Why You Need a Financial Mentor


financial mentor

I recently read a post from Jim at Route To Retire.  He asked his readers if they had a financial mentor.  I thought about it for a good minute.  Outside of my parents, I don’t really have any confidants that I go to for financial advice.  Don’t get me wrong, I read a ton of blogs and try to stay abreast of the best financial advice out there.  But, I don’t have a formal financial mentor.  Heck, for that matter, I don’t have a mentor in general.  So, it got me thinking, why don’t I have one?


Why I Don’t Have a Mentor

financial mentorIn the particular office that I work at, a lot of the best mentors are now retired.  The ones who could potentially mentor me don’t always align with me in terms of goals and outlook on life.  In many ways, I march to the beat of my own drum.  I’ve taken a bit of a winding path to get to where I am today.


My Experiences with Mentors at My Workplace

Since most of the mentors that I respected have moved on, one of the biggest turnoffs that I’ve experienced is the apathy towards mentorship at my workplace.  When I do sign up to be mentored by one of the current mentors at work, I am regarded as just a number to them.  


financial-mentorI tried a couple of different mentors to see if I could find the right fit.  Eventually, I gave up after meeting with one multiple times, following up with him with gratitude, and then bumping into him in the hallway shortly after with no recollection of who I was.  Here we had spent time together when I had shared all of my hopes and dreams in my organization, and the guy didn’t remember me at all.  But, maybe that says something about me.


While I’m sure that’s not everybody in my organization, the ones that I’ve come across have been a bit underwhelming.  Most of them seem more motivated to put “mentor” on their resume than to delve down deep and help.


Those Who I Mentor

financial-mentorFive people that I informally mentor at work have all had similar experiences as me.  Our organization puts a lot of emphasis on the formalities of a mentorship including paperwork and courses in order to get recognition.  So, I essentially just bypassed these hoops and agreed to be informal to navigate around these restrictions.  On top of that, since I have no restrictions, I can act in my mentees’ best interests, not only in management’s best interests.


I’ve never formally requested to be on the mentor list at work, but I have been sought out by individuals that would like my perspective on work and finances.  Sometimes, I don’t even know them personally.  I’ve received a few virtual introductions from people outside my office that have blossomed into mentorships.  Usually it is a friend of a friend or colleague, or something along those lines.  Whatever way that I get to meet them, I always enjoy hearing different situations and challenges and then providing feedback.


Career and Financial Advice

financial-mentorA lot of the conversation has boiled down to career advice.  But, I always try to sneak in financial advice as well, since that is where my passion truly lies.  Of course, each one of them has different needs.  While one may need to talk about how to navigate the corporate ladder, another may be concerned about how to create the perfect work-life balance, while another is looking for network contacts.  I always try to make sure that they also look longterm at their financial health.  Too often, I have seen people take positions because they needed more money, but the job did not align with their passion.  I’m thankful to be in a situation where I can select jobs that I am excited about and not focus on the paycheck since I have become debt-free.


The crazy thing is that I now recommend pursuing jobs you are passionate about, even if you are not debt-free.  I’ve received several promotions faster by taking jobs that I actually like.  I’ve been able to exude my passion, and it’s evident in my output.


Benefits of a Mentor

financial-mentorRecently, I’ve been thinking more about how I need to refocus on finding the right mentor for me.  Isaac Newton famously said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”  At this point in my career, I feel like I have gone as far as I can by myself.  I really could use some guidance and some outside perspective on things to navigate the political landscape in my organization.



As a manager, I read a study on the American Society for Training and Development that found that training alone increases managerial productivity by 24%.  The combination of mentoring and coaching increases productivity by 88%.


Salary Bump

Having a mentor pays off.  According to HR Magazine, professionals who indicated that they had mentors earned from $5,610 to $22,450 more annually than those who did not have mentors.


So readers do you have a mentor at work?  What about a financial mentor?  How did you go about finding the right mentor for you?  Share your thoughts below.

Mustard Seed Money

Welcome to the website. A mustard seed is a very small seed but astonishingly grows very large over time. My hope is that through your financial journey that your small investment in time, money and faith will grow beyond anything that you could ever imagine.


    • Thanks for sharing Daniel!!! Like you formal mentors definitely seemed forced. That’s not to say it doesn’t work. I just haven’t experienced it in my own life.

      Sounds like you have the right idea in surrounding yourself with the right people.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  1. I don’t currently have a formal mentor. As Daniel Palmer said above, these relationships always feel forced. At my previous employer, we had career advisors. I had about 5-6 people assigned to me to advise. Over the course of my 9 years there, I had 5 different career advisors. I never had a really close relationship with any of them. For the most part, we just met for the mandatory annual meetings.

    At my current role, we don’t have a formal advisor program. I do have an informal mentor relationship with our CEO. He was the main person that helped me transition to my new role and has served as a mentor to me.
    Go Finance Yourself! recently posted…Go Finance Yourself 2017 GoalsMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Go Finance Yourself!!! It seems like formal mentors are not necessarily the way to go and latching on to informal mentors who can walk you through your stage of life is really beneficial.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. I don’t have a mentor and I wish I did as it could have helped my career quite a bit. For financial mentor, I don’t have one either, but it’s not hard to find one as I am copy cat when it comes to investing. In my mind, Warren Buffett is one of the best investors out there to emulate, so I read a lot about his strategies and his letter to shareholders.
    Leo T. Ly @ isaved5k.com recently posted…How My Client Saved $30,000 When He Sold His HomeMy Profile

    • I think that’s a brilliant strategy in emulating successful people and finding out what works for you. While not everyone is geared the same way figuring out what works and following their advice makes a ton of sense.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. I haven’t had a mentor since my first job, which I left not long after getting one so it didn’t do much. Still at least where I work I’ve found an open door culture. As such I’ve taken the initiative to consult with others higher then me that I respect for guidance. Honestly I found it much more rewarding when I could get multiple inputs and choose whom was providing it. Getting advice from others is paramount.
    Full Time Finance recently posted…Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, Money Buys Options.My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Full Time Finance!!! I definitely think it’s nice to have a sounding board and receive different perspectives from people. It has definitely helped me make some career decisions which it sounds like has helped you as well.

      Great advice and thanks for stopping by!!!

  4. I was really fortunate to have several great mentors when I first started my career. It definitely made a huge difference from the quality of the assignments I was given to my annual raises and promotions. I think the key is to find someone that followed a fairly similar path to the one you want to take (or has some similarities in interests). Everyone wants to be looked up to and respected and good managers know that there’s a lot of fulfillment in helping someone else grow.
    I did have a laugh about the mentor that didn’t even recognize you-I’ve been there too with some of the older partners at the accounting firm I was with. So awkward!

    • I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one that had a mentor not recognize you 🙂 Doesn’t make me feel nearly as bad. Although I was a little embarrassed at the time.

      That’s awesome that you have been able to find some good mentors to walk you through your career and help steer your path. I definitely wish I had that growing in my career.

      Maybe one day 🙂

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. I’m a big fan of mentoring, in all areas of life. I have actively mentored people for the last 12 years. And I have been lucky to have great mentors! I have a post about finding a money mentor coming up in about 2 weeks (I am finally a month ahead on my writing!) And after writing that post, I felt like I should really offer money mentoring via my blog. It’s just so hard to find like minded people who can encourage us in a FIRE kind of way.
    Ms. Montana recently posted…Create Your “Best of” Yearly ReviewMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Ms. Montana!!! Sounds like great mind think alike if you have a similar post coming up 🙂

      On top of that congrats on getting on top of your writing. I know that is incredibly difficult and something that I’m still struggling with.

      With that said if you do offer up money mentoring I’d love to be a part of it somehow.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. We try to take snippets of wisdom from people we respect in real life, as well as authors and bloggers, digest their advice, and chart our own path. I never found anyone I wanted to emulate but I think a mentor can be very valuable. I think it depends on your trajectory and your personality.
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…The Groovy Secret to Growing Your Net WorthMy Profile

    • Thanks for stoppingi by Mrs. Groovy!!!

      Sounds like you are in the majority that look to get all the info and then digest into what makes sense for you. That’s incredibly smart!!!

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Thanks for the mention, Mustard Seed!!

    That’s actually pretty cool that your company has a mentorship program in place. We’re a lot smaller of an organization and don’t really have anything formal like that. But, like you said, sometimes the formalities themselves get in the way!

    I’ve been lucky to have a couple financial mentors in my life. Both of them were sought out by me after I realized just how much knowledge and experience they had in the areas I was after (particularly real estate). The help and guidance they’ve been able to provide to me over the years has been invaluable,

    On the flip side, I’ve never had a mentor outside of the financial area. Like you, I took kind of a winding path to get to where I am and just figured it out along the way. I’m not sure if a mentor could have helped put me in a better position than I’m in today though… of course, you never know! 🙂

    — Jim
    Jim @ Route To Retire recently posted…Saving for Kids – Thoughts to ConsiderMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing and inspiring the post Jim 🙂 That’s really interesting that you have financial mentors but not mentors in the workplace. Not something that you hear everyday. Anyway thanks for stopping by!!!

  8. I don’t have a money mentor. My parents were great at modeling frugality and fiscal responsibility and I did take away lessons from that, but that’s the extent of it. I’ve sought advice on my own through the internet and have keyed in on a few that I really trusted (Mr. Collins comes to mind here).

    That said, some people can really benefit from having a mentor. I think the best mentors are those that happen naturally through organizations and relationships.
    Amanda @ centsiblyrich recently posted…Advice in a letter to my college selfMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Amanda!!! It definitely seems like the best mentors are ones that happen organically than forced.

      Mr. Collins is a fountain of wisdom and wish I had found him sooner. But I am definitely reading his stuff as much as possible 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!!!

  9. Unfortunately I don’t have a mentor in my personal or professional life. I really do think it’s a beneficial relationship, but I guess I haven’t taken the initiative. I have vastly different money ideas from a lot of the people I encounter, so it’s hard to find someone to tutor me in the ways of all things frugal. I guess the closest thing to having a mentor is meeting great bloggers online and checking out their ideas. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend!My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Mrs. Picky Pincher!!!

      I definitely agree that it’s tough to find like minded finance people in the real world. The best thing for me was finding the PF community with similar ideas and values to me. Definitely feels like I am getting the push that I needed and has really helped develop some ideas that I had before. Plus it makes me feel a little less weird talking about money 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Primal Prosperity!!!

      I definitely agree that having a huge community of bloggers makes it easier to find like minded individuals to bounce ideas off of.

      Although it would be nice if society started bucking some more trends when it comes to money 🙂

      Anyway thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  10. Damn, great minds and all that. I have a post sitting in my drafts called “Wanted: A Financial Mentor”. The realization was that in my professional career every time I have had a good mentor, I have benefited enormously. To quote from the post that I am probably now not going to publish “Good mentorship can be life altering. Good mentorship, like the good king Midas, can turn crap to gold.”. That led me to wondering how much better we could all do if we had a financial mentor – someone who knew our personal situation and our particular financial strengths and weaknesses and could guide us along (or kick us in the butt) as required. I think a financial mentor could be a powerful thing.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…To Buy Or Not to BuyMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Mrs. BITA!!! Your post on financial mentors sounds awesome!!! I love the line, “Good mentorship can be life altering. Good mentorship, like the good king Midas, can turn crap to gold.” and I definitely wish I had thought about it 🙂

      I think it could be really fun as a community to come together and start sharing and getting input from trusted people whose values aligns with ours.

      I wonder what would happen!!!

      Thanks for sharing that might be a future post 🙂

  11. I never really thought of a mentor being a work specific person. In fact, I don’t have any mentors that I can think of from work related aspects of my life. I can, however, see mentor-ship in certain people in my life. I come from a long line of very strong women. Each has taught me to stand tall through adversity and challenge the world around me. Financially, I follow a life similar to my grandparents. I also followed their love of real estate and, even though I did it all wrong, they never chastised me and my stupidity in those moments. They just watched and let me learn on my own. I have dipped my toe in the stock market and my grandpa and I debate what are good stocks and which aren’t…he isn’t a fan of index funds. 🙂 They have had the same furniture since I was a kid and instead of replacing it they fix it (including a particularly ugly set of kitchen chairs she is trying to find a paint match for). I can see how proud they are of me without even knowing my specifics and most of it is due to watching them. My financial mentors are 90 years old and still the smartest with money or family has ever seen.
    Miss Mazuma recently posted…Financial Independence: The Journey AND The DestinationMy Profile

    • Miss Mazuma you always seems to stop by and drop nuggets of wisdom!!! That’s awesome that your grandpa is around to debate stocks as I’m sure he has some serious experience with what works and what doesn’t 🙂 Sounds like you are doing an awesome job soaking up that wisdom and as always thank you for stopping by!!!

  12. From my early age until a few years before he died, my father was my financial mentor. Our work experiences are different. He worked in the government, then for a short period a large corporation and finished his career as a small business owner. I have worked for large corporations all my life. Our thoughts about work & career were quite different. However, his thoughts on investing and wealth accumulation have served me well throughout my life.

    Throughout my life, I have had a few mentors although nothing formal – my father, my coach, a supervisor, an older co-worker. At some point in your life, you get too old to have a mentor.

    I haven’t been asked to mentor anyone although I think I would do so if asked. My parents taught me this – do not engage in conspicuous displays of wealth. You will be the target of crime and fraud as well as be subjected to constant requests for money from friends, family & acquaintances. Instead, appear no richer or poorer than the people you live near and work with. For that reason, I suspect my net worth is severely underestimated by neighbors & co-workers. That is an area I would like to mentor someone.

    • Thanks for stopping by Dan!!! It sounds like you are well versed on the topic of Stealth Wealth which I am hoping gets posted in the next week or two. I’m sure you could have probably written the article based on your experience above. Especially if your co-workers have no idea that you net worth is significantly higher than they assume.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!!!

  13. During residency training, we would work with attending physicians during all of our shifts. I eventually had a few of them that morphed into career mentors naturally. Like a few have mentioned in previous comments, forced mentorship doesn’t work as well in my opinion. I currently don’t have anyone I would consider a work mentor, although there are a number of more senior physician partners that I can always run things by should stuff come up.

    I don’t currently have a financial mentor. The closest one I can think of in terms of ever having one was the White Coat Investor. Naturally he was a virtual mentor. Reading his blog regularly near the end of residency really motivated me to take charge of my financial situation. I think that’s why a lot of us have become PF bloggers. We feel like there is something in our story that can maybe be helpful, inspirational, or motivational to someone else.
    SomeRandomGuyOnline recently posted…2016 Fourth Quarter UpdateMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing SRGO!!! That’s awesome that White Coat Investor was a virtual mentor for you. I feel like there are so many people out there that inspire us and we don’t get a chance to share.

      I know for me that Financial Samurai inspired me to create a blog through his posts and I’m so glad that I did.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  14. We have an official mentoring program at work. Periodically I’m a ‘deputy’ mentor and I’m paired up with a VP level mentor. Our group will typically have 5 to 6 engineers that have been with the company for a year or so.

    A large portion of our new hires are originally from overseas, so I think (hope) it’s been helpful for them to learn about American norms as well as career advancement and growth. I’ve had a couple of good informal mentors along the way, who have definitely helped me get to where I’m at now.

    In regards to financial mentorship, that seems to be more of a taboo topic as recently discussed over at 1500days.com. I certainly remind my team to contribute to the 401k to at least get the company match and a few other words of wisdom.

    My informal approach to financial mentoring is to mention to others how we plan on being retired in the next 7 years or so. That gets the conversation going with, “How are you possibly able to do that?”
    Mr. Need2Save recently posted…The Saver’s Credit: Can It Help You?My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Mr. Need2Save!!! That makes a lot of sense to have formal mentors especially if you have new hires from overseas. I can see a lot of value being added in this area and I’m sure really helps bridge some of the gaps.

      That’s awesome that you’re able to share your financial acumen with your co-workers. Being able to retire in seven years has to be eye opening for them and I’m sure have a captive audience when you share.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  15. I don’t have a mentor and I probably should look into getting one.

    Until I get one, I’ll have to rely on you, Mustard Seed Money, and all the other great bloggers out there to be my mentor. The internet and blogging community has become a great source of inspiration in my own life, and I’m trying to pay it forward by doing some blogging on my own.

    While we can all benefit from a “real mentor”, reading blogs is a pretty good alternative for those that don’t yet or won’t get a mentor.

    • I definitely agree NinjaPiggy that with all the great bloggers out there it’s easy to solicit and receive advice from bloggers. Even if you don’t ask them directly 🙂

      I hope that I can continue to provide you with helpful content 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!!!

  16. I think that’s great you’re mentoring people! You’re really paying it forward!

    I haven’t really thought too much about this, but I guess I do have a mentor (just not a finance one). It’s more of a “life” mentor, but it’s a good fit and I love it. It’s nice to be able to ask someone for honest advice once in a while!
    Andrew recently posted…How To Make Over $1,000 A Month Writing EroticaMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Andrew!!! A life mentor seems awesome. I’d love for someone to be able to give me great advice from every angle.

      I normally go to my dad but some career stuff it’s a little bit harder to navigate since he went private sector while I went public sector.

      Thanks for sharing!!!

  17. I did not have a mentor when I started my career. I did not have a financial mentor either when I started my investment in 2006. I have taken a little bit of winding path with my investment. Little by little, I know more and more. Recently, I started to read financial blogs and try make friends with financial bloggers.

  18. Your writing on passion for work is so true. I was at least 10x more passionate about a position I had from 2009 to 2013 than the one I had from 2004 to 2008 within the same company. It definitely showed as I enjoyed the work more and received a promotion as a result in early 2012.

    I’d give the same advice that you’re giving with respect to passion.

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing Trip!!! I am hoping that my next job I have a little more passion for it and therefore feel like I am spending my time more wisely. At this point I feel like I’m punching the clock which is somewhat depressing.

  19. Our accountant has been a good mentor. He does taxes for small businesses and agreed to take us on years ago. Sometimes it seems like a waste of money to pay someone else to do our taxes, but there were times when we almost made some huge mistakes and he was there to stop us. Even though we feel like we are financially savvy and do our own research, it’s nice to have someone else looking at what we are doing from the outside and giving us advice 🙂
    Mr Crazy Kicks recently posted…The Cost of Living Well – 2016 ExpensesMy Profile

    • A great accountant is worth their weight in gold. I feel very comfortable with taxes but I have to admit I have a friend that is my go to guy. While I like the intricacies of the tax code. He loves everything about taxes and is constantly sharing interesting things that he comes across. So I definitely agree that it’s nice to have someone giving a 2nd look.

  20. I don’t have a mentor. If I do ask anyone for financial advice though, it would be to my brother. He has been very successful in business and is excellent at managing his money and various investments. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Mentor is a great idea! One of my goals for 2017 anyway is to acquire a friendship with more positive attributes in financial management and life overall. Now you have inspired me to vet through my current circle of friends and people I know to see who can fit this category.
    SMM recently posted…New Year Fitness Traps – Don’t Fall For ThemMy Profile

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