This is not about me, but for the step daughter of a friend of mine.

Her parents were divorced, her mother died. She is an only child and getting the assets from the estate. My friend isn't sure how to help her step daughter not "blow" the money.

I suggested maybe she talk to a financial advisor. An unbiased third party that would give good advice, and maybe walk her through what some good options are.

What should I suggest that she look for in a financial advisor? Are there financial advisors that specialize in working with young people that inherited money?

  • Possible duplicate of How does one find a good financial advisor? Oct 16, 2017 at 16:12
  • This only answers one part of your question (about financial advisors), but it may be a good place to start. Oct 16, 2017 at 16:13
  • 2
    Yeah, I'm really looking specifically for someone who can give advice tuned to a young person. Someone that can do more than just invest the money, but talk through the details of how much should be saved, how much should be reasonably spent. If she should buy a car, new or used? Etc. How is best to pay for college, is there a prepayment discount? If the money is spent before she finishes college, she won't be able to continue.
    – Beachhouse
    Oct 16, 2017 at 16:24
  • That's a lot of very specific questions. You may find that an advisor is not able to give the level of attention you are asking for; if you care for this person you may want to offer support in helping to figure out answers to such questions. There are a lot of questions on this site that touch on things similar to what you've asked, but this is really a matter of getting that information to her. And ultimately it will come down to whether she wants to learn about financial responsibility or not. You can lead a horse to water, but can't make it drink. Oct 16, 2017 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


I think your question is pretty wise, and the comments indicate that you understand the magnitude of the situation.

First off, there could be nothing that your friend could do. Step parent relationships can be strained and this could make it worse, add the age of the girl and grief and he could make this a lot worse then it potentially is. She may spend it all to spite step-dad.

Secondly, there is a need to understand by all involved that personal finance is about 75-90% behavior. Very high income people can wind up bankrupt, and lower income people can end up wealthy. The difference between two people's success or failure often boils down to behavior.

Thirdly, I think you understand that there needs to be a "why", not only a "what" to do. I think that is the real tricky part. There has to be a teaching component along with an okay this is what you should do.

Finding a person will be difficult. First off there is not a lot of money involved. Good financial advisers handle much larger cash positions and this young lady will probably need to spend some of it down. Secondly most FAs are willing to provide a cookie cutter solution to the problem at hand. This will likely leave a bad taste in the daughter's mouth.

If it was me, I would encourage two things:

  • Pursue an education with good income potential
  • Don't make any major decisions right now

Both of those things buy time. If she comes out of this with an education in a career field with a 50-60K starting salary, a nice used car, and no student loans that would be okay. I would venture to say mom would be happy.

If she is very savvy, she might be able to come out of this with a down payment on a place of her own; or, if she has education all locked up perhaps purchasing a home for mostly cash.

In the interim period a search for a good teaching FA could occur. Finding such a person could also help you and your friend in addition to the daughter.

Now my own step-daughter and I have a good financial relationship. There are other areas where our relationship can be strained but as far as finances we relate well. We took Financial Peace University ($100 offered through many local churches) together when she was at the tender age of 16. The story of "Ben and Arthur" really spoke to her and we have had many subsequent conversations on the matter. That may work in this case.

A youTube video on part of the lesson.

  • Thank you so much for your response here. I found it very helpful. I will pass this information on to my friend. It's too bad there are not FAs that would be willing to take this on. I would think that it would be reasonable to pay $2,000 or so a year just to have someone that the girl could call and ask questions of.
    – Beachhouse
    Oct 17, 2017 at 19:21
  • while I agree with this answer, it is a bit counter-intuitive that your main point in this answer is to buy some time and delay any major decision, and you end with a video of which the main point is "start saving now, don't wait a bit"
    – eis
    Nov 12, 2018 at 8:51

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