Your Financial Advisor, Your Therapist

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Even though you hired your financial adviser to provide professional guidance on your investments and fiscal future, it's OK to open up about more emotionally driven financial decisions. Experts say not all money matters are black and white, and confiding in a trusted expert isn't just acceptable — it's encouraged.

During meetings with your adviser, they'll be more prepared to act as your financial therapist than you might think, says Ken Kamen, president of Mercadien Asset Management. They're tuned in to everything you say, and, like a counselor, they'll show you the steps to take to find your own answers rather than giving you a magic bullet to solve all your problems.

"A lot of people are afraid of money or afraid of what they don't know about their money," Kamen says. "Sometimes you just need to say aloud what you're afraid of. When you go in there and you tell your adviser what keeps you up at night, you'll be amazed how much better you'll feel. Sunlight is the best anesthetic."

Many people think that their money situation is so complex or their problems are so profound that no one will understand their experience, Kamen says. That's just not the case — financial planners have seen it all.

"Everyone's financial angst is like a fingerprint," Kamen explains. "Everything you saw growing up — bad financial decisions in the family, money worries, a depression — it all shaped your unique fears. Everyone has their own boogeyman."

Even though you may be thinking that no one has lived your experience, your situation will still be understandable by an adviser.

"You may think, 'No one has an aunt relying on them for elder care like me,' or "No one has a special needs child like me,' but your adviser has the [grounding] to understand all of this. They are steeped in experience, and just using them as a sounding board can be so cathartic. After you've been talking for a few minutes, you may realize that things aren't nearly as traumatic as you thought they were," Kamen says.

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