Heading to your first meeting with a new financial professional may be a lot like going on a blind date. Can you have anything in common? Can you click? Can you trust this other person with what's most important to you? A strong relationship with your financial professional may be key in managing your finances, both now and in the future. Below, we discuss a few ways you may be able to make the most of your relationship with your financial professional.
Think About Your Goals
Before creating your financial plan, your financial professional may ask you some questions about your short-term and long-term goals and what you hope to get out of the financial planning process. You may be committed to reducing your overall tax rate, putting aside more for retirement, or saving for your child's education. It's worth spending some time mulling over your goals on your own. Although your financial professional may give you some ideas, you may want it to be a collaborative process, not simply having someone dictate your financial path to you.
Take Advantage of Technology
Just a couple of decades ago, most financial professionals primarily communicated with clients through phone calls and in-person meetings. But today, apps and websites may allow you to log into your accounts, view your holdings, forecast your investment growth, and even make changes with just a few clicks, depending on the type of account you open. Talk to your financial professional about what technological options are available to you and how you may be able to use them to optimize your finances.
Don't Be Afraid to Push Back
Everyone has their own comfort level when it comes to investing and tax planning. Your financial professional may recommend options that seem too aggressive—or not aggressive enough. What's important is that you feel comfortable with your financial path. That way, you are less likely to be afraid to speak up or push back on a particular investment or tax plan that may not seem best for your situation.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
This ability to communicate openly and honestly with your financial professional may be the key to a suitable relationship. You also want to discuss with your financial professional their preferred communication methods. Do you want someone available over the phone quickly? Would you prefer to receive updates from your financial professional only if there's a decision you need to make? Finding someone whose communication style meshes with yours may help build the trust you need.