Like so many of us, you’re in a financial position that requires a little assistance.
That’s not a problem, because there are people out there who are trained in giving you the help that you need. Whatever reason you have for needing assistance is an acceptable one, and you’re going to be better off for making the choice to speak with someone.
But what should you expect when you meet with a financial advisor? The thought can be scary because they might open your eyes to something you hadn’t noticed or discipline you for not being frugal enough. Those are just thoughts, though, and you’ll find that planners are just there to help, not discourage.
What to Expect When You Meet Your Financial Advisor
There’s no need to fret about meeting with a financial planner, but there’s a little bit of work that you should do before you sit down in their office. It’s likely that there’s something driving you to meet with someone. Whether it’s the thought of a new mortgage, bankruptcies, credit, or something else, you should have a good understanding of whatever that is.
If you’re looking to move forward with your finances, making an investment or taking out a mortgage, do your best to gather all of the numbers you can on that subject. Have statistics about the thing you’re investing in, or have details about the interest rates and down payments you can foresee in your mortgage plan.
If you’re going to see someone because of a shaky financial foundation, have details about that too. This can be a difficult thing for some people to face up to because part of the financial problem is that they avoid their finances.
This is just a thing that you’ll have to bite the bullet on. In order to get an accurate read on your financial situation, you’ll have to pull out all the skeletons and face the facts. That’s just the truth of the situation.
What to Get in Order
Gather details on everything that you consider to be an asset. Anything you own that holds significant value is going to be relevant in this respect. Details on your home, your savings account, your vehicle, and any other investments that you have under your name.
If you feel like you’re coming up short on paperwork, you don’t have to sweat it. Your adviser will tell you what to do when you go speak with them, otherwise, you can email or call them before the meeting to ask what you’re going to need.
You should also gather all relevant information on the things that you owe. You’ll want details on any debts you might have, your mortgage, loans, and credit card payments. On top of that, you’ll get details on your income.
Any source of income that you have should be documented and brought to the meeting. You’ll also want to chart out your expenses, whether they be weekly or monthly, and have a good grasp on how much you typically spend. Finally, you should have documentation on your insurance.
But hey, you’re going to someone who can help you clear up all that mess and get you moving forward. So, now that you’ve gathered all your paperwork and taken a few deep breaths, you’re ready to go meet with a financial adviser. But what will that conversation be like?
What to Expect
The first thing that you will do with your adviser is to take a general look at your situation. You will go over all of the paperwork and information that you’ve brought into the office and compile a general overview of your financial situation.
This is going to be the foundation of your work together, so it’s imperative that you focus during this time and make sure all of the information you provide is accurate. The work you do here will be referenced throughout the future and used to ensure your financial success later on.
It’s also important that you tell the truth about everything and don’t shy away from any specific details. Your adviser has likely seen the worst case scenarios, and your situation is probably nothing close to that, so there’s no reason to feel any shame in the details of your finances.
You’ll go over your assets, debts, bank accounts, and anything else that’s relevant to your finances.
You’ll Get a Clear Idea of Your Cash Flow
Once all of your foundations have been carved out, you’ll go over your day-to-day expenses and earnings. You’ll draw a picture of how much money you make monthly from whatever sources of income you have, then you’ll get a sketch of how much you can expect to spend.
This is a way of sketching your cash flow in order to figure out how much you could conceivably save and put toward other things. Investments and other money-growing opportunities can typically only come when you have a little tucked away, and financial planners seek to help you do that.
This will be a time that exposes some of your good and bad habits. Maybe you’ll realize that you’re spending a lot of money at the coffee shop, bar, or gas station. The numbers that you discover are almost positive to carve out some opportunities for saving.
Everybody spends money on something that they don’t have to, and you’ll have to face the facts in order to start building up some savings.
You’ll Discuss Where You’re Headed
At this point, after you have an idea of how much you can save, you’ll start to figure out what you want to do with the money you can save. It’s likely that these goals are the reasons that you went to a financial planner in the first place.
Whether you want to invest and grow your finances, take a big vacation, get into a position of security, or save for retirement, you’ll be able to get a rough sketch of what you can do. You’ll want to think long and hard about the things you want to do.
Try and have a few ideas fleshed out before you get to the meeting. It might be beneficial to have a few short-term, mid-range, and long-term goals sketched out to discuss with your advisor. Think about money for a vacation, retirement, and your children.
Your financial planner will take all of these things into consideration and discuss a few options and time-frames for you to think about. You’ll be able to prioritize and plan these goals realistically and start thinking about a timeline, which will be the next step in your conversation.
You’ll Create a Timeline Together
This is where you and your adviser will get down to the nuts and bolts of your financial framework. You should try and flesh out plans for each goal, compiling your goals into one master plan at the end.
You’ll talk over a monthly savings plan. You’ll also discuss which areas to put different amounts of money in order to build up your long-term finances toward your goals. All of this will be written up into a sort of guideline that you will be able to take home with you.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
Keep in mind that money works in mysterious ways– ways that financial advisers understand pretty well. You can dream up very reasonable, easily-achievable goals if you want to, but try and dream a little bigger if you can.
Try and imagine some things that you would have wished to do if you were younger, or plans for your future that are a little bit brighter than you think is possible. Throw those ideas past your financial advisor when you meet with them to flesh out your plan.
You may be surprised to find that the odds are in your favor, and the money you have could potentially grow to the size needed to achieve those far-out dreams. Consider taking classes in investing, and start researching the stock market.
Additionally, consider putting a little money into buying land, property, or something else that could potentially bring in revenue. If you’re in the shape for it, you may be able to fix up a run-down property and sell it or rent it out for huge profits. These are all conceivable options, and ones that could set you in a position to retire early and live well in your golden years.
The ultimate message is that you should not be discouraged by a messy financial situation now, because with enough forward planning you could be on your way to financial freedom.
Interested in Different Ways to Manage Money?
The modern world is littered with great ways to make money online or otherwise. You just have to know where to look. The rules of the road are laid out for you, and some of the ways to make money don’t require you to speak to a financial advisor.
If you’re interested in learning more about new ways to make money, we’ve got the information for you.