Author: Charles Kafoglis
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.
Charles Kafoglis leads our Hillfolio segment and produced a stellar educational resource recently titled “The Greatest Double“. Many clients connected with the message of the importance of time to the patient investor. Charles is back with a new gem called “The Path to Greater Returns”, a compelling story that extends our understanding beyond time and seeks to prove that your investment rate of return is just as important.
If you find these videos valuable, please let us know. Feel free to share this email and video with a colleague, friend, or serious saver.
You can contact us directly at Charles@HillInvestmentGroup.com or 314-448-4023 if you want to talk about your plan in more detail.
This is the latest in our series of introductory “101” financial guides. Each guide reveals a set of wise actions as well as a set of behaviors to avoid. The goal? Help you make smart choices at every turn in your financial road trip. Your financial success can be exponentially enhanced when you make wise financial decisions repeatedly over a long period. This month’s focus is Saving. You will increase your chances of financial security if you start saving early, contribute regularly, and live within your means. It all starts with having a savings plan.
Compounding Wisdom: Saving
Compound Wisdom Actions
- Set an Annual Savings Target – strive to save or invest at least 20% of your income each year.
- Be Intentional – your savings plan should establish priorities among retirement, education for kids, large purchases, and investments.
- Act Now – too often, we procrastinate due to loans or large purchases but remember that your most valuable dollar is the last one saved, and no amount is too small.
- Auto “Pay Yourself First” – enforce discipline using automated transfers from checking into savings and investments accounts.
- Prepare for Emergencies – don’t invest until you have sufficient liquid savings to pay for 3-6 months of living expenses.
- Plan for Large Purchases – define your next large purchase (what, when, and how much) and then save methodically each month.
- Keep Life Simple –avoid buying things that complicate your life and add unnecessary costs; more can be less.
- Save With Purpose – each dollar should be saved or invested with a purpose in mind so you can apply appropriate risk.
- Use Credit Wisely – remember that using credit means spending money today that you may not have yet earned.
- Zero the Balance – pay off all credit card balances each month; making a mid-month partial payment will likely raise your credit score.
Actions to Avoid:
- I Can’t Resist – Purchasing large items without a plan.
- C’est la vie – Living a lifestyle that prevents you from saving/investing 20% of your income.
- I’ll Start Next Year – Delaying savings due to lack of discipline or debt payments.
- That’s All I Had to Do – Only paying the minimums on credit card bills or other loans.
- Robbing Peter to Pay Paul – Using your checking account or credit card to fund emergencies or tapping your retirement accounts.
- But It’s an Emergency – Using your emergency fund for non-emergency spending.
- Scared Money Don’t Make Money – Don’t be risk averse when you are young; you are a time billionaire, so leverage it.
Feel free to pass this along if you know someone who might benefit from the guidance and look for more from me in this monthly series.
I lead our Hillfolio-level client service and planning efforts; learn more about me here and reach out if I can help you put the magic of compounding on your side.