What Your Financial Advisor Wants From You (Part 1 of a Series)

by financialmom on January 13, 2011

in Financial Advisor, Financial Plan

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What does your Financial Advisor want from you?  The short answer is The Truth.   We need you to be honest with us about many things, in order to do a good job of giving you financial advice that is in your best interest.

Here are the main things it is very important to be honest with your Financial Advisor about:

Current Financial Situation

It is hugely important you are truthful with your Financial Advisor about where you are right now in your financial life. Full disclosure of everything, including all your current investments, is necessary. Good or bad, we need to know.  It is what it is, and it’s not about shame or blame.  It’s about determining the next steps.

I like to use a doctor analogy. If you expect a doctor to give a correct diagnosis of your health, and a comprehensive plan to stay healthy, or fix whatever is wrong with you, you have to tell her or him the truth about what you have been doing, and how you are feeling.

Goals

If it’s your goal to retire early in 5 years, be sure to tell your Financial Advisor. Whatever your goals are, share them – financial or otherwise.  It will greatly help your advisor to know you better, and develop your financial plan.

If you don’t have a financial plan, or any financial goals in writing, share that too. This is where your advisor can really shine – by helping you establish appropriate and realistic financial goals for your future.

Debt

A discussion about all your debt has to be included in your current financial situation. Not just some of your debt, but all of it – credit card debt, automobile debt, medical debt, mortgage debt, business debt – it all needs to be disclosed.

The reason this needs to be done is it will have a bearing on how you invest, and even whether you should be investing at all right now. It’s possible it may be more appropriate for you to pay down your debt first.

Investment Experience

Tell your Financial Advisor what types of investments you have made, and how many years you have been investing in each. Don’t exaggerate your investment experience.

This will help your advisor know how much financial education you need to become an intelligent investor as well. Educated investors make the best clients.

Feel free to admit your inexperience, and ask lots of questions. Personally, I have much more respect for people who do this, rather than pretending they know more than they really do about investing.

Risk Tolerance

If you can’t sleep at night if your investments go down in value, you need to be honest about this. Understand that there is a tradeoff between risk and reward – if you want a higher return on your investments, you will likely need to take more risk.

A discussion about risk tolerance will become more and more important as baby boomers are entering retirement, and need to have their money last for a lot of years. Some of us could live as much as a third of our lives in retirement.

Changes

As changes happen in your life, you need to share them with your advisor.
It could be a job change, large unexpected expenses, or an inheritance, to name a few.  Life changes can have a big impact on your financials, and what worked before may need to be revised.

What You Want

It’s also very important for you to tell your Financial Advisor what you want from her or him. You can’t expect them to know unless you tell them.  You need to do this in the first meeting with a prospective advisor, so both of you can determine whether working together is a good fit.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this Series – What You Want From Your Financial Advisor.

New Profile Pic 2599R What Your Financial Advisor Wants From You (Part 1 of a Series)Pamela Otten is CEO of Pamela Otten LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. She loves to work with women business owners and entrepreneurs, and women in transition due to job change, death, or divorce. Pamela will help you set and reach your financial goals, educate you to understand your investments, and teach you how to do more charitable giving. Pamela is a Qualified Kingdom Advisor (www.kingdomadvisors.org), trained and committed to integrating biblical principles with her investment advice.

cc smallest What Your Financial Advisor Wants From You (Part 1 of a Series)Photo Credit – SimonDoggett

Financial Planning, Investment Advice, and Investment Management provided through Pamela Otten LLC, Registered Investment Advisor.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, please consult your financial advisor prior to investing.

 

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