Topics to Cover with Advisory Clients in the New Year

A well-executed meeting makes all the difference when building strong client relationships. As 2020 moves closer, now is the time to prepare for these meetings. With each new year comes new financial goals and challenges. Are you effectively preparing your advising practice?

It’s a good idea to have a few systems and checklists in place to know just what to focus on in the new year. Your clients look to you for guidance about the next steps to take with their own finances. If you’re prepared with the right topics to cover, you can guide them on the path to success. Here are the most important topics to cover with clients in preparation for the new year.

1. Review goals

How far have your clients come in terms of reaching their financial goals? It’s time to take a fresh look at any financial plans from the previous year. Just as your users ask you questions about your expertise, you’ll also need to be prepared with some questions for them.

Not only should you check in with the progress of these goals, but determine if these plans are still reasonable moving forward. Have the client’s needs changed? Perhaps he or she is inching closer to retirement. Maybe it’s time to pursue a new investment strategy. These changes indicate a new plan is needed for the new year.

2. Tax Planning

The new year also brings a new tax season. Understandably, many clients are concerned about checking with their tax planning progress to ensure they’re on track. Nobody wants any surprises when it’s time to file!

The 2019 tax season brought a number of changes, and many individuals are still coming to terms with these new regulations a year later. Be prepared to guide clients through their own tax planning, particularly focusing on any new changes that affect them.

3. life changes

Each year also brings life changes. Milestones and events like weddings, children, retirement, and lifestyle adjustments all affect clients’ plans long-term. Your customers might not realize the effects these things will have on their financial plan, so you might need to ask them specifically what they have in mind for the year.

Things to look for include marriage and divorce, retirement, and large investments. These discussions might lead back to tax planning as well. Helping your clients adjust financially to new life milestones is a great area to expand your practice in 2020.

4. Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is always an important topic, but it’s especially vital at the start of a new year. With the markets in 2019 becoming relatively unpredictable, it’s likely that these portfolios need to be rebalanced into their target ranges.

An asset allocation conversation is also a good idea for gaging your users’ comfort level amidst the current state of their finances. With talk of a recession on the horizon, many clients are changing their investment and allocation strategy. At the very least this is something you should discuss together.

5. New Technology

New technology is one of the most important topics to cover with your clients. A digital-first strategy is the new normal in 2020. What are your users’ technological expectations moving forward? Do they have questions about blockchain in finance, cryptocurrency, or other common fintech terms?

This new technology is increasingly important as demographics amongst financial advisors’ customers shift. Today, it’s more necessary than ever to market to millennials and younger generations. These are the clients who expect technology to be a part of the advising relationship. This has led technology to be the fastest-growing investment sector with a 25% increase in 2019 alone. What expectations do you need to meet in this coming year?

Cover the right topics

As a financial advisor,  you need to be a strong communicator. Helping your clients understand their current financial situation is one of the yearly tasks you should come to expect. With the new year just around the corner, start your planning now.

These topics above are the most important ways to prepare your advising practice for 2020 and beyond. Your clients might not know what insights are important to them. It’s your job to lead them in the right direction, taking the latest trends and technology into account.