Financial planning is always a smart idea, but what many don’t think about is how to prepare for a meeting with a financial planner. Going into the meeting with a checklist of what to cover and at least a basic idea of your financial goals makes the meeting more productive and less stressful. Here are four ways to be ready for the initial meeting.
First, come up with a list of questions to ask the financial planner. Simple queries like why they became interested in financial planning in the first place are a great place to start. The questions can range from their preferred way of communicating with clients and hours of operation to details about the kinds of accounts they usually manage and why. Think of the meeting as a job interview. Trusting your money and your financial future to another’s expertise is a big decision, so in addition to learning about your prospective planner’s experience, you’ll want to assess how comfortable you are interacting with him or her.
Second, it’s important to understand your current financial picture before going into the meeting. Know how much you make every month, what investments you have, what your expenses are and what your entire debt picture looks like, including student loans and credit cards. Before you can get serious about investing, you need to know just how much you can put aside every month. Truly understanding your financial situation will also help you assess how much more you might need to bring in to create a solid financial plan.
Third, have a list of the goals you’d like your financial planner to help you achieve. Having a preset list of expectations will help your advisor quickly understand what you want to accomplish and help you both align on the next best steps.
Lastly, know where your financial weaknesses are before talking to a planner. Prior to the meeting, review several months of bank account and credit card statements to see where you might be overspending. Identifying spending issues early in your new relationship will save the planner time and detective work to figure out the best approach for you.
Don’t put off financial planning for fear of choosing the wrong advisor. Schedule a free consultation with Nicholas Wealth Management today and see why our clients trust us with their financial future.
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