TORONTO — While some financial advisers might be unwilling to take on younger clients with small accounts, experts say that shouldn’t deter young investors from beginning their financial journey and that online resources can be a good place to start learning.

Karlee Vukets, a certified financial planner who works with clients aged 25 to 40, says many financial advisers have minimum account requirements which many younger investors don’t meet.

“Typically, you may not be able to find an investment adviser who manages a portfolio of a small size,” said Vukets, who runs Toronto-based financial planning firm Karlee Vukets & Co. 

Many firms have a minimum threshold of at least $250,000 in assets, she said.

That has some young investors turning to online resources such as AI chatbots, social media influencers and investment apps such as Wealthsimple to help manage their modest portfolios.

These online resources are helping make financial education more accessible and can be a great place to start before eventually moving onto conversations with advisers, Vukets said.

Heather Rogers, an investment advisor with BMO Nesbitt Burns, says reaching out to bank branch advisers can also be a good place to start that’s also cost efficient for young investors. 

“You can book a meeting with the bank branch and start with the financial planner there,” Rogers said. 

But there’s still a gap in finding holistic, personalized financial roadmaps for young investors.

Vukets said “how-to” online resources can help in self-discipline and education but a financial planner can supercharge those efforts.

Though there’s usually a fee for financial planning services. 

“Why would you pay somebody for (your money)?” Vukets asked. “It’s the same reason somebody would pay for a personal trainer to help you hit your goals faster.”

A financial planner will not necessarily suggest which stocks a client should invest in but would help formulate a plan to achieve financial goals and lay out potential options for investments, she said. She added that seeking advice externally also helps remove bias which may come from an adviser associated with an institution. 

She adds younger people should integrate financial help from planners with online stock management tools like Wealthsimple.

Meghan MacPherson, associate financial planner at Impact Financial Group Inc., said people with small accounts often delay reaching out for help.

“There’s a misconception that they need to be at a certain amount of capital or net worth to start the investment journey,” she said.

MacPherson said there are an increasing number of financial planners willing to work with a younger demographic, compared to traditional financial advisers who look for clients with a bigger portfolio.

Vukets said, sometimes, older advisers can be set in their ways or beliefs. 

“Those in the $50,000 to $60,000 are still worthy of advice if they’re willing to make that investment in themselves.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2023.

Ritika Dubey, The Canadian Press

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