Financial Advisor 2nd Opinion

What to Bring to Your First Meeting with a Financial Advisor

The financial planning process is not merely a matter of numbers. 
When you meet with a financial advisor to map out a strategy for wealth accumulation or wealth preservation, you may find yourself intellectually and emotionally engaged on a level you hadn’t anticipated. It may actually give you a better understanding of what you want from life. 

A solid, multi-aspect financial plan takes many things into account. It may include a tax minimization strategy, an estate plan, an investment policy statement, defined steps toward business continuation or a business exit, and more. Now, what is at the root of all of this? What might make you adopt a particular investment style, establish a particular trust, or set certain financial and lifestyle goals for retirement? Your values, your attitudes, your lifestyle circumstances, your needs and your wants. 

It all revolves around you.

To make your first appointment as productive as possible please bring the following items with you:

A driver’s license, passport or other government-issued photo ID (The U.S. Patriot Act requires us to verify the identity of all clients as part of the government’s efforts to combat terrorism and money laundering.)

Recent statements for all financial accounts, including: 

    • Checking & Savings Accounts
    • CDs
    • Money Market Funds
    • Mutual Funds
    • Tax-Deferred Annuities
    • IRAs and other retirement/pension accounts
    • Trust or Managed Accounts
    • Limited partnerships, UITs or REITs
    • Brokerage accounts
    • Provide a list of any EE savings bonds or other bonds you have in a safety deposit box or other personal possessions
    • Information on real estate, including
    • Current value
    • Type of mortgage, interest rate, remaining balance

Employer booklets describing employer-provided:

    • Insurance

Pension or retirement plans

Any other employee benefits, such as stock options or deferred compensation plans

Insurance policies, including:

    • Life Insurance
    • Disability
    • Long-Term Care

A copy of your latest tax return

A copy of your most recent Social Security Statement, if available

A list of any other financially valuable assets not mentioned above

A list of debts, including interest rate and amount owed, for such debts as: 

    • Credit Cards
    • Auto Loans
    • Personal Loans
    • School Loans
    • Other

Be prepared to tell us about your wills and trusts (such as the extent of estate planning you’ve done, dates created, primary goals)

Please bring the answers to these questions: 

    • How much money do you spend each month?
    • What is your total monthly income? (List sources and amounts)
    • How much money do you contribute to savings or retirement? (List account, amounts and frequency)
    • Do you anticipate incurring any major one-time expenses in the foreseeable future? (List items, costs and dates to be incurred)
    • Do you anticipate any major one-time receipts of income? (List amounts, sources and dates expected)
    • When you were a child, you once made the comment such as, “When I grow up, I ________” “Before I die, I ________” or “After I retire, I ________” There are things you’ve always wanted to do, places you’ve always wanted to visit, people you’ve always wanted to meet, subjects you’ve always wanted to study, hobbies you’ve always wanted to enjoy, and ideas you’ve always wanted to explore. Be prepared to tell us about these, however trivial, silly, unimportant or embarrassing they may seem. Couples should prepare their lists individually at first, then make a separate list together.

And finally, please bring lots of questions!