What is a financial coach? Complete guide to getting help

Sarah Brill, financial coach at Claro Money sat at laptop

A financial coach is a relatively new concept. Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about what a financial coach is, why you might need one, how they work with you, and how to choose one.

What is the definition of a financial coach?

A financial coach is an expert who partners with you to help you build a financial plan and meet your goals.

They work with you to define your financial goals, give you relevant, tailored educational material based on your circumstances, and explain your options clearly. Their aim is to inform and empower you to make smart financial decisions.

A financial coach is just like a coach or trainer in other areas of your life. They can’t do the work for you, but they can guide you.

A financial coach is different from a financial adviser.

Why is having a financial coach valuable?

If you’ve ever felt unsure about your personal financial situation, a financial coach can help you start your journey to confidence – so you can take control of your finances and achieve your financial goals.

Financial coaching sessions are available to anyone. You can have any level of financial knowledge – from beginner to advanced level – and still benefit from taking sessions with a financial coach.

Many people have specific financial goals in mind. This can help tailor the guidance you receive. For example, your financial goals might be:

  • Save up to buy a property
  • Save up to have an emergency fund
  • Be smarter with savings
  • Start investing
  • Get ready for retirement
  • Save for a specific thing, like a having a wedding, buying a car, taking a holiday or having children

What is the role of a financial coach? 

A financial coach’s role is to guide you to be more confident with money and make better-informed decisions. 

To do this, financial coaches combine financial knowledge with coaching psychology to help you see your financial situation in a new way and feel empowered to take action.

Financial coaches usually deliver these through financial coaching sessions. Each session usually lasts 45 to 60 minutes.

Financial coaches help you identify your financial goals and then break them down into a series of actionable steps you can take. Coaches also help you stay accountable to your goals.

What’s the difference between a financial coach and a financial adviser?

The fundamental differences between a financial coach and a financial adviser, as expanded on in our comprehensive article, are:

  1. A financial adviser is someone who helps you build your wealth and manage your money by making recommendations for products and services, tailored to you. A financial coach is someone who helps inform and empower people so that they feel confident enough to make their own financial decisions.
  2. A financial adviser will research the marketplace and advise you on the appropriate products for you. By contrast, a financial coach helps you become better informed and financially confident, empowering you to make decisions yourself. 
  3. Financial advisers typically only work with those who have over £100,000 to invest for 5 years or more; financial coaches are available to anyone, no matter their wealth or financial goals.
  4. Financial advisers usually charge by the hour or have fixed fees. They can also take a percentage of investments you make and may have an ongoing annual charge. Financial coaches normally charge per financial coaching session.
Claro Money's Financial Coaching team in the Claro office
Claro Money’s Financial Coaching Team

What happens in a financial coaching session? 

Financial coaching sessions are highly tailored to your needs, so it depends. 

In your first session with a coach, you’ll typically be guided through a series of questions to uncover your true financial goals, identify obstacles you are facing, and get to know possible options to help you move forward. You’ll be left with a set of actionable steps you can take. 

By the end of a financial coaching session, you’ll feel more confident in your own money management skills, and ready to take the next steps on your financial journey.

Subsequent sessions will help you review your progress, identify other financial goals you want to achieve, layout a plan to achieve them and stay motivated. Having regular financial coaching sessions leaves you confident in and encouraged by decisions and actions that are contributing to your financial goals (and mindful of decisions and actions that aren’t).

What should I expect from a financial coaching session?

In a financial coaching session, you should expect to discuss your financial situation and goals to give your financial coach clarity. 

You’ll then learn what options are available to you to help you achieve your financial goals. This can include talking through the pros and cons of different types of financial products, adjusting your budgets, and learning about investing. 

You’ll get to ask questions along the way. 

At the end, you’ll get a set of actions you can take away to complete.

What questions should I ask a financial coach? 

You can ask your financial coach anything that will help you improve your ability to meet your financial goals or deepen your personal finance knowledge.

For example, if you want to start saving for a house, you can ask your financial coach what kinds of options are available to you to save, get ideas on building your credit score, and start learning about mortgages.

Common questions that people ask Claro’s Financial Coaches include:

  • How can I save to buy my first house?
  • How can I learn about starting to invest?
  • How much money do I need to invest?
  • How much should I have saved for an emergency fund?

How do you prepare for a financial planning or coaching session? 

How you prepare for a financial coaching session depends on what your financial goals are. But here’s what we’d recommend.

We’ll ask you to complete some questions before the call relating to your personal situation. This will include details of your:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Assets (savings, investments, pensions, property)
  • Liabilities (any debt, mortgages, loans)
  • Your financial goals

This information helps the coach to have some context of your personal situation so that they can prepare for your session. It means that the session can focus on discussing what is important to you rather than spending a lot of time asking you for information.

What questions will a financial coach ask me? 

Coaches need to build a picture of you, so they can tailor their guidance to your current situation. To do that, they will need some information to help them understand where you are with your personal finances and what your financial goals are.

Financial coaches will ask you about your income, what you spend money on, what assets you have, your liabilities (any debt, mortgages or loans you may have) and what you are currently saving up for.

For example:

  • What are you looking to achieve from this session?
  • Why is this important to you right now?
  • What does success look like?
  • When would you like to achieve this goal?
  • Tell me about your situation now?
  • What steps have you already taken towards your goal?
  • Where do you feel you are in relation to your goals?
  • What is stopping you or making it difficult to achieve your goal?
  • What other goals do you have that conflict with this?
  • What options do you have?
  • How would you feel if it didn’t work out?
  • What is preventing you from doing it?
  • Which options do you like the best?
  • What one small step are you going to take now?
  • What could stop you from moving forward? How will you overcome this?
  • What support is available to you?

What makes a good financial coach? 

Financial coaches often have a background in finance, but they don’t have to. So, here are a few fundamental qualities that we think are important:

  • Expert in all things finance
  • Personable, empathetic and friendly
  • Able to build strong relationships
  • Passionate about helping people 

A good financial coach recognises that everybody’s financial journey is unique. They will adapt their session content and approach to meet you where you are on your journey.

Financial coaches should be trained to ensure they have both financial knowledge as well as coaching knowledge. Claro Money’s Financial Coaches have all completed our industry-leading training programme, which has been independently accredited by The London Institute of Banking & Finance

What kind of outcome should I expect from a financial coaching session?

The outcome of a session with a financial coach depends on things like your financial goals, where you are on your financial journey and how comfortable you are talking about your personal finances.

Here are some possible outcomes:

  • You’ll feel more confident about your personal finances
  • You’ll feel empowered that your actions and decisions are contributing to your financial goals
  • You’ll feel aware of actions and decisions that are not contributing to your financial goals
  • You’ll feel like you have a more robust financial plan
  • You’ll feel accountable to yourself for your actions
  • You’ll feel like you have more visibility over your personal finances

What makes a good financial coach? 

Financial coaches often have a background in finance, but they don’t have to. So, here are a few fundamental qualities that we think are important:

  • Personable, empathetic and friendly
  • Able to communicate with people from all backgrounds with confidence
  • Able to build strong customer relationships
  • Passionate about helping people 
  • Expert in all things finance

Financial coaches should be trained to ensure they have both financial knowledge as well as coaching knowledge.

What should I look out for when choosing a financial coach?

While financial advisers are currently regulated in the UK, financial coaches are not. So when choosing a financial coach, a few considerations are particularly important. 

Here are a few minimum, essential criteria you should ensure your chosen financial coach or coaching company has.

  • Financial coaches employed by company
  • Trained with professionally accredited course
  • Compliance monitoring on coaches
  • Defined Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme
  • Registered on Companies House
  • Strong governance protocols
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Expertise in both finance and coaching

Financial coaching with Claro Money

Here’s why Claro Money’s financial coaching is truly industry-leading.

Our Financial Coaches are employed by Claro Money, rather than made up of a network of freelancers. This gives you a few distinct advantages when you use our app.

Compliance oversight 

Because our Financial Coaches are employed by Claro Money, we have a rigorous compliance programme that ensures we always have oversight over the guidance our coaches give.

Robust training programme with regular monitoring

Our certification programme sets an industry benchmark. It’s fully accredited by The London Institute of Banking & Finance. It takes over 100 hours to complete, and we even pay our employees throughout their training.

Centralised knowledge

Because our Financial Coaches are one team, they regularly share and benefit from each others’ learnings to ever-improve customer experience. It’s impossible to get a Financial Coach who doesn’t meet Claro Money’s industry-leading standards.

Always high quality

We have industry-leading standards in place, to ensure customers always get top-quality guidance. Our coaches must meet a minimum of 35 Continuing Professional Development hours per year to retain accreditation.

How much does financial coaching cost?

A financial coaching session with the leading provider in the UK is currently on offer at only £65. 

In the market, prices vary. Be wary of individual practitioners charging excessive fees or enforcing long-term commitments.

Do financial coaches make money?

At Claro Money, all our Financial Coaches are employed. They do not make money based on the number of sessions they book. Our Financial Coaches do not earn commission or referral fees, so there are no incentives for them to upsell anything to you. 

If we partner with a specific provider in the future this would always be fully disclosed by our coaching team and on our website.

As with any career path, the salary of a financial coach depends on the level of experience they have.

Are financial coaches worth it?

Yes. If you want to feel more confident in your personal finances, take control of your money and build a financial plan, then having a financial coach is absolutely worth it. But don’t just take our word for it.


Don’t just take it from us

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