You have made your first appointment to meet with a financial advisor – Congratulations! You may be feeling a mix of emotions ranging from eager, hopeful or even anxious about what questions might be asked when discussing your finances.

One way to ease your mind: Come prepared. You should have a basic idea of your current financial picture and financial goals. To make your first appointment as productive as possible, bring the following with you:

1. Answers

Have you ever gone to you the doctors and not told your doctor why you were there or what you needed help with? Of course not! Your meeting with a financial advisor should be the same way.

2. Expectations

All financial planning is not the same. Planning is an ongoing process that is constantly changing. Do not expect immediate answers about your financial future after the meeting has come to an end. A good financial advisor tries to get to know you entirely before designing your personalized plan. Also, it is important to let your advisor know what you expect from them throughout your relationship. Clearly outlining your expectations will help you and your advisor both be on the same page.

3. Goals

This ties directly into Numbers 1 and 2. What do you want to do and how long would you like to take to get it? Remember, financial planning is more like a marathon than a sprint. Goals will help not only you to understand why you are at this point but also help your financial advisor to help you construct a roadmap that will be able to guide you on a path to achieving your goals.

4. Statements

Understanding Numbers 1-3 all lead up to the detail of Number 4. Your financial advisor WANTS you to bring the detailed financial statements, bank statements, estate planning documents, retirement accounts, balance sheets, social security statements and anything else that you can think of to help paint a picture of what your financial life looks like. Your financial advisor does not have to manage all your accounts, but they should be able to see it all so that they can make the best recommendations for you, but also so you can understand how everything ties together.

5. Questions

Last but not least, bring lots of questions!

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