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Business Briefs

Financial health: have you had yours checked lately (Part 2)

In last month’s article, I wrote on how to select an advisor. This is also a good primer for those of you who have not heard from your advisor for sometime, or for those whose advisor may not be a good match.What should you expect? In the first interview, you need to bring your questions. I would strongly suggest writing them down. Ask questions concerning the advisor’s background, certifications, training and how they are compensated for their time.A “pure” financial advisor is the quarterback or coach. They work as the “generalist” rather than having a specialty in the arena of financial planning. This planner is in the unique position of understanding all of the different “languages” that the other professionals and experts speak. Then, they translate this information to you, the client.Expect to be in a discussion with the advisor you choose concerning the type and scope of the services to be provided. This is a mutual decision and not all one sided. The advisor needs to respond that the planning that is requested is within their scope of knowledge and is appropriate for you. If you are a very conservative person, the discussion on pork belly futures will probably not come up.Plan on the following:

  • Identify services to be provided
  • Compensation arrangements
  • Responsibilities of client and advisor
  • Duration of the arrangement
  • Any additional information that will further define or limit the scope of the engagement
  • If the advisor is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and/or a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), additional disclosure statements should be forthcoming.
Communication is the key. I have personally seen where the communications has been scrambled between client and advisor with the outcome taking longer to fix than the planning session. If you do not understand something, ask for clarification! We have a tendency to speak the language we are accustomed to. If your advisor is talking techno mumble jumble, and you have been lost for the last five minutes, stop the conversation and ask for clarification. This is probably not something that you may be used to – stopping this earlier is better than later.Come prepared with your information in a logical order. The short list:
  • General family profile
  • Name, address, telephone number
  • Employer
  • Assets and liabilities
  • Cash inflow and outflow
  • Insurance policy information
  • Employee benefit/pension plan information
  • Tax returns for the last three years
  • Current investments
  • Retirement plans
  • Client owned businesses
  • Wills/Trusts
Most importantly, what are your goals?How much risk are you willing to take in achieving those goals?Plan on working at this process: It is less painful than a root canal and not as much fun as a vacation to the Caribbean during Festival!Is the new Roth 401(k) a good fit for your business?Colorado Comprehensive Wealth Management719-886-3377Registered Investment Advisory RepresentativeSecurities America Advisors Inc.Member NASD, SIPCFor more information, visit www.alexdonnell1.sarep.comColorado Comprehensive Wealth Management and Securities America Advisors Inc. are independent companies.

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