An investment advisor is a financial advisor who manages your investment portfolio and provides useful guidance for a fee. Working with an investment advisor offers a number of advantages, including better long-term financial health, more insightful investments and improved peace of mind. Despite the many benefits of working with a financial advisor, however, more than half of people in the United States (54%) are not currently working with one.
One of the reasons many people avoid working with an investment advisor is simply lack of knowledge. They are not sure where to start or how they should prepare for their first meeting with an advisor. Fortunately, preparing for that first meeting is not as difficult as you may think. Below are some tips to help you get ready for your first meeting with an investment advisor and take control of your finances.
1. Know your financial goals and priorities
Before attending your first meeting with a financial advisor, you need to define your priorities and financial goals. Ask yourself what is most important to you, why you want to meet with an advisor and what you hope the meeting will accomplish. The answers to these questions will help you communicate a clear direction to the advisor during the meeting.
2. Gather all necessary paperwork
In order to give you the best guidance and advice possible, your investment advisor will need to look at a variety of documents that explain your current financial situation. These documents provide the advisor with a snapshot of your financial status so he or she can find the right starting point.
Not every client will need to bring the same documents to his or her first meeting. However, some of the documents you may need include:
- A detailed copy of your monthly budget
- Pay stubs for you and your spouse
- Tax returns from at least the past two years
- Mortgage statements, as well as statements related to any other debts you may owe
- Statements for all investment plans, such as 401(k)s or IRAs
- Information about any trust funds for which you are listed as beneficiary
3. Have an open mind
As you approach your first meeting with your investment advisor, remember to keep an open mind. Your advisor has the knowledge, experience and skills to build a financial plan and develop goals for you based on an objective assessment of your portfolio. The suggestions made by your investment advisor may or may not align with what you had expected. Listen to his or her explanations carefully and consider whether the plan suggested makes sense.
Having a qualified investment advisor is one of the best ways to ensure that you are working toward your best financial future. Preparing properly for your first meeting gives the investment advisor all of the information and tools he or she needs to build a financial plan based on your goals, preferences and needs. If you are looking for a qualified individual to manage your investments, please contact Caldwell Trust today to learn more about our services or to make an appointment.