February 2001 Bulletin
Be proactive with advisor
Evaluate portfolio, financial performance goals
By Joel M. Blau
At this particular time of year, it is wise to assess your financial situation and determine the impact the stock market has had both positively and negatively on your long-term goals. Physicians who rely on assistance from professionals need to be certain that those relationships are based on mutual respect as well as trust. In this manner, the relationship with ones financial advisor is a true partnership, where both parties are working toward a common goalyour financial stability and financial independence.
A financial advisor may help manage your investments, perform portfolio evaluations and serve as an educator to ensure a greater understanding of the investment environment. To be sure that you are receiving the full benefit of such a relationship, you should take the following proactive steps to ensure that both you and your advisor are working together, as a partnership, to meet your current and future financial goals.
- Evaluate your portfolio at least annually. Even if you work with an out of town advisor, it is still important to put aside time on the phone or in person to review past performance and to discuss changes in goals or other life circumstances that may affect your future investing habits. Perhaps you have become more conservative and you want your portfolio to be realigned to better mirror your new risk tolerance. Any major changes could have tax implications. Before any portfolio change is made, your advisor should be able to determine its tax ramification.
- Be specific when communicating with your advisor about your financial goals, and be open to constructive input. The best way to guarantee that your portfolio continues to support your objectives is to talk openly and frankly to your advisor about your objectives. Let your advisor know exactly what you expect from your investments as well as from them, and make sure you are comfortable with your choices.
- Read your mail. Dont discount investment materials as junk mail. Many of these materials provide valuable information that impacts your portfolio. The more you read, the more youll learn about your investments as well as other investment options. If you have questions about the materials, speak with your advisor.
- Ask your advisor questions. If you read or hear something you dont understandask. Its really your responsibility to let the advisor know what you need.
- Expect the market to continue to fluctuate. Advisors cannot eliminate market fluctuations but they can design and implement strategies to minimize volatility.
Joel M. Blau, CFP, is president of MEDIQUS Asset Advisors, Inc.