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Financial Planner of 15 Years: Avoid This Common Money Mistake

Brent Weiss, certified financial planner and co-founder of Facet Wealth
By: Kathleen Elkins  |  Last Updated: January 25, 2021

Brent Weiss has been a financial advisor for 15 years. He spent 11 years at a wealth management firm before leaving in 2016 to co-found Facet Wealth, a company that offers virtual financial planning at an affordable price point.

Like all of the advisors that Facet hires, he’s a certified financial planner (CFP), which is considered the gold standard of financial planning. Earning the CFP certification requires taking specific courses on financial planning, passing the rigorous CFP exam and completing thousands of hours of experience.

Throughout his career, Weiss has worked with hundreds of clients. While most of his clients at the wealth management firm were high net worth individuals, since starting Facet, he’s worked with more of mainstream America.

After 15 years of advising clients, the biggest mistake he sees people make with their money is waiting to invest because they don’t think they can afford it. 

“This is what most people get wrong: They think, I don’t have enough money to invest yet. I can only save $10 a month,” Weiss tells Finishrich.com

When it comes to saving and investing, starting early and starting small — even if it seems too small to make a difference — is crucial to building wealth, he says: “Starting today is the single most important thing that you can do, even if it means saving $10 a month.

“I don’t care what you start with. Start with $10 a month. Or start at 1% of your pay. Then, next year, save 2% and then 3%. You’ll never miss the money but I promise you, you’ll be on the path to financial freedom.”

After all, if you start this habit at a young age, you could work your way up to saving 10-15% of your income by the time you’re in your 30s — and that’s a significant savings rate. 

By the way, you don’t want to just save a percentage of your income — you want to invest it. The national average interest rate on savings accounts is 0.05%. That means that if you have any money sitting in a standard savings account it’s likely earning next to nothing in interest. The average stock market return, on the other hand, is 10% annually. Needless to say, your money can work a lot harder for you if it’s invested, rather than sitting in a savings account.

Investing doesn’t have to be as complicated as you may think it is. The simplest way to put your money to work is to use a retirement plan, like a 401(k) or IRA (individual retirement account). You can set up automatic contributions, enjoy major tax breaks and let your money grow over time.

There are also micro-investing apps like Acorns, Robinhood and Stash, and robo-advisors like Betterment or Wealthfront, that make investing incredibly simple. You don’t need a lot of money (many platforms have account minimums of $500 or less, while others don’t have a minimum at all) or time to get started if you use a micro-investing app or robo-advisor.

Read more about how robo-advisors work and then check out our top-recommended robo-advisors.

The bottom line: Don’t let your salary or net worth hold you back from investing, Weiss emphasizes: “You don’t have to climb Mount Everest in a day.”

Regardless of your income, “it’s possible to start small and build wealth,” he adds. “It’s possible for you to achieve your goals. You just have to get started.”