What to Ask Your Financial Advisor Each Year

Working with a financial advisor can help empower your financial future. What should you prepare before your annual review meeting with your financial advisor?
What to Ask Your Financial Advisor Each Year
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Working with a financial advisor can help empower your financial future. As you embark on this journey towards financial stability and growth, you might be wondering, “What should I be discussing with my financial advisor this year?” Below are some questions you should be asking your financial advisor.

What to Ask Your Financial Advisor Each Year

1. How did my investments perform last year?

Begin your annual review by assessing the performance of your investments over the past year. Your financial advisor should provide a comprehensive breakdown of your portfolio’s performance, comparing it to relevant market benchmarks. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your investments will help you make informed decisions about potential adjustments to your strategy.

2. Has my risk tolerance changed?

As life evolves, so may your risk tolerance. Changes in personal circumstances, such as aging, starting a family, or market conditions can affect how much risk you’re willing to take with your investments. Engage in an open conversation with your financial advisor to reassess your risk tolerance and ensure your investment strategy aligns with your current financial goals.

3. Are there any adjustments needed to my financial goals?

Life is a dynamic journey, and your financial goals might change over time. Whether it’s planning for retirement, saving for a significant purchase, or saving for your child’s education, discussing any modifications to your objectives will help your financial advisor tailor your strategy accordingly.

4. What is the state of my retirement plan?

Retirement planning is crucial, and your financial advisor is there to guide you through it. Review your retirement plan together, ensuring it remains on track to meet your envisioned retirement lifestyle. Discuss factors such as contributions, risk management, and retirement age to fine-tune your plan for success.

5. Am I on track with my emergency fund?

Life is unpredictable, and having an emergency fund is essential to weather unexpected storms. Confirm with your advisor that your emergency fund is sufficient to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses, and explore ways to optimize this fund to suit your unique needs.

6. Have there been any changes in tax laws that affect me?

Tax laws can undergo frequent revisions, impacting your financial situation. Stay informed about any recent changes and ask your financial advisor how these adjustments may affect your tax planning, investment strategy, and overall financial well-being.

7. Are there any cost-saving opportunities?

Every penny saved can contribute to your financial growth. Inquire with your advisor about potential cost-saving opportunities related to fees, expenses, or tax optimizations. Identifying and implementing such measures can enhance your investment returns and financial outcomes.


The 3 top questions you can ask your financial advisor are:

  1. How did my investments perform recently?
  2. Have there been any changes in tax laws that may impact me?
  3. What adjustments are needed to my financial goals and strategy?

Three questions to ask your financial advisor during an annual review are:

  1. How am I progressing toward my retirement goals?
  2. Is my risk tolerance still appropriate for my situation?
  3. Are there any opportunities to reduce costs and fees?

Seven questions financial advisors hear most often are:

  1. How can I plan for a secure retirement?
  2. What investment options align with my risk tolerance?
  3. How can I manage debt and improve my credit score?
  4. What are the best strategies for tax optimization?
  5. How do I create an emergency fund and how much should I save?
  6. What is the most effective way to save for my child’s education?
  7. How can I protect my assets and family through insurance?

The frequency with which you hear from your financial advisor varies. The bare minimum would be a regular annual reviews, but feel free to reach out whenever you have significant life changes or financial concerns. Stay connected for better financial guidance.

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Written by:

Jim Pan, CFP, MFA-P

Jim is a dedicated, fee and advice only independent Certified Financial Planner with a focus on supporting healthcare business owners during their crucial growth phase. His expertise lies in offering comprehensive solutions to minimize taxes while embracing a holistic approach. With a career spanning back to 2010, Jim has established a strong presence in the financial industry. He proudly holds a range of designations, including Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and Master Financial Advisor - Philanthropy (MFA-P). He is currently pursuing additional designations and qualifications to better serve his clients and community. Beyond his qualifications, Jim is a member and an esteemed participant in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), an exclusive global association comprising the top 1% of financial advisors. Jim's commitment extends to the community, where he spearheads numerous charitable fundraising events and plays an active role in enhancing the well-being of others. Additionally, he has contributed significantly by serving on the board of the Canadian Mental Health Association in Vancouver. Currently, he volunteers with Junior Achievement of British Columbia (JABC) to present personal finance topics to youths.

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