
You probably need the Series 65 exam in order to give advice about index fund investing.

This is where the interpretation of a local regulation gets fuzzy and why it seems to not be worth it.

So are you saying, in your understanding, that simply telling people "It is usually less costly from an expense perspective to used index funds as your investment tool versus sector funds or individual stocks?"  Giving that advice requires spending money to take an exam? 

Probably not.

But practically speaking, I don't think that qualifies as advice. As such, it's not very useful. If someone is in your office asking for advice, it's highly likely that they don't know what index funds are, how to buy them, where to buy them, which ones to buy, what a 3 fund portfolio consists of, what their risk allocation should be, when to rebalance...

And I think there's a point in the conversation that trends toward "A basic portfolio of index funds will generally perform as well or better than an actively managed portfolio. The best place to buy them is Fidelity or Vanguard. And here's the top three you should look at mixing." And I think at that point, you've crossed the line.

Personally, I draw the line at telling them which brokerage firms they should look into if they want to self-manage, and offer to point them toward some resources to help teach them. But not a single person has ever taken the next step. I understand that it's because it's not concrete enough and people generally need more hand holding to get things done.

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2018, 01:05:33 PM »
Probably not.

But practically speaking, I don't think that qualifies as advice. As such, it's not very useful. If someone is in your office asking for advice, it's highly likely that they don't know what index funds are, how to buy them, where to buy them, which ones to buy, what a 3 fund portfolio consists of, what their risk allocation should be, when to rebalance...


I agree with all that and that's the benefit of coaching that I would aim to provide to help them learn those things and much more.  Just in that process I certainly can see comparing and contrasting index funds versus other asset classes.  I understand that specifically guiding them to which 3 funds they should use would hit more regulation, but that is not my expectation.  And I do get that may mean they never take the next step, but if they want to have someone do that for them I'd point them to financial advisors in the area that could execute the trades for them.

Jeff K

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2018, 11:20:09 AM »
My sister is thinking about starting up a side gig as a financial coach and the legal question is still really fuzzy.  What does "financial advice" cover?  Is it just when discussing specific investment vehicles or does talking about investing/saving vs. paying down debt count?

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2018, 04:56:48 PM »
hmm, just came across the Center for Financial Security at my local university (UW-Madison): https://cfs.wisc.edu/. They offer 2 day training classes on Financial Coaching a few times a year for a couple hundred bucks. Might be worth going to!  https://cfs.wisc.edu/2017/12/07/march-2018-financial-coaching-training-2/

Thanks for this Turketron! As a UW alum and someone who lives close to this in Milwaukee, I am pretty happy to see them offering this.  Might even stop on by. 

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2018, 07:59:51 PM »
Probably not.

But practically speaking, I don't think that qualifies as advice. As such, it's not very useful. If someone is in your office asking for advice, it's highly likely that they don't know what index funds are, how to buy them, where to buy them, which ones to buy, what a 3 fund portfolio consists of, what their risk allocation should be, when to rebalance...


I agree with all that and that's the benefit of coaching that I would aim to provide to help them learn those things and much more.  Just in that process I certainly can see comparing and contrasting index funds versus other asset classes.  I understand that specifically guiding them to which 3 funds they should use would hit more regulation, but that is not my expectation.  And I do get that may mean they never take the next step, but if they want to have someone do that for them I'd point them to financial advisors in the area that could execute the trades for them.

Are there any laws/regulations that would prevent you from getting referral bonuses from financial planners? Basically, you teach them how to fish, and you refer them to certain financial planners to fish for them. Not saying refer them to anyone that will pay you. Obviously have some integrity with it. Just not sure about the laws. I've thought about this idea MANY times before.

I'm CONSTANTLY giving friends/family/strangers financial advice for free. As long as I don't violate any laws, why not get paid to do it?

caracarn

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Re: Side Hustle: Financial teaching/advice
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2018, 07:59:21 AM »
No idea on that.  I would imagine not as they are free to use or not use the planner and follow or not follow their advice.