This past year, I got really into my skincare routine. I knew I wasn’t a 14 step routine person but I was also pretty ready to leave my Walgreens cleanser & face lotion behind. I asked my mom what products I should buy, talked to friends about the products they were using, and watched a million skincare routine videos on Youtube. However, no matter how many videos I watched or conversations I had, I still felt extremely overwhelmed and could not figure out what worked for me.
I told a friend about my predicament and she said, “Why don’t you just try a skincare set from The Ordinary? They have sets based on your skin type.” I ordered the “The Daily Set” set that afternoon and I used it for about 4 months until I started saw a FINE LINE. Yes, my situation was getting a bit more complicated, and I figured I could use something more advanced so went to Curology to purchase a custom skin care formula.
I finally thought I found a product that was working until a few more months went by and I started to break out. I didn’t want to go down another internet rabbit hole, so I went to a dermatologist.
Full disclosure, the first dermatologist I went to did not help me at all. She told me to “walk on the shady side of the street” and that my existing sun damage was irreversible (the nerve?!). However, I was adamant on finding the right person and finally stumbled upon a holistic skincare specialist. She had me take an assessment on my skin type, allergies, products I had been using and helped me concoct a personal skincare plan. As I was leaving her office, she said “you’re gonna want to come back in a few months so we can see how you’re doing.”
WTF Are You Talking About?
Finding a skincare routine that works for you is a lot like finding a financial advisor that works for you. You usually start by asking your parents what to do, overwhelm yourself with online content, find automated solutions, and work your way up to professional advice. So for this article, I’m going to help you identify where you are in the process and figure out which phase is best for you, minus the hours of endless scrolling.
What is the Purpose?
The whole point of an advisor is to help you figure out and execute your financial goals. When I first started looking for financial advice and advocacy, I assumed financial advisors were just there to make you rich - I didn’t realize it depended so much on what the individual wanted. They help you figure out a path and execute on it. They are also considered your fiduciary - aka, they must put your interests ahead of their own and can be held liable if they do not. So, if you’re wondering why working with these professionals is often more helpful than online discussion boards, this is why.
How do they Work?
There are a lot of different financial advisor products of the market: Robo advisors, online financial advisors, and traditional advisors. The best thing you can do for yourself right now, is understand what’s out there.
Robo Advisors (The Ordinary): A robo-advisor is a digital service offering simplified, low-cost investment management. They start by asking you a few questions about yourself and your financial state and create an investment portfolio based on your risk appetite and goals. That means they invest you systematically across ETFs, Index funds, and mutual funds to give you the proper portfolio allocation at a low cost. They make money by charging you a management fee - aka, a percentage of the balances you give them.
For Example: If you give them $10,000, they charge you a management fee (let’s say .25%) per year. In this case, you would pay $25 for the $10,000. You pay them this amount in hopes they return more than they charge you. Robo adviser return varies but you can expect around 2-8% on a yearly basis. You can check out more average returns by robo advisors here. Just remember, historical returns, don’t guarantee future results.
This is your The Ordinary Skincare set - it’s all encompassing, low cost, and a great first step when seeking financial assistance. On the flip side, they aren’t customizable and might not be the best option for someone that likes a bit more control when it comes to their finances. For me, The Ordinary Skincare was a way to get started, but when fine lines came into play, I needed something a bit more customized.
Best Robo Advisors: https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/investing/robo-advisors
Online financial advisors (Curology): An online financial advisor is a financial planning service that offers virtual access to human financial advisors. This is like the next step up from a robo advisor and includes more personalized planning and access to professionals. They also charge similarly to robo advisors, and often take a management fee.
This is like Curology where you take a Curology Skin Quiz, get a personal skincare assessment and they tailor the products specifically to you. You also often get access to an expert.
Best Online Financial Advisors: https://www.nerdwallet.com/best/investing/financial-advisors
Traditional Wealth Advisors (The Dermatologist): A traditional wealth advisor includes certified financial planners, stockbrokers, registered investment advisors, financial consultants and wealth managers. Essentially, they are qualified professionals who help you navigate a financial plan and often help with investment advice, legal or estate planning, accounting, and tax services, and retirement.
This is like having a dermatologist. They are more expensive and you may need a prescription. In other words, you may need a certain threshold of money to access them. But if your skincare situation is more complicated than The Ordinary or Curology can handle, they can be a great solution.
Things to Be Mindful Of:
Budget: Skincare products can range in price just like financial advice can range in cost. Always check to see what the products cost before you commit. While price can mean added value, it can also just mean you’re overpaying (I once bought vitamin C serum for $80 from Sephora but then a friend told me you could buy the exact same thing from Trader Joes for $14 - do your due diligence and don’t get overcharged). Robo advisors on average cost around .20-.50% while traditional advisors cost around 1% but can increase or decrease depending on how much money you give them.
Timing: Depending on where you’re at in life and how much you enjoy managing your finances, you may not even need an advisor. For me, I am horrible about finding what works for my skin but actually love managing my own finances. That being said, I actually don’t use an advisory service because I have learned how to manage my own money and create a financial plan. However, as my own personal situation gets more complicated, I will eventually find one to work with. In other words, we all probably know how to moisturize, but may need to consult a professional as fine lines and more complicated factors come into play.
Figure out who is right for you: When finding a financial advisor, it's a lot about finding the right person or service. That being said, you might not find your fit on the first try. When I was finding a dermatologist, I did not get along with the person at all and did not find them helpful. You may experience that in finance (I have too), but don’t be discouraged, because there are so many options out there and it’s about finding who is right for you.
If there is a topic you want to discuss, please DM me on Instagram @notyourbfsinvestmentadvice or email me at email@example.com. I also am building a company called Tardi to help individuals on their journey from cautious savers to savvy investors. If you’re interested in joining the beta, sign up here: https://www.tardiapp.com/
See you next week lover!
Disclaimer: All investment strategies and investments involve risk of loss. Nothing contained in this website should be construed as investment advice. Any reference to an investment's past or potential performance is not, and should not be construed as, a recommendation or as a guarantee of any specific outcome or profit.