Today I’m excited to bring you a behind the scenes look at the White Coat Investors new course – “Fire Your Financial Advisor”. Thanks to the WCI for granting me a free preview so I could take a look and do this review. Note – the links to the course are my affiliate links. If you sign up, I’ll be paid a commission at no cost to you. All opinions in this article are mine, and it’s not sponsored.
Why was I interested in the preview? As you know by now, I’m a personal finance and investing nerd. I’m always reading books full of material I already know, in hopes of gleaning a new insight, some tidbit of information, or interesting story. I’ve also taken online courses at college, as part of my undergrad and MBA, but never for my personal life. I was really interested to see how an online course actually works, what would be part of it, and why a person might want to go this route instead of reading books.
After taking a look, I can say for sure that someone just starting out managing their own financial destiny will benefit greatly – they’ll be able to take months or years off a typical learning curve. In a few days, or a few weeks, they’ll have a solid understanding of a breadth of financial topics and a comprehensive financial plan where before they may have only had worries and dreams.
What It Is – The Course Details
First, a quick description of the course. In his introductory article, the White Coat Investor describes the benefits this way:
Benefits of the Course
When you finish the course, you’ll feel confident that:
- You have all the insurance you need at the best possible price and none of the insurance you don’t need
- You are managing your student loans the right way, maximizing the benefits of government programs, minimizing interest paid, and getting out of debt as soon as possible
- You are either capable of managing your investments yourself, or you are paying a competent advisor a fair price to do it for you
- You are saving enough money to reach your goals and can spend the rest on whatever you like without feeling guilty
- You aren’t paying any more taxes than you need to
- Your children and your assets will be taken care of if something should happen to you
- Your assets are protected from lawsuits as much as possible with a simple, straightforward, and inexpensive plan
- You have a written plan to follow that will guarantee your financial success
How do you get all this information? Through a series of videos, quizzes, and worksheets. There are over seven hours of video lecture and screencasts, in addition to the quizzes and worksheets. If you complete all the sections, quizzes, and worksheets, you’ll end your time with this course with a better understanding of a solid financial foundation, and a comprehensive financial plan you can confidently execute on.
One of the things I love here is that WCI isn’t trying to use this course to sell you anything more. He’s not using this course to try and pitch his even more expensive course (or seminar, or personal coaching session, or… etc.) for you to buy. He’s also not trying to sell you on his financial advisory services, as happened with one “personal finance course” I once signed up for and took. That’s because he’s not a financial advisor and he’s not looking to manage your money for you. He’s a physician with a passion for learning about – and teaching – personal finance.
I can think of at least a dozen or so friends and co-workers who would find this course useful. They’re either currently trying to DIY without the time, energy, or interest to read a ton of books/blogs on personal finance; they’re paying entirely too much for the services of an ineffective, commission based advisor; or they’re speculating on investments without a solid financial plan as their foundation.
Who Should Take This Course
After going through the subjects covered, the course layout, and the content, I can see that there’s a portion of people who will really benefit. Here is my frank opinion on the kinds of people who would benefit from this course:
- Visual, Verbal, and Physical learners. There are many people who just don’t absorb information well through reading alone. You might be one of them – or you know people like this. There’s a huge segment of people who learn best through seeing, hearing, or doing – and blogs/books are usually not the best resource for them. They either lose interest in the content, or they just don’t absorb/retain the information. Instead an interactive course like this is just the ticket.
- Physicians, or other high income professionals, who want to get their financial act together. If you’ve been the kind of person who has either ignored your finances up until now, or someone who’s just recently become interested in managing you money, you likely don’t really feel like you know what you’re doing. If so, this course would be great for you. It neatly organizes everything you need to know in order to pull together a comprehensive financial plan, which you can then execute either on your own or with low-cost, quality help.
- High income folks who want to ditch (or switch) their current high-cost advisor. I know plenty of people who pay 1% of assets under management per year for what I consider to be sub-par advice. They do this because they feel like that professional knows what he or she is doing, and has their best interests at heart. The cold, hard fact is that no one cares about your money as much as you do – and if you don’t know what you’re doing, plenty of people will come be happy to separate you from your money.
- Individuals starting out in a high income career. New doctors, lawyers, my fellow IT workers, and many others fall into this category. Anyone making (or soon to be making) six figures or more will benefit from learning to manage their personal finances well. This is especially true for folks early in their careers, who are new to their jobs and managing the income that comes from them.
- People considering hiring a financial advisor. Usually when your finances reach some kind of critical mass, you’ll start wondering if you really should get professional help. You might feel confident managing your own money when you have $100, $1000, or even $100,000 in the bank – but as you approach or cross the two-comma mark you may start to doubt yourself. Or perhaps you’ve recently started a family, changed careers, or been through another kind of life shift, and want to bring more professionalism to your financial life. There are plenty of millionaires who DIY their own investment strategy – and you can too, with the right training.
- Folks who want to shortcut the learning curve. When you’re first getting into managing your financial situation better, you can easily get overwhelmed by just how much there is to learn. Investing. Home purchase. Retirement. College. Social security. Wills and estate planning. Taking a course like this helps you to shortcut the learning curve you’ll otherwise go through by either trial and error or by immersing yourself in the financial world.
Who Should Not Take This Course
Just as important as knowing who should take this course, is knowing who shouldn’t take it. It’s a waste of your hard-earned time and money to sign up for something you don’t need, or would regret. So here are the people who should not take this course:
- You learn best by reading. If you learn best by reading then books, blogs, forums and websites are your friend. You also don’t want to take this course if you hate watching videos to learn new information. As I mentioned there are over seven hours of videos.
- You already know all this stuff. You follow multiple blogs, have been reading MMM for years (and you know who that is without me needing to tell you), you write a blog, or you’ve been deeply entrenched in the personal finance world for years now. If you already know how to do everything WCI says this course does, then I would not recommend signing up for it. It’s not meant for you.
- You’re going to get annoyed at parts that don’t apply to you. No course, book, or website will have 100% of the content relevant to 100% of the audience. For example, there’s an entire section on student loans – you may not have those. There are sections and quiz questions specific to physicians – if you’re not a doctor, those aren’t going to apply to you either. You’ll need to be able to take the things you need and leave the rest.
- You’re not willing to invest in yourself-or you’re going to complain about the cost. This is not a $30 quick – hit course that you’ll finish in 15-30 minutes. It’s chock full of creative, extensive, unique content that WCI and his wife worked tirelessly on for months. It will take you likely a few weeks to work through all the material. You’re essentially signing up for an online college or continuing education course in basic financial planning – the kind of course we all wish colleges required before graduating. Buying it for $499 may feel like a lot – until you compare it to the thousands you may pay an advisor in fees, every year, for decades. Or how much you can lose by not having a solid financial plan. There’s also no risk to you – the WCI has an unconditional, no questions asked, seven day money back guarantee. If you buy it and it’s not right for you, you can get a full refund.
I think this course is perfect for a specific segment of people. There are lots of folks out there who can benefit from a step by step, video-based walkthrough of developing a comprehensive financial plan. If that person’s not you, it could be a friend or co-worker. I would highly recommend checking it out if it sounds like something you’d benefit from.
Have you every taken a formal financial course? Or can you think of a friend or co-worker who would benefit (because I sure can)? Let me know in the comments!
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