What Happens At Your First Financial Adviser Meeting?

So, you’ve done your homework, you’ve researched financial advisers, you’ve been reading the LWM blog, and you’ve made the decision to call up Luther Wealth. What actually happens during that first financial adviser meeting?

During an initial call with you, my client, I have several goals in mind:

  • Learn a little bit about you on a personal level
  • Tell you a little bit about myself on a personal level
  • Learn about your current financial situation
  • Learn about your plans for the future

You’ll notice there is a big bullet-point that I haven’t included in the list– I do not have the goal of telling you about any services I sell. In fact, in most of my initial calls, my initial recommendation does not include any paid services from my firm. My ultimate aim is to get my clients on the path to their desired financial future.

A financial adviser meeting with Justin Luther

So, if I’m not spending the call selling you services, what does happen during our chat? Mostly, I want to find out a lot about you.

Where are you now?

I want to know very specific information about your current financial situation. This includes things like your:

  • Sources of income
  • Family members and their incomes
  • Living expenses
  • Current Savings
    • Amounts
    • What types of accounts you have and where
  • Pensions
  • Sources of family wealth, such as trusts

If you don’t have all this exact info– don’t worry!! We can put a pin in it and come back to it on a later call. But I will make you chase down all of this info sooner or later. Without a complete picture of your current situation, I can’t give you good advice.

Additionally, I’ll ask you a series of questions to better understand how you view investing, markets, and your financial future. There are no wrong answers here, they just help me fit your investment plan to your exact needs. For example, I might ask how often you read or listen to financial news, how successful you feel your investments have been, or even off-the-wall things like if you like to gamble or how fast you drive. Again, no wrong answers!

Where are you going?

After I’ve got a good idea of where you’re at right now, we’ll need to talk about your plans for the future. Things like:

  • When do you want to retire
  • Family plans, like:
    • Marriage
    • Kids
    • Higher Ed
  • Big “One-Timer” expenses coming up
    • A home
    • Donations to charity
    • Big ass boat
  • The path of your future income and expenses
    • Promotions
    • A partner going back to work
    • Taking on financial responsibilities for a parent or relative

How do you want your retirement to look?

The main thing we will be building to in a series of advising sessions is a picture of how you want retired life to look and how you want to get there. To do that, we need to know things like:

  • When do you want to retire?
  • Do you want to travel? If so, how much?
  • Do you want to pass wealth on to future generations of your family?
  • Where do you want to live?

So where are we going with this?

Once I have all this information, we’ll break for a week or so. I’ll do some number crunching, and develop an Investment Policy Statement for you and your family. Specifically, I’ll take the information we’ve discussed about your retirement plans, and back-solve an investing path that will get you from where your are now to your goals. I’ll also factor in those one-timers along the way.

Part of our next discussion might involve some adjustments you’ll need to make to achieve your goals, like reducing your current expenses, increasing your savings rate, or delaying your retirement age. Or, we might discover that you are doing really great and you can start planning some cool trips!

The Investment Policy Statement will also include a savings plan for you, going forward. It will include how much you need to be saving each year, and what types of accounts you need to be saving in. For example, I might recommend saving into your employer’s 401k, then your Roth IRA, and then saving any additional earnings each year in a taxable investment account with Luther Wealth.

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