Broker Check

Who’s looking under your hood?

February 01, 2017

I do it without thinking. Get in the car, key in the ignition, turn and put it in drive. I didn’t check the gas, oil, carburetor, tire pressure, etc.  Some of those things I can do; others, not a clue.  So I leave it to the pros.  Every couple of months I bring the car to the shop and get the regular maintenance work done.  Sometimes they will call and say, ‘Chal, the widget is showing wear and tear or starting to break and we think you should replace it.’  I hem and haw, hopefully indicating that I am thinking deeply about how important the widget is and whether or not it should be worn, then I  say, ’go for it.’ 

So who is looking under your ‘financial hood?’

  1. Do they just top it off and send you on your way? For example, maybe they only look at investments and never ask what else is going on in your life. Checking beneficiaries, making sure you are saving enough, and ensuring that the account is titled correctly, all important.
  2. When they explain what should be done…
    1. Is the explanation in financial gibberish or can you understand the thought process leading to the recommendation?
    2. Is there an explanation of how the strategy should work?
    3. Are there alternatives that were reviewed?
  3. Have they asked enough question to understand your needs?
  4. Last but not least, are they checking in with regularity? Some plans require once per year checkups, others require more frequent monitoring. We ALL procrastinate on the maintenance, so it is important to get those reminders.