4 Tips for Working More Effectively with a Financial Professional

November 4, 2013

financial professionalsWe all need help sometimes, and this includes with our finances. If you are unsure of how to proceed with your finances, it might make sense to meet with a financial professional or planner who can help you out.

Before you begin working with a professional, though, you need to prepare. You will be paying a professional to help you with your finances, and you need to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth. Here are some tips that can help you work more effectively with a financial professional.

1. Figure out what you need help with.

Your first step is to figure out what you need help with. Identify the purpose of your meeting with a financial professional. Do you want to find someone to help you manage your assets? Or do you just need help putting together a financial plan? Do you want help getting out of debt? Do you need advice on retirement?

Put together a short list or statement about what you want to accomplish with the help of the financial professional. Once you have an idea of what you need to happen, and what you are looking for, you will be able to better help your financial professional help you.

2. Bring in the documentation you have.

In many cases, your financial professional will need to see documentation and understand your current situation. Ask the professional what they need in order to make the appropriate plans for you. This means that you might need to share things that you aren’t particularly proud of. However, if your financial professional requires the information, you should bring it in. They know what is needed to help put together a good plan for you.

3. Be honest.

You have to be open and honest about your financial situation if you want effective help. It might be embarrassing to share certain aspects of your finances with another person, but it’s important. Your financial planning professional can put you on the right path, and show you want you need to do in order to reach your goals.

So, make sure you are open about how much you haveĀ really saved for retirement, and be clear about how much debt you have. Don’t try to make things seem better than they are. If you want real help, your financial adviser needs to know the way things truly stand.

4. Be willing to implement.

Too many people go to financial professionals for help and then never implement the action items suggested. If you are going to pay someone else to help you, you should be willing to accept their advice. This means that you need to be in a place that allows you to make changes. Are you ready to do something different? Until you are truly ready to change course, there is no point in consulting with someone.

Look for a way to hold yourself accountable to what you are told. Whether it means getting your life partner on board, or whether it means reporting regularly to your financial adviser, you need to figure out a way to ensure that you will implement the suggestions you are given.

What do you think makes for a more productive relationship with a financial professional? Leave a comment!


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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