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What Your Financial Planner Sees

What Your Financial Planner Sees

When you first meet with your financial planner, you can expect to exchange greetings with a professionally attired financial adviser. The adviser wants the responsibility of managing some of your assets to map a path to your financial security. The information you share will always be treated confidentially.

The most financial planner begins the process by asking clients to complete a pretty thorough questionnaire.  This questionnaire will paint a good picture of your overall wealth and assets. The way you see this information is different than the way the financial planner interprets the questionnaire.

The financial planner and your assets

The financial planner looks at your assets in terms of risk exposure first and growth potential second. Most of your other financial advisers have a certain field or specialty. That is not the case with financial planners.  They have access to multiple investment types that vary greatly in terms of risk. You may retain a financial planner to plan your estate, develop a retirement planner and complement your more volatile investment strategy, or purchase real property in the future.

As soon as your questionnaire is completed, the planner will discuss and define your goals. This exercise helps the planner draw a line from your current investment strategy and holdings to the desired end game. What you see and what the planner sees could be quite different.  The planner is assessing risk exposure, risk appetite, quality of investments, expenses, insurance plans, retirement programs, current income, and anything else that impacts you now or in the future.

Bringing the plan to life

The planner takes this information and begins to tie all the pieces together so that you can receive a couple of different plans.  Each plan will represent differing investment strategies. These strategies are designed to incorporate the current asset portfolio into a functional plan that accomplishes your long-term goals. You can expect some recommendations about your current holdings and other recommendations about how to move forward.

The successful financial planner may ask permission to speak with your attorney, insurance agent, broker, and/or banker. The planner’s goal is to understand every aspect of your entire financial portfolio.

After all, you contacted a financial planner because you wanted to make sure your current portfolio coincides with your long-term plan and lifestyle choices. What you may perceive as strengths, the planner may see as risky short-term investments.  The planner will not discourage these investments but will allocate a portion of investments to neutralize the risks.

When the planner submits a few plans for your consideration, he will explain the strengths and risks of each plan.  This time it is the clients who should listen and question the projections, the risks, and the products. A successful financial planner is a master of risk analysis and risk strategies. On the whole, financial planners are conservative in nature.  Everything the financial planner recommends will be low-risk investments that represent the security you and your estate needs for the future.

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