As we near the end of 2022 and head into a new year where personal goals will be revisited, it’s an optimal time to reassure yourself your advisor is helping you prepare for your future, providing helpful, consistent advice and uncovering opportunities with the goal to grow your wealth over time. Working with a wealth advisor affords many benefits nearly every individual can appreciate – and their value should grow, as does your family or business. Here are five areas of service they should be consistently providing you.
Regular communication – At the beginning of your relationship, you should determine how frequently it makes sense for you and your advisor to meet in person or via conference call. At the minimum, two meetings per year are recommended, with regular communication and touch points built-in with the understanding of responsiveness within a reasonable amount of time. You might find that you need to meet more often in the first few years of your relationship or during heightened times of market volatility to ensure your risk tolerance and financial plan are still in line with your personal goals.
Monitoring and rebalancing – Your portfolio shouldn’t be set and forgotten about. You should receive regular portfolio rebalancing, proactive tax-loss harvesting, and biannual strategy reviews and revisions based on market conditions and your personal risk tolerance. An investment portfolio is merely one component of a greater, holistic financial plan. You can have an individual investment strategy but think of this as one piece of a larger puzzle.
Proactive tax planning – Tax planning is critically important to ensure you pay the lowest reasonable amount of taxes required by law. A significant area people have missed opportunities is by unnecessarily paying taxes, which often occurs when your advisor isn’t knowledgeable about taxation or isn’t actively collaborating with CPAs on your behalf. You should be working with an advisor who profoundly understands the tax implications of investment portfolio decisions to help you keep more of what you earn.
Consultations customized to your needs – Whether you need to buy a new home, update your insurance coverage, or discuss long-term care for an aging parent, you should receive customized advice through all phases of your life. An advisor should mimic a financial coach and be there to provide data and conduct financial tasks on your behalf and simply offer advice when needed. For example, an advisor can help you implement a 529 college savings plan to help prepare for future education costs for your children but can also advise you on if buying a new car fits into your financial plan and if it’s the right time to take on a large purchase.
Protection from unknowns – Holistic financial planning should incorporate evaluating insurance policies that can protect your family and finances from future unknowns. Your advisor should review existing policies, identify gaps in coverage, secure quotes from insurance providers, and make recommendations on the cost and coverage that fits your needs. Short-term disability, property and casualty and life and long-term care insurance are all critical to being prepared for the future.
If your advisor isn’t practicing holistic, goals-based planning – they’re leaning too much on guessing or they’re siloed in investment management. If you feel like you only hear from your advisor through monthly or quarterly portfolio statements, it’s not enough and you deserve better. I believe in a proactive, not reactive stance to financial planning that incorporates all areas of your financial life. If you have questions or want a complimentary, no-obligation review of your portfolio or financial plan, my team is just a phone call away.
Blog by Aaron Waters, Wealth Advisor & Shareholder
Category: Financial Service Team