Have you ever sat in your car in the parking lot after visiting the doctor for your annual physical and said to yourself, “Oh, I forgot to ask the doctor about X…Now it’s too late”?
We’ve all had those moments where more formal preparation would have made our meetings with doctors, lawyers, contractors, etc., more productive and valuable. Meeting with your financial advisor is no different. Preparation before your regular review can help you and the advisor. Here are five basic steps to help you prepare for the next meeting with your Hill client service advisor.
|ACTION STEP||WHY IT’S IMPORTANT|
|1||Clear out other distractions before your meeting.||You are busy with a personal and professional life. But your review meeting is important, and you want to resist the urge to “squeeze it in.” Holding the meeting when all parties are mentally present is critical. Don’t hesitate to change the meeting date if need be.|
|2||Review the summary and actions from the last time you met with us.||This will help jog your memory. Your meetings should have continuity without that feeling of starting over.|
|3||Reflect on any changes in your family, priorities, spending, employment, and key milestones/events during the past year and ones that you already know will occur in the future.||Your financial plan is unique to you and your family. Sound advice depends upon a context – your life. The more Hill knows about your situation, the more tailored and thoughtful the conversation will be.|
|4||Review the agenda sent before the meeting and suggest additions or mark up with your notes.||Your review meeting is for you, and the agenda should reflect your priorities. This will ensure your time is focused on topics that are vital to you and your family.|
|5||Draft and bring along any questions and topics you’d like to hear more about.||Formally writing down questions ensures you don’t leave the meeting with that lingering question or topic.|
Years ago, when I taught leadership classes, one of my favorite quotes was from the Tanzanian marathoner Juma Ikangaa, who said, “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” Okay, your financial review may not require the same sacrifice as training for a marathon, but taking these five steps can make you feel like your next review is a real win for you and your family.