Updated: February 9, 2021
When I started writing about personal finance back in 2007, there was only a handful of us, Filipino bloggers, who are in the financial niche.
Fast forward to more than a decade later, especially due to the growth of social media, there’s now a multitude of financial gurus who dispense money and investment advice online.
They call themselves financial advisers, smart investors, wealth guru, money doctor, and many other names using different iterations of these terms.
Recently, someone sent me a message, who had an interesting query. He says…
There are so many people claiming to be financial gurus nowadays. How do I know which ones are real and which ones are fake? Who can I trust? Who do I believe? Whose advice should I take?
So here’s the thing…
It’s great that there are so many people claiming to be financial experts today. Why? Because it makes it easier to learn about personal finance, business and investing.
So my tip is to listen to them. Or in other words, check out what they all have to say.
Attend their seminars, read their books, follow them on social media, watch their videos… listen and learn as much as you can from these financial gurus.
Most of them give out free advice. But it’s also good to spend and invest in knowledge by attending their paid seminars and buying their books, as well.
Then while you’re at it, do this…
Write down all your learnings. Having a notebook helps. It actually helps a lot because writing reinforces learning.
And as you’re doing all these, you’ll notice that there is financial advice that’s common among a lot, if not all, of these wealth experts.
I call these PREMIUM LESSONS.
One example of a premium lesson is the importance of having an emergency fund.
Money gurus will say that you should have an emergency fund. The specific details of how much an emergency fund should be will differ from one adviser to another.
Some say it’s 6 months, others say it’s 8 months, and some say 12 months. Realize that it doesn’t matter at this point. Because again… the premium lesson to learn is that you should have an emergency fund.
If you’re new to financial planning and money management, these premium lessons are your key to jumpstarting your journey towards financial freedom. Just follow these premium lessons — and you should do well financially by the time you learn and apply them.
After education, comes execution.
Again… learn the premium lessons and then APPLY THEM.
Remember this crucial and important part. I’ve met so many people investing time, energy, and money on learning but never get around to applying the lessons.
And that’s sad.
Application is critical because this is how you’ll learn to personalize your financial plan.
This is how you’ll discover that perhaps, you only need 4 months’ worth of emergency fund and not 6, 8, or whatever number that was thrown up in the air by whoever financial guru that was out there.
Personal finance is personal. There’s no one formula (or financial advice) that applies to everyone. We all live different lives, with different financial goals and priorities.
So learn the premium lessons, and apply them so you can find out the specific numbers and financial strategies that work for you best.
Isn’t credibility important?
Yes, it is!
If you have the time and resources to do a background check on someone claiming to be a financial expert, then I encourage you to do so.
But don’t ever make the mistake of believing and following just one person. Learn from many, and take the common lessons because those will form the foundation to which you’ll build your wealth.
And if the time comes that you need a mentor or a financial coach, then that’s when you should be more serious about finding out a specific individual’s credibility.
Many don’t reach this point. But it’s also not necessary to get this far. I’ve seen a lot of people become rich and experience financial freedom by just applying the premium lessons.
So what are the key takeaways?
First, stop worrying about who is real or fake. Focus on learning the premium lessons and applying them.
Remember that all financial advice should be taken with a grain of salt, regardless of the source. Because these financial experts don’t really know you, so their tips might not necessarily be the best strategy for you.
Each of us is in our own unique financial situation. That’s why you need to learn how to think for yourself, especially with your finances.
And the reality is… if you’re looking for the best financial advisor, then all you have to do is to look into the mirror.