City thinking, local knowledge

How often should I speak to my financial adviser?

By Questa Chartered

Getting to grips with the finer points of financial management and planning can be both overwhelming and daunting.

After all, there are countless rules to follow, lots of terminology to get to grips with, and the consequences of making the wrong decisions can be very costly.

That’s why so many of us hire a financial planner to help with key issues such as saving money, investing in the stock markets or planning for retirement.

With their knowledge and expertise, they can do much of the hard work for their clients, pointing them in the right direction as they work to achieve their goals.

So with that in mind, how often should you actually speak to them?

Is it a matter of checking in regularly and being actively involved, or living your life and just letting them get on with it?

Well, it depends on your circumstances and striking a balance that suits you.

We’d recommend you speak to your financial planner at least once a year, so you can be confident your investments are performing as they should, and that your money is working as hard as it possibly can.

Your annual meeting also means your financial planner can be sure they understand your lifestyle and financial goals as they stand today, as your needs, circumstances and priorities may have evolved since you last spoke.

More regular meetings are recommended if you’re dealing with a particular life-changing financial event. For example:

  • Getting married or divorced
  • Having a child
  • Losing your job
  • Receiving an unexpected windfall, such as a large inheritance
  • A big salary increase after a promotion at work
  • Acquiring a large debt

Any or all of these could affect your financial plan and mean it’ll need updating, in which case you shouldn’t delay contacting your adviser.

Similarly, if you’ve invested heavily in a market that is underperforming, it might be time to approach your financial planner to discuss options such as diversifying your portfolio, so you’re not exposed to unacceptable levels of risk.

Ultimately, a financial planner is there to help you make the right decisions, so in periods of great change and uncertainty, their assistance will be invaluable.

And in times of relative stability, an occasional check-in, perhaps once a year, can be just as important and helpful.

If you don’t want to be speaking to your financial planner too frequently, it’s important to make sure that the meetings you do have really count.

With that in mind, ask yourself several key questions beforehand, so you can get the most out of it. For example:

  • What are your lifestyle goals, both in the medium and long term?
  • What immediate financial challenges do you face?
  • What matters most to you in life?

If you can adequately communicate what drives you to your financial planner, they’ll be in a stronger position to offer you the right advice and confidently act in your best interests

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