If you’re wondering how often you should meet with your financial advisor, you’re not alone. Everyone’s circumstances and needs will be different. There will be times when you need help on a one-off basis and there will be times when you need more guidance and support.
Getting financial advice can mark a huge step in your life. Perhaps you need help comparing mortgages when buying your dream home. Or you may want to understand what your options are at retirement.
Curious to know what’s right for you? We’ll explain how frequently you should meet your financial advisor, when it’s best to meet them more often and tips for understanding your needs.
What’s the minimum amount of time you should meet your advisor?
Traditionally, financial advisors book in an annual review with their clients at the beginning of the year. This review is the bare minimum that’s required to ensure your budgeting, tax and investments are on track.
Like an annual checkup with your GP, these meetings can be very insightful assessments of your overall financial fitness. They’re a good opportunity to take a step back and reflect on your financial situation over the past 12 months.
Your advisor is there to guide you and help you find ways to make your money work harder in the coming year. They can also help you evaluate how well your investments have performed.
This is usually enough for most people. Over a normal year, your financial health usually won’t change that much so there’s no need to check in with your advisor every week or month.
When should you meet your financial advisor more often?
Again, the annual performance review can be an essential part of maintaining your financial wellbeing. But if your circumstances change or you have an urgent question, consider booking a meeting with your advisor sooner rather than later.
Here are a few situations where meeting your financial advisor can help:
You’ve had a big life change
Getting married. Growing your family. The death of a loved one. These events can have huge impacts on your financial life and future. Your advisor will help you reassess your budget and ensure you avoid future pitfalls as you work towards restoring balance.
Your income has changed
Your advisor can help you adjust your budget should you be made redundant. Or, if you’ve had a pay rise, they can help you put that extra money to good use. That extra income could help you pay off your mortgage faster or increase your pension contributions.
You’d like to invest
There are many do-it-yourself platforms out there but any investment comes with risk. Speaking to your advisor can give you the knowledge and expertise you need to make a sound decision.
You’ve inherited money
Receiving money can make a positive difference in your life. But when faced with bereavement, it can be difficult to think clearly about any decision – let alone a financial one. Your advisor can help answer those big questions such as how much you should spend, where to invest and whether you’re affected by Inheritance Tax.
Striking the right balance with your advisor
Your advisor can be a valuable sounding board for all your financial decisions and help you understand their outcomes. They can also offer reassurance and help you understand complex products and options.
Whatever your reason for taking financial advice, you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of their services. Here are a few things to consider:
It never hurts to ask
Everyone is different – and that also goes for advisors. Ask your advisor how often they think you should meet. Their answer will depend on the services or products you want to discuss and their personal advisory style.
Your advisor also wants to give you good service so they may seem overeager at the start of your relationship. Tell them whether the annual review is enough and be honest when you need extra support.
Finding your happy medium
At the end of the day, you pay your advisor to give you advice on how to manage your money. Putting this level of trust in someone means that the lines of communication should always be clear.
Your advisor can offer the insights you need to make your most important decisions. It’s up to you to determine the boundary between a proactive advisor and an overbearing one.
Getting your money’s worth
If you’re paying by the hour, it makes sense to make the best use of yours and your advisor’s time. Remember, every video call and meeting is coming out of your wallet.
Whether your pay hourly or ongoing, it’s always best to understand your needs before meeting with your advisor. Going in unprepared will waste your time and theirs.
Understanding your own needs
Everyone wants financial security. But not everyone will follow the same path to get there. Your needs and circumstances will change throughout the year. There will be times when you need more support than others.
It’s okay to not have all the answers. Your advisor is there to listen. Their expertise means they can help you pinpoint your concerns and goals and help you find your own path.
Take five minutes for yourself. Grab a notebook and pen and ask yourself the following questions:
- How do you picture your life in one year, three years and five years’ time?
- What financial concerns are most troubling to you?
- When you think about the future, what do you expect to change in your life?
- What are your personal values and what’s important to you?
These questions can help you better understand what you’re looking for. Take your time with each question. If you feel comfortable, share them with your financial advisor at your next meeting.
How we can help
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