By Joyce Lamb, Kiplinger featuring Julia K. Pham, CFP®, AIF®, CDFA®
Some of our favorite advisers take a walk down memory lane to share with readers the financial advice that’s made a big difference in their lives.
We at Kiplinger.com asked some financial advisers among our Building Wealth contributors and Kiplinger Advisor Collective members to share, in a few sentences, the best piece of financial advice they’ve been given over the years.
Their answers are inspired by books that made them stop and think and pointers their family members gave them at a young age. Maybe a nugget of wisdom here will change (or reinforce) the way you think about your finances. Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to check out some of the stellar financial advice these advisers offer Kiplinger.com readers on a regular basis (just click on their name to see their contributions and learn more about them).
Dad’s advice: Make yourself financially literate
“Because most of us are not taught how to borrow, save, manage and invest our own money, or even to understand how our economy actually works, my dad urged me to take it upon myself to become financially literate on the basics. And it’s never too early (or too late) to start. That education has turned into a lifelong gift that continues to build confidence and a sense of comfort about how to navigate the financial world. It means creating a budget and developing the habit of living below my means in order to gradually build wealth. Asking for help from a professional can reinforce progress — but only when I feel I can collaborate with an expert. Whether it’s with a life partner, a professional or on my own, the goal is to be confident about what I expect to accomplish.” — Pam Krueger, a Building Wealth contributor
An investment adviser issues a challenge
“While working in the branch, the investment adviser at the credit union randomly asked me if I was contributing to the 401(k). I happily shared that I was at the employer match of 4% of my salary. She challenged me to contribute 10% because I ‘would never notice it was missing from my paycheck.’ That piece of advice has helped secure my financial future.” — Jason Vitug, a Kiplinger Advisor Collective member
Reading ‘The Big Payoff’ results in a big payoff
“In 2007, I read a book that changed my life and marriage forever! I read The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money — And Live Richly Ever After (by Sharon Epperson). My husband and I had our first baby, who was only a year old, and we were struggling financially to manage all of the bills. The Big Payoff was instrumental in giving me the tools to talk to my husband about my money concerns and resulted in us making a commitment to have a ‘Money Date’ at least once a month! We continue to have our Money Dates, and I know that the reason our marriage is so strong and our financial position is secure is because we are always communicating about money. These dates ensure we are on the same page financially while working together as a team to save, invest and prepare for the future!” — Stacy Francis, a Building Wealth contributor
Automate savings and watch them grow
“The best piece of financial advice I received was early in my career from an old boss and was to automate my savings. It’s human nature to sometimes procrastinate or just become so busy with other priorities that your savings get pushed to the sidelines. Automating my savings has allowed me to build my retirement funds, emergency fund and save for my kids’ college without overthinking it month to month. I take the time to figure out what I can save given my budget on the front end, set up the recurring transfers (and adjust as needed when there are changes to my income or budget) and watch the accounts grow!” — Julia Pham, a Building Wealth contributor