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Financial Planning

Step 6 in The Financial Planning Process: Monitoring the Recommendations and your Progress #FinancialPlanning

By August 14, 2012October 4th, 2016No Comments

The final step in the financial planning process is monitoring the planner’s recommendations and your progress toward your goals. At the outset, you and your planner should have agreed upon who will monitor your progress towards your goals. If your planner is in charge of the process, she should report to you periodically to review your situation and adjust the recommendations as needed. If you experience a major life change, such as receiving an inheritance or losing your job, you should contact your planner immediately so that she can adjust your plan accordingly.

How often you and your planner are in contact should be determined at the outset of your relationship, and of course, can be adjusted later if the contact frequency does not seem right. In our practice, we call or meet with different clients quarterly, semi-annually, or annually, depending upon their circumstances and preferences. We usually meet most frequently in the beginning of the relationship, and once the client’s plan is implemented, the meeting frequency tapers off.

I would actually advise against meeting too frequently. Once your financial plan is implemented, you should only need to adjust it when there are material changes to your circumstances, or significant changes to the financial planning landscape that directly affect you. If you do not need to meet for any of these reasons, you should probably still meet annually to keep your planner abreast of what is going on in your life. You and your planner can make sure that you are staying on track with your goals. You don’t want your plan to get too caught up in the “noise” of daily life. The stock market going up or down 2% in a day does not affect your financial plan!

The same thing goes for investment advice as well. I know there are advisers and brokers meeting and talking to their clients all of the time. I seriously doubt that it is productive for the client. Once investments are chosen, you might need to rebalance occasionally, or for significant changes, but constantly buying and selling is a big mistake.

Michael Garry Yardley Wealth Management

Author Michael Garry Yardley Wealth Management

Michael Garry is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and a NAPFA-registered Financial Advisor. He is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

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