Free: A Financial Counselor's Favorite Price
August 24, 2016
When working with clients in a classroom setting or during a one-on-one session, it’s great to have tools and resources available to help support them in their journey toward their goal. It provides the client with an opportunity to take their future by the reigns and consider solutions that might work best for them. Having materials on-hand to thoroughly or briefly review during an appointment helps strengthen their understanding of the information you’re trying to relay. At the end of the day, it’s all about the client and their needs.
Providing your clients with materials that support their goals doesn’t have to be expensive. Who doesn’t love a bargain? When you look at the price tag and find out it’s free, you know it’s going to be a great day! Here are some great free resources available to you
- CFPB Publications: Simply submit an order that can be downloaded or delivered straight to your office door free of charge. There are plenty of great materials to choose from. My personal favorites include the “Ready to Buy a Home?” slicksheet and the “How to Find the Best Credit Card for You” brochure.
- FTC Publications: Everything from the topic of identity theft to paying for college is covered through materials which can be either ordered or downloaded. They even have excellent resources to begin the conversation of protecting yourself online between parents and children.
- Save & Invest Resources for Military Financial Educators: You can order helpful materials for military families from DVDs and stress balls to booklets of financial information.
In order to be your very best for your clients, it is critical to stay attuned to updates within the ever-changing field of personal finance. This means allowing time and opportunity for self-support. Continuing education training and research on various topics can come with a hefty price, and while some are worth the investment, there are many great resources that offer free information and training. Below are a few options to help ensure that you are prepared with current information so that you can respond in the most professional manner to your clients’ needs.
- CFPB's Resources for Financial Educators: Not only can you access tools and articles but monthly webinars. Webinar topics include everything from auto loans to overall financial well-being. Even if you miss the live webinar, you can access the information via recording or read a transcript.
- CFPB’s OSA News Desk: Working with servicemembers and veterans presents unique challenges, and the OSA News Desk plays a great role in communicating the specific topics seen by those working with the military population. Although this particular learning avenue tends to occur somewhat infrequently, the information is extremely value and is well-communicated through their webcasts.
- Military Family Learning Network: Webinars presented by AFCPE certified professionals who are true experts on the topics discussed are geared toward those working with military families, but don’t let that stop you; the majority of the information is appropriate for a much larger range of audiences. Better yet, the information is approved by AFCPE for CEUs.
- The Counselor's Corner: As AFCPE’s new partner, CEUs are also available for webinar training through their platform. Many of the webinars are specific to housing, but they offer additional insights into credit and business practices.
Supporting your clients shouldn’t mean re-inventing the wheel, and supporting your professional growth shouldn’t always mean an excessive fee. Visit trusted sources and search through all of the information and find what best fits the needs of your clients and practice. Also, utilize your professional network to learn about new tools and upcoming training available to you.
Guest Contributor: Meghan Gardner, AFC®, FFC™ Candidate and AFCPE® member