I consider it a wonderful privilege to stand with my clients as they make career decisions, grow businesses, have families, and set retirement goals. To get the most out of this relationship there are a few things that can be helpful:
Our job as financial advisors is to listen and guide discussion to areas that you may never have covered with anyone else. Don’t shy away from a difficult conversation – know that I am not judging anything you say and let’s talk.
Full disclosure is required – It is critical that I have a complete understanding of your information as your financial planner. Everything from your employer benefits to that vacation house you will inherit (and must pay maintenance on when it becomes yours) are all important.
Share your priorities:
Please tell me everything that is important to you so I can best understand your goals and help you achieve them. If your goal is to save enough money to start your own business, I want to know that. If you need to have your house paid for to feel a sense of financial security, we will focus our efforts with that in mind. Everyone has different goals and priorities, I want to be certain that I am aware of yours.
Help me understand your spending habits and how they fit in with your long-term plans. Given an open conversation, we can work on what is realistic and move toward a future vision.
Tell me how often to communicate with you and how to best do that. We do schedule regular meetings and can do that in person, or via phone, email or text.
Let me know when things change:
The only constant is that life changes. While I have an eye on your portfolio and your current life’s associated risks, you are responsible for letting me know when your life changes. Kids grow up, get married, a wedding budget and college fund need to be planned. Dad passes away and Mom needs to live with you or maybe just needs more of your time. A phone call or visit when something is happening in your life helps me support you.
Don’t stress with market ups and downs:
After we have had good conversations and planned and funded your priorities, you will be invested in a way that meets your risk tolerance and goals. Understand that today’s market moves will not affect your eventual destination.
Think about it like traffic on the highway while you are driving cross country. Together we have mapped out your course with the stops you want to make along the way and the time you want to spend in the car. We may encounter traffic or a road that will force a detour but we will get from Maryland to California with the planned stops in Louisville, Memphis, Wichita Falls and your uncle’s place in Las Vegas. You might get a flat tire, but we have thought ahead – you’re prepared with a spare and good resources for help along the way.
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