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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more info.

Real World Lessons in Investing 

Do you remember when you first got advice about investing?

During college I had a job down the street at a local Italian ice shop. A mother and daughter team owned it and while it wasn’t the best pay, working there was a great experience.

They treated us with respect and we had a lot of autonomy. There were usually no more than three people working during a shift and whenever there was down time we liked to chat.

One of supervisors was few years ahead of us and he was looking some paperwork. We asked what it was and he mentioned he was reviewing his investments.

I kind of chuckle, I mean he was maybe 21. Why was he already investing? Isn’t that for retirement?

Well turns out, he had been investing for years, both for retirement and other goals like buying a house. (That blew my mind – at that time, I thought investing was only for retirement.)

His parents had been working with him, nailing down some big goals and they regularly reviewed the statements with him.

Now that he was in college, he was responsible for things, but they were available if he had questions.

From our conversation, investing seemed more accessible to me.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m working at a doctor’s office. Taking the lesson I picked up at my other job, I signed up to start investing for retirement as soon as I qualified.

There was a financial advisor who pitched a free session with him to go over investment strategies. I was thrilled and made an appointment.

Very quickly, I felt more like a number than a client. He was less interested in my goals than telling what great investments these funds his firm was offering.

Besides being pricey (had fees to buy them), I also turned off by the lack of personal financial advice.

It left a bad taste in my mouth about investing.

Between the two different approaches, which do you think I preferred?

How We Usually Invest

I think most of us have been through the latter experience. We had a lunch or dinner meeting sponsored by a company or advisor and made an appointment to follow up.

And instead of getting a deep discussion about what we’re working towards and why, we are basically funneled into a one size fits all approach.

Risk assessment is based on simply our age and not on actual personality.

Financial education is sparse and usually reserved at the beginning. We’re left to manage things ourselves and there’s no check-ins or alerts on things to look out for.

Having access to a certified financial planner can be a huge win. The best ones listen and guide you based on your goals.

The downside is that expertise comes at a cost and right now it may be outside your budget.

The good news is that there are some fantastic options that allow you to get a more personalized investment plan while still being affordable.

Merging Tech, Head, and Heart: Ellevest Review

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If you’re looking for an option that will fit your schedule, budget, and goals, then you should check out Ellevest.

As fiduciary, Ellevest is bound by law to act in your best interests. This is crucial, especially when you’re talking about investments that could one day fuel your retirement and your biggest dreams.

You want to make sure whoever you work with has your back and that you’re getting solid financial advice.

Now here’s the kicker, you can get a personalized investment plan from Ellevest.

For Free.

All you have to do is sign up and answer questions so they can get a clear idea about you, your goals, and your existing accounts.

You will then get a plan that you can use to start investing on your own or have Ellevest handle it.

You can get started on your free investment plan here.

If you work with Ellevest, they will monitor your portfolios and rebalance if so your portfolio stays on target. This can be a huge help when if you have a full plate and schedule.

Ellevest has three competitively priced plans based on what you need.

  • Digital: No minimum balance for this account. Your portfolio is managed and they can work with you on tax minimization strategies. (0.25% of assets annually)
  • Premium: You get everything with the digital plan and you’ll have access to a Certified Financial Planner to strategies to strengthen your finances and an Executive Coach to prepare you for salary negotiations. There’s a $50,000 minimum balance. (0.50% of assets annually)
  • Private Wealth Management: If you have assets over $1,000,000 Ellevest offers private wealth management.

I have to admit the Executive Coach jumped out at me. Salary negotiations can be stressful for so having an coach could be a huge financial win.

If you want to learn more please check out Ellevest here.

Thoughts on Investing

Whomever you work with, I want you to be informed and comfortable with your investment strategy.

So what big goal do you want to tackle next? 

If you're looking to contribute more towards investing, but don't have the money, take my free 5 Days to $5K course. It's designed to help you find, save, and extra money on the side!

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..