Boston Financial Expert Urges Consumers to Communicate

Communication is a necessary foundation for any good relationship, even the one you have with your financial professional. Regular meetings and connecting through conversation, not just email, create the basis for trust that will sustain your relationship and ultimately enable a promising financial future.

Few people are comfortable "getting personal" in the beginning of a relationship. A good financial professional will be able to put you at ease and work to develop a financial plan that will achieve your goals. He or she will want to know about your income, savings, debt and life insurance coverage. Your attitude toward risk, different types of investments, need for security and financial priorities will also be examined. In preparation for your meeting, you should be ready to discuss these subjects:

Life events: A new baby, job loss or the purchase of a home affects your finances and should prompt conversations with your financial professional.

Market fluctuation: While the recent economy has instructed investors to stay the course, it's important to address any concerns you have about the short- and long-term effect on your portfolio.

Tax law: During the first quarter of the year, ask your financial professional about any changes to the tax code that could affect you.

College funding: If you have children, don't be reticent about reviewing your strategy for saving for higher education.

Life insurance: Ask your financial professional to evaluate the amount of coverage you have and whether your policy aligns with your needs and goals.

Regular conversations are key. It's important that you set the expectations for the kind of relationship you desire with your financial professional. Because your financial plan should not be a "once and done" transaction, you'll want to set up regular visits to address any changes in your life that may affect your plan. You might be satisfied with once- or twice-yearly meetings, but a quarterly check-in wouldn't be excessive.

Finally, make sure your financial professional's goals align with yours. To find a qualified financial professional, please visit or contact Jonathan Pratt of the Life Solutions Group, a Penn Mutual affiliate in Boston, MA, at 618-722-4314

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