3 US Presidents That Would Have Made Good Financial Gurus

george washingtonFinancial gurus are people who are esteemed and considered persons of authority when it comes to finances. Gurus are actualy defined by Wikipedia.org as someone who has acquired followers. It is commonly used as an advertisement term to help highlight the knowledge of a person. It naturally attracts followers simply because of the expertise that the person brings.

In recent years, people struggled with their finances and this led them to look for people who can advice them about the crisis they are in. USNews.com published an article that claimed how financial planning is needed now more than ever. They cited the infographic published by the NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) that stated the following statistics.

  • In 2012, 37% of American workers are expected to retire older than 65. In 1991, that figure was only 11%.

  • 39% of adult does not have savings that goes beyond their retirement fund.

  • 40% of adults in 2012 are saving less than what they did in 2011.

  • 56% of adults do not have a budget.

Obviously, Americans are still in need of financial advice. However, some people proved to be more malicious than they are helpful. A lot of financial gurus emerged and unfortunately, not everyone are legit. Some of them were trying to sell useless products to desperate people who wants to make some quick earnings.

So if you are going to look for an authority figure, you might want to look for someone who exudes credibility, respect and knowledge about it.

Financial advice from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson

When it comes down to having followers and being a credible figure of authority, what better candidate as financial gurus but US Presidents? Of course, we will not be mentioning all of them. There are a select few who gave us really good advice about money management. Even though some of them lived centuries ago, their personal finance advice still rings true today.

So here are the top three US Presidents that we think will make really good financial advisers as their second careers.

George Washington

“As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible… but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it…” 1796 farewell address.

President Washington gave us a very good advice about credit. Although this was really meant for the proper use of government funds, it can be something to live by in our own personal finances. The most important part here is to “use it as sparingly as possible.” He is simply telling us that debt is not entirely bad. One the contrary, it can be a source of strength and security for all of us. However, it has to be noted that you need to be smart about your choice. Do not use it for unnecessary purchases. Not only that the President also mentions how expenses right now may keep us from spending more in the future. For instance, regular maintenance checks can keep you from having to spend more on a busted transmission on the freeway.

“To contract new Debts is not the way to pay old ones.”

This is another quote from George Washington that strikes at debt consolidation loans. If you think about it, paying for a debt with another debt does seem ridiculous. However, we all know that debt consolidation loan is effective. So if you want to use it, do not be afraid. Just heed the other words of the President when it comes to being wise about credit.

Abraham Lincoln

“That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself.” 1864 speech to the Workingmen’s Democratic Republican Association in New York.

The second US President that would have been one of the greatest financial gurus today is Abraham Lincoln. Known for having educated himself, he is the epitome of self reliance. He teaches us that if other people can be rich, than you can to. The USA is a land that is deemed to be filled with a lot of opportunities. You need to grab all these and do not rely on others to grow your riches. You need to work hard for it. The path to financial success is not unheard of. It happens everyday. It is up to you to determine if you will be the one to be successful or not.

Thomas Jefferson

“Delay is preferable to error.” 1792 letter to George Washington.

The third notable US President that can be a great financial adviser is Thomas Jefferson. This particular quote simply tells us the it is better to delay while going through some sensible financial planning if it means you will be avoiding a lot of mistakes in the future. Budgeting, spending, retirement and other financial plans may seem like a waste of time for people who want to act immediately. But if you think about it, not planning can even set you back further then when you take the time to plan your money moves.

“Never spend your money before you have it. Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap.” 1825 A Decalogue of Canons for Observation in Practical Life.

This is an advice that is quite direct to the point and it strikes at the very heart of our consumer habits. We spend on things through credit and that is something that can get out of hand. Not only that, it reprimands our need to buy something that is discounted – even if it is not needed. If you think about it, buying something on sale is not wasting money. Even if you bought it at 60% off, you did not save that amount. You just wasted 40% of the product’s price.

On searching for reliable financial advisers

We’ve gotten some real advice from our past Presidents and they can really say a lot about how financial management should be implemented. You need to start being wise with your money so you can avoid making mistakes with your financial decisions.

You may think that you really need a financial planner and that is alright if you want one. Just be careful about who you will hire. Here are some tips that will help you choose among the many professionals available.

  • Check their certifications and licenses. They must be part of a reputable organization or has undergone training with them.

  • Be cautious of upfront fees. There are financial planners who will charge you and that is not illegal. But be cautious of those who will ask money from you upfront without giving you anything yet. Usually, initial consultations are free.

  • Do a background check on the financial planner. When you find someone that you think is promising and you can work with, do a background check on them. See if there are complaints against them.

  • Prefer referrals. There is nothing like having someone you know and trust to vouch for a financial planner that you want to hire. See if your family and friends have ever hired someone for the job and get a referral.

You can also educate yourself like what President Abraham Lincoln did. Research the websites of known financial gurus like Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman. Listen to what they have to say and see which one you think your personality can follow.