Many of the decisions facing new graduates have profound financial implications.

Scoring solid financial planning advice at this point in their lives can be almost as valuable as getting that degree or certificate, says the Financial Planners Standards Council (FPSC).

“Parents want to see their children prepared to take on, and take advantage of, whatever life throws there way once they’re on their own,” says Ann Bowman, VP communications and corporate relations, FPSC. “When they fly the coup, even temporarily, everyone feels a little calmer if they leave knowing how to manage their money.”

Increasingly, parents are including their children in financial planning discussions to help them learn important and responsible financial planning habits early on in their lives.

Bradley Roulston, a CFP professional based in Nelson, British Columbia, agrees that there is no better gift for a recent graduate than good financial planning advice.

“New graduates generally have limited financial resources. However, they usually have time on their side, which is a huge advantage when it comes to investing — one part of the financial planning spectrum,” Roulston says. “They also face a number of important financial decisions that can often set the stage for future success. It’s crucial to learn good financial habits, like managing cash flow.”

Roulston regularly speaks at universities and colleges about financial issues facing graduates. Often, graduates are concerned with paying off debt, financing post-graduate studies, moving into a condo or house, saving money for a car, wedding, vacation or to start a business.

Other topics advisor can cover with recent grads include:

> managing credit responsibly;

> how to maintain a social life on a budget;

> RRSP’s vs tax prepaid savings plans, which one is best, based on the situation; and

> investing fundamentals, starting at a young age can make a substantial difference.