Lucas supervises 14 employees in a very active call center located near a university, where most of his team members go to school. As their trusted boss, he wanted to show them some helpful financial education lesson plans, but he was at a loss as to where he should start looking. He was hesitant to teach them himself, so he decided to look for some third-party assistance in passing along this incredibly useful information.
After informally speaking with the majority of his employees, he realized that a large part of the group lacked even a basic understanding of the topic, and that they would be best helped with an easy-to-absorb introduction into fundamental money management.
Now that Lucas was settled when it came to his short-term plans and he had a blueprint for the future, he could then focus his attention on the best presentation method for this critical information. What delivery method should he choose? At what pace should he set the education? He was hoping to opt for a self-paced program that was low-pressure, in order to accommodate the team’s wildly different schedules and availability – which drove him to go with an online course that was stimulating enough to avoid the group succumbing to boredom.
Building a team of financial advisors is a lot like putting together a winning sports team. You must choose a group of professionals with a variety of talents and backgrounds, so their combined expertise is balanced and complementary. The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) emphasizes the value of a strong team of advisors in its financial literacy lesson plans. Success takes teamwork, and establishing a winning team enables people to invest with the best.
The NFEC, a social enterprise organization dedicated to improving people’s personal finance capabilities, has developed curriculum programs for a wide variety of audiences. The NFEC approach to financial education is holistic and comprehensive. They teach practical lessons that have real-world applicability. For example, they suggest that a solid advisement team should include (at minimum) a tax planner, a financial mentor, a personal development coach, and a network of contacts all working toward financial independence.
At the high school through adult levels, building a strong network forms a key piece of the NFEC financial education curriculum. Having a stable network—according to the NFEC—is essential to a sound investment plan because it helps ensure a steady supply of viable investment options over time.
Good networking simply means gathering contact information from people who may be able to offer input on your investment plan. Friends from school, colleagues and co-workers, fellow club or professional association members, workout partners, and other associates may be part of your network. The best contacts will be those who are interested in investing or goal-oriented toward becoming financially independent. The personal finance lessons members of your network have experienced will be different from your own. Through communication and keeping in touch over time, you can learn from one another. That’s how you build a winning investment team.