Philanthropy and Financial Advisors: The Importance of Giving Back to Your Community
While it’s a myth that financial advisors are only for the wealthy, it is true that hiring a financial advisor to assist with one’s financial planning needs is a luxury that many people cannot afford. That’s why all financial advisors should strongly consider giving back to their community. Keep in mind that not only is volunteering your time a noble endeavor but also it could ultimately lead to referrals and community recognition that may help you expand your practice.
Here are some ways to give back to your community:Give free financial planning seminars geared toward an audience of people who normally would not be able to afford your services. Many people in our community live paycheck to paycheck without planning or budgeting. Unfortunately, without proper financial planning, even a small crisis can have devastating results. That’s why the United Way, the current largest charity in the United States, offers a Financial Education Program that trains volunteers and corporate leaders to give workshops and one-on-one counseling to people who need it. To learn more about this Financial Coach Volunteer Position, click here. Keep in mind that this United Way program is just one example of how you can give back to your community—there are plenty of other types of volunteer opportunities as well.
Speak at local high schools and middle schools about financial planning issues. Many of these students have never been exposed to such topics and early education is key to making smart financial choices in the future. You can also become a mentor to a local student.
Donate your financial books that you no longer use (i.e., older editions of financial books that you have replaced with their current editions at your office) to your local public library or school.
Become a certified IRS tax volunteer. You will help your community in preparing taxes free of charge by becoming a volunteer with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs. You will receive training to provide free tax help for low-to-moderate income families who need assistance preparing their tax returns. In 2015, over 90,000 certified IRS volunteers 2015 prepared over 3.7 million returns at thousands of tax sites nationwide during the 2015 filing season. For more information, click here. As an added bonus, volunteering with this program will improve your tax filing knowledge, which can help you provide additional, more knowledgeable services to your practice’s paying clients.
Sometimes, you will come across a current client that is going through an extraordinary financial hardship. For example, you could have a client who lost his house in a fire while also expecting triplets in a couple months. More than ever, this client could use your financial planning services, but is unlikely to be able to afford it. Consider offering this client your services for free or a reduced price for a limited time to help the client get through this rough patch and back on his or her feet. Not only is it the right thing to do, but also this grateful client could turn into an excellent referral source.
For more information on Summit Brokerage Services and our independent financial advisors, visit www.joinsummit.com or contact us at (800) 354-5528. Let us show you why we were voted as the number one boutique independent broker dealer firm in the country!
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Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. is part of Cetera Financial Group®, a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.
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 For more information about this myth, check out the previously published Summit Brokerage blog entitled “5 Common Myths About Financial Advisors Debunked”.