Financial advisors assist individuals with achieving their financial goals. But what does this mean? A financial advisor’s role is to understand your priorities and where you stand relative to those goals today – whether you are looking to build a plan to prepare for retirement, receive investment insight, create wealth for the long term, or budget better. They then create a roadmap for you to achieve those goals and provide ongoing support. Here is what to expect from working with a financial planner.
- How to prepare for your first financial planning meeting
- What is offered from a financial advisor
- Building an ongoing relationship with your planner to achieve your financial goals
The first time you meet with your financial advisor will be a “get to know you” meeting. Your advisor will want to learn more about your financial goals and aspirations. At what age do you want to retire? How much money will you need for retirement? Do you plan on putting money towards your child’s education? How risky of an investor are you?
Your financial advisor will also want to know your current financial situation to understand what is needed to help you meet your financial goals in your desired timeframe. How much do you currently have put aside for retirement? What assets and liabilities do you have? This knowledge will assist your planner with building a strategic plan for a successful financial future.
Just as your financial advisor will take the time getting to know you, make sure to take some time to get to know them. Research them – look at their LinkedIn and their website. After your first meeting, you should feel confident that your advisor is someone you can trust with your planning needs and build a relationship with.
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Following the meeting, your planner will request documentation to support your discussion. This will help your financial advisor with developing an accurate plan. After receiving the necessary paperwork, they will create an analysis that illustrates your personal plan. They will analyze your current situation and develop comprehensive solutions. The analysis will indicate if you are on track to achieve your goals according to your given timeline or if you are currently falling short of your plan. An advisor will often model scenarios and potential outcomes so that you can plan proactively rather than reactively. Once the financial analysis is complete, it is time for the next meeting.
Time to take a look at what your advisor has prepared for you! During the second meeting an advisor will present and deliver your plan. They will walk you through the analysis and review big picture items – where you stand financially and any areas of weakness or opportunity. If you are comfortable with the plan an advisor develops, you can opt to implement the plan with them or move forward and implement the recommendations on your own. Should you decide to work with the financial advisor, this will start the beginning of an ongoing relationship as you work towards achieving your financial goals.
Your financial advisor will manage and monitor your money on a regular basis to ensure you continue to remain on track. They will schedule regular reviews with you to offer the opportunity to discuss your current situation on an ongoing basis and ask any questions relative to your financial situation. This will also give you the opportunity to update them on any changes to your plan. If you recently had a child and now want to begin saving for related expenses, your advisor can alter your plan to include your new goals. You may have inherited a sum or money or been laid off from your job. These scenarios will impact your financial plan and should be addressed with your advisor.
Trusting someone with managing your financial situation is overwhelming! Make sure to do your research and find a financial planner who you can trust to bring you closer to achieving a successful financial future.
For a look at our financial planning process, check out Our Approach.
Schedule a complimentary meeting and see how an advisor can help you achieve your financial goals!
Any discussion of taxes is for general informational purposes only, does not purport to be complete or cover every situation, and should not be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice. Clients should confer with their qualified legal, tax and accounting advisors as appropriate.
Ben Soccodato is a registered representative of and offer securities, investment advisory services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. www.SIPC.org 6 Corporate Drive, Shelton, CT 06484, Tel: 203-513-6000 CRN202301-277545