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When Should you Meet with your Financial Adviser?

It’s the beginning of a new year, and if you’re working with a wealth or financial adviser you likely have scheduled or held your annual planning meeting.

These meetings help you review the state of your assets, set financial goals, discuss allocation of your investments toward reaching those goals, and review any changes over the last 12 months.

When your investments are relatively straightforward and you’re able to track them through apps or other platforms that may be the only meeting you need.

But other circumstances often call for more frequent appointments to assure you and your adviser have all the information you need and can make any necessary adjustments to keep your net worth growing as much as you need it to.

The factors to consider include:

Frequency of communication

How often do you hear from your adviser over the rest of the year, and how easy is it to connect when you need to?

Many advisers put a high priority on keeping their clients updated through emails or text messages to keep them abreast of financial status, new products and other important information.

If they don’t often communicate with you outside of meetings, you may want to schedule more of them (or consider switching to someone who’s more available).

How close you are to retirement

In the prime of your working years, and while you’re raising a family, you need to keep most of your attention on day-to-day budgeting — your adviser is there to tend to you and your family’s longer-term future.

Once your expected retirement draws closer to reality, say about five to eight years out, you and your adviser may want to set up a quarterly schedule at minimum to stay abreast of changes in goals and circumstances.

Major financial or life changes

There are a number of choices or changes in your life that may be triggers for more communication with your wealth advisers: birth, marriage, divorce, major health care expenses, death, job change or loss, relocation, buying a home or car, inheritance or sale of major assets.

It’s not fun to have to deal with many of these, especially if you’re low on cash and additional sessions will cost you more, but it will help you in the long run.

Portfolio management

If you have a large investment portfolio with multiple types of assets it’s a good idea to set up additional meetings to manage the complexities that come with it. Any changes in your goals, risk tolerance, tax exposure, insurance needs or other facets can throw off a carefully balanced portfolio and have ramifications years down the road.

Face-to-face or virtual

You probably have your own preferences when it comes to the convenience of phone or video calls versus the connection of meeting in person, but since these meetings are going to have an impact on your future it’s a good idea to have at least one or two in-person encounters per year.

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