Questions to ask your financial adviser
You should always be able to ask as many questions as you’d like when working with your financial adviser. So, before you have your annual review, think carefully about what you’d like to ask. Here are a few suggestions:
Are my goals still realistic? When you first began working with your adviser, you may have articulated a number of financial goals. For example, you might have said you wanted to pay for your children’s education, or you wanted to retire at a certain age, or you wanted to travel for two months each year during retirement. When you meet with your financial adviser, you’ll certainly want to ask if you're still on track toward meeting these goals.
Am I taking on too much — or too little — risk? The financial markets always fluctuate, and these movements will affect the value of your investment portfolio. If you watch the markets closely, you may find yourself fretting considerably over your investments’ value and wondering if you are taking on too much risk. Conversely, if you think that during an extended period of market gains your own portfolio appears to be lagging, you might feel you should be investing more aggressively. In any case, it’s important that you know your own risk tolerance and use it as a guideline for making investment choices.
How will changes in my life affect my investment strategy? Your life is not static. Over time, you may experience any number of major events, such as marriage, divorce, children, new jobs and so on. When you mee your adviser, you will want to discuss these types of changes, because they can affect your long-term goals.
How are external forces affecting my investment portfolio? Generally speaking, you will want to create an investment strategy based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. . But should you also make changes based on outside forces, such as interest rate movements, political events, new legislation or news affecting industries in which you have invested substantially?
John Beyer, CFP, is a financial adviser with the Niagara Falls brokerage firm of Edward Jones. Visit the website at www.edwardjones.com.