4 Financial Experts People Under 40 Should Follow

By Brittany Lyte on 9 June 2015 0 comments

Getting good personal finance advice is no longer a privilege of the upper class. These days financial experts give advice away on Twitter for free. And the Internet is teeming with new-age "robo-advisors," ready to design a personalized investment portfolio for your specific needs.

To be sure, you need the help. Adults 34 and younger grade themselves worse than any other age group in their personal finance knowledge, with 48% giving themselves a C or lower, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Folks in their mid-to-late 30s don't rank themselves much better.

Yet none of those readily available money tips will do you much good until you find an advisor who understands where you are in life and where you hope to be going. If you're under 40, you're probably thinking more about things like mortgages and car payments and your kid's college savings — and less about estate planning and making your retirement last. That might be a mistake.

1. Farnoosh Torabi

With book titles like You're So Money and Psych Yourself Rich, it's no wonder Farnoosh Torabi resonates with the younger set. She's real, she's blunt, and she won't bore you to sleep. "Of course, it's a groaner to say, 'save in your 20s,' but it's even harder to save in your 30s, 40s and 50s because your responsibilities grow even more," Torabi told Business Insider. "You get stretched in even more directions, whether it's because you have dependents or bought a house. It's not going to get any easier." It's straight-and-narrow advice like this that has helped Torabi attract such a fresh-faced following. Another piece of Torabi advice: Check your bank and credit card statements — daily. "Knowing where you stand financially shouldn't be a once-a-month chore," she says. "That's ridiculous."

2. Kimberly Palmer

When you're under 40, your financial focus is on accumulating wealth — not retaining it. Kimberly Palmer understands this important distinction, and her blogs and books are full of tricks and tips geared at teaching others to grow their bank successfully. Exhibit A: She's the author of Generation Earn: The Young Professional's Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back.The author, social media master, and writer of U.S. News & World Report's Alpha Consumer blog is the go-to guru for money management schemes relevant to folks in their 20s and 30s, such as common midlife financial obstacles — and how to overcome them — and power tips for millennials to get ahead. Her tweets alone are a rich personal finance resource: "today's #favoritemoneytip: before you take a job, google the name of the company + 'sucks' and see what turns up - thanks @ConsumerFed!"

3. Mr. Money Mustache

Mr. Money Mustache describes himself as "A thirty-something retiree who now writes about how we can all lead a frugal yet badass life of leisure." He claims to live on 50% less than his peers, investing the difference in index funds and rental property. And he founded Mr. Money Mustache to show folks like you how to do it, too. His advice runs the gamut from topics like the true cost of commuting to a guide to killing your $1,000 grocery bill. Just don't peruse his site looking for sympathy: "Waaah, Waaah, it's impossible to save for your own retirement!" he wrote sarcastically in a recent Tweet.

4. Betterment

Your financial advisor needn't be a single person. Dubbed "The easiest investment site you'll ever use" by Slate, Betterment.com has a whole team of experts helping folks like you receive 4.3% better returns on average than a typical DIY investor. CEO Jon Stein said that's why the robo-advising brand has hooked more than 50,000 clients. As Stein told Fox Business, "People come to us and they tell us about their goals and then based on those goals and the time horizon, we create portfolios for them and then manage those portfolios for tax efficiency, we rebalance them automatically, and we do everything that a smart investor should do by using technology."

To be sure, Betterment offers specialized advice for folks from all walks of life. But what sets Betterment apart from other online advisors is something that will appeal to investment newbies: You can open an account with Betterment even if you have no money. However, the company recommends a monthly deposit of $100, which is just enough to waive the $3 monthly fee for accounts less than $10,000.

Are you under 40? Which financial experts do you follow and trust?

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Guest's picture
Shane

The development of the "robo-advisor" market has been very beneficial to younger investors, especially those who do not already have huge investment accounts. Hedgeable, a robo-advisor that focuses on risk management, has no account minimum (and no extra fees for those who do not deposit money each month).