Advice From Financial Experts

I've had interviews with two financial experts this week - not usually my favorite topic, but these discussions were very interesting. They'll make great newspaper articles in the upcoming days.

What really caught my attention were the two pieces of advice that overlapped between the two people. Usually experts have their own way of thinking about things, or have a company line to quote, but not them. They actually made sense, backed up what the other said and were encouraging.

Here are those two pieces of advice.

1. When trying to make financial decisions, talk to someone locally. Sure, the Internet is a wealth of information about all kinds of things. But it's also full of people who don't know you, don't have time to get to know you as a person and probably can't be available every time you need to be in touch. Not that they don't care, but they're just not as equipped as someone in your own community to deal with your individual needs.

Seek out someone who knows what they're talking about. Have face-to-face conversations with someone who lives close by who truly enjoys the work they do. Find that expert who is willing to learn what you need and tailor they're advice just for you.

2. Have some financial goals. One of these experts is a local lender. The main mistake she sees is people who think they'll find the perfect home and then someone will let them buy it regardless of how much money they have (or don't have). Yes, there are ways to make this happen, but it's very difficult.

We live in an instant-gratification culture that expects to make purchases on a whim. As long as you've got room on the credit card, why not use it? Saving, investing and growing personal resources is becoming a forgotten art. But having some goals and being diligent about them means being prepared for both the best and the worst of times.

Both of these experts said they're always available to help chart a path to having what you need when you need it. This is a gift to those of us who need some professional advice every now and then. So find someone in your local community who can guide you through the twists and turns of the financial road.

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