Financial Advisors-Advice for the New Graduate, The Basics & Beyond

Barrons June 1st 2022 |Advisor Planning Strategies|The Big Q “Financial Advisors’ Top Tips for New College Grads” “As they head into the working world, it’s time to learn about taking care of themselves” By Steve Garmhausen

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“Every year, about 4 million college graduates are minted in the U.S.” having matriculated, for the most part, from academic majors heavy on theory and lighter on “practical understanding about how to take care of themselves.” Barrons “asked financial advisors: What advice would you offer recent graduates.” Below are excerpts from;

Rafia Hasan (Wipfli Financial Advisors) leads off with the concept of time value of investing. She suggests starting an investment plan immediately even if it means just investing $50 each and every month. Looking at that simple plan just for the first year will in 30 years accrue to $6,000 or ten-times what was invested. She suggests avoiding what’s trending and rather going for a more diversified, low-cost strategy, focused maybe even 100% on “public equity markets”-stocks.

Scott Tiras (Ameriprise) suggests investing in yourself by working hard, putting in extra hours, maybe arriving an hour early and leaving an hour late. His point “those extra two hours per day equate to three more months of work over the course of the year. Anyone…[doing this]...puts the odds in their favor to learn, grow and succeed much faster.” Scott also suggests working in the office, “at least part time, with your leader and peers.” Doing this puts you closer to the team and improves your chances of developing professional relationships and finding a mentor. He also suggests focusing on “the biggest opportunity” rather than the biggest salary, noting that “most of my wealthiest clients worked in one place for their entire career.”

Olivia Le Blan (Douglass Wintrop Advisors) starts with “keep expenses under control, and in particular, try to pay off student debts. Pay off your credit card balances in full every month.” Her second point, establish, in a high yielding savings account, and then keep hands off an emergency fund consisting of three to six months of living expenses. Lastly, invest in a 401K at least to fully capture any “employer match.”

Aleeza Singh (Merril Lynch) adds to advice above to get a “health savings account” although being young the need is low but still is “an additional tax-free savings vehicle.”

Nelrae Pasha Ali (Wells Fargo Advisors) emphasizes staying “curious and learn…especially in a new job and career.” Her mother passed on to her and her sibling “Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.” She notes “it’s still timely.”

Judi Leahy (Citi Wealth Management) opens with “write down your goals…things…[are]...more tangible and real when you see them in black and white.” A good note, adds Judi, just because your credit limit is $5,000, for example, doesn’t mean you should take it to that.

Jordan Niefeld (Raymond James) renders advice of being authentic and likable because “people will do business with you and hire you when they know you, trust you and like you.” Jordan also emphasizes being a lifelong learner, “read and absorb as much as possible, about all different types of subjects. And ask a lot of questions.” He also suggested leveraging relationships with other “successful professionals.” Ask what inspired them and how they ended “up where” they are. “A lot of people want to help others [especially new graduates] but if you don’t ask for help and advice from others, people are not going to give it to you.” Finally, it’s a digital world, carefully cultivate your footprint on the platforms of your choice like Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin “because ultimately, everyone’s looking.”