Preparing for Your First Financial Planning Meeting
We’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of individuals and families over the last 25 years; helping them reach their financial goals while also empowering them to be good stewards of what God has given them. One thing we’ve found is that meetings are more productive when our client knows what to expect and is prepared. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a meeting with your financial advisor.
Be prepared for a lot of questions
We want to partner with you in reaching your financial dreams and goals and to do that we need to get to know you better. Typically, during our initial time together called the discovery meeting, we will ask you about your financial and life goals. We will also ask you detailed questions about your financial situation, past financial experiences (good and bad), the emotions you feel around investing.
Most people do not talk much about their finances so these questions may feel very personal or even make you feel embarrassed. Please know that there is no need for embarrassment. We want to serve you the best we possibly can and getting a detailed picture of your life and goals is essential.
Know your goals
Since we are going to ask you about your financial and life goals and dreams, it will help if you’ve thought through them beforehand. If you’re married, it is helpful to have talked about these questions with your spouse too. Why are you investing? For retirement? To leave an inheritance? To give more to your church or ministries?
Once you identify your big goals it’s time to get specific about the details. For example, if you’re investing for retirement, when do you want to retire? What does the ideal retirement life look like for you? Thinking very specifically about your goals before meeting with your advisor will lay the groundwork for building a great financial plan to reach these goals.
Know your values
Investing is more than just seeking a return. Your investments should align with your values. Your advisor will ask you about your values and if there are any activities you would never want to profit from. For example, would you want to profit from the abortion or pornography industries? Fortunately, most people do not – but unfortunately, many people are profiting from industries like these without even knowing it.
After understanding your values your advisor will explain our approach to faith-based investing and how we seek to align your investments with your values. One of our missions at Beacon Wealth Consultants is “building your dreams and preserving your values.” These are not mutually exclusive, and we love helping our clients achieve this alignment.
(By the way, if your current advisor isn’t asking you about your values or faith-based investing, then there is a good chance you are profiting from activities that violate your values – even if your current advisor is a Christian.)
Have your paperwork
Your Beacon Wealth advisor may have sent you questionnaires to fill out or asked you to bring certain documents to the meeting. Be prepared for the meeting by completing the questionnaire and collecting the necessary documents. This information is important for helping us understand your goals and situation better with the added details of accounts, balances, your current investments, and other financial instruments you may already have.
The meeting with your advisor is not only the time to get to know you but it is your time to get to know your advisor! Before your meeting, think through and write down some questions you want to ask your advisor. Some frequent questions we hear are:
- What is your experience working with people like me?
- What qualifications do you have?
- How do you integrate your faith with your advising?
- How are you compensated and what will I pay?
- How will you communicate with me and how frequently?
- What portion of your own personal funds are invested in this way?
You may have more questions after the meeting, and your advisor will happily answer them.
There are many advantages of working with a Christian financial advisor. Our goal is to help you identify and plan for your financial life goals and to navigate the twist and turns on your way to achieving them. We want to challenge and empower you to be a good steward. We feel honored to be invited into our clients’ lives and to partner with them in reaching their goals and doing it is a way to honors God.
If you’re ready to take the first step toward “building your dreams and preserving your values,” please contact us to set up a meeting!