So, you took our advice. You did the work of identifying a seasoned financial advisor, had your introductory meetings, filled out all the paperwork. Now what?

It’s one thing to have an advisor. It’s another thing to USE your advisor, working with them to set and achieve your financial goals. Even if you’ve worked with your advisor for a long time, you might feel as though you are treading water. Here are some tips for maximizing your relationship

Transparency is key

Finances are personal. They represent the choices you have made, good and bad, with the fruits of your labor. It’s normal to feel insecure. Maybe you aren’t so great at budgeting. Maybe you spend more than you should on your favorite hobby.  

Believe us, we have seen it all. It’s the job of any advisor to keep your information in the strictest confidence, and to tailor our advice to your financial situation, through thick and thin. Be forthright, provide all the relevant documentation, and you will get the most out of your financial plan.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

A lot of people are a little intimidated by advisors. They don’t want to appear unsophisticated or financially irresponsible. You shouldn’t worry.

Think of it this way. Google knows more than you could ever know about pretty much any topic. That’s a good thing, right? That’s why you turn to Google when you want to know why the leaves turn colors in the fall, or how long your Thanksgiving leftovers will keep in the fridge.

Instead of feeling intimidated, think about the benefit you get from our experience. If you aren’t clear on a topic or feel confused about a direction your financial plan might be taking, ask questions to clarify.  

Who knows? You might stump us. In that case, we have resources and experts at our disposal to get you the answers you need.

Have clear goals

One thing we cannot do is read minds. We also don’t want to give you a cookie cutter financial plan. Having goals doesn’t necessarily mean knowing which investment vehicles you want to utilize or knowing exactly how much you want to have at age 66.

What kind of retirement do you want to have? Are you looking to travel? Would you like to relocate? Buy a cabin someday? If you have the answer to these questions, your advisor can work out the details of a financial plan that can help you make those aspirations a reality.

Keep open lines of communication

We appreciate our proactive clients. Especially in these tumultuous times, we want to hear from you and understand your concerns. Make it clear whether you prefer to talk by phone, email or remote meeting. Ask questions and be honest about your concerns.

Remember, your advisor is a partner for life. You don’t need to impress us or make us happy. We’re happy when you are achieving your financial goals.

This article was originally published in the Pioneer Press. You may view the article here.