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Having a financial planner doesn’t mean you get to wash your hands of tending to your finances. In fact, having a financial planner means managing a relationship with someone who holds the very important keys to your proverbial castle. From managing budgets and investments to insurance and tax strategies, it’s important to keep tabs on your financial advisor — within reason. But how often should you be chatting with them? (This tool can help you get matched with a planner who meets your needs.)
What’s the minimum amount you should talk to your financial advisor?
Every relationship is different, and because financial planning is such a personal issue, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how often you should talk to your advisor. But financial planner Don Grant says there should be an in-person review at least semi-annually and given the pandemic climate, that can mean WebEx or a phone call. And Grace S. Yung, a wealth manager and managing director at Midtown Financial Group, says depending on the complexity of your financial plan, you could even chat slightly less frequently. “Once or twice a year may be sufficient for some while others may need more attention,” says Yung.
Bottom line: This frequency doesn’t have to be a constant from year to year, and can shift depending on your current stage of life. “There are years you talk to your advisor every month, and there are years when a single check-in is completely appropriate. I think 2-3 times a year is a good average,” says Jen Grant, a financial planner at Perryman Financial Advisory. (This tool can help you get matched with a planner who meets your needs.)
What should you do if you want to talk to your financial planner more often?
It may be that your financial advisor doesn’t realize you want to chat more. “If you find yourself in need of more check-ins, ask for it,” says Yung, who adds that the frequency of communication is something that should be discussed up front with an advisor. “Some clients may need more communication, particularly if they have tax issues that need to be maintained throughout the year,” says Grant.
If you feel weird about asking them for more time, don’t, says Grant: “Make time to check in. The more your advisor knows about the changes in your life, the better the advice you’ll receive when you have a question.” What’s more, she says one of the best reasons to have a financial advisor is that you get to delegate the minutia and the worrying. “Your advisor is going to make sure your investments are in line with your risk tolerance and your goals. They’re going to make sure you do not miss an important due date, like contributing to an IRA or taking a required minimum distribution,” says Grant.
How often is too often to call your advisor?
Sure, being involved is encouraged, but at what point are you too involved or calling your advisor too often? “If you’re calling to get their take on the last CNBC segment, you might be too involved. If you’re questioning every trade and every position, ask yourself if it’s because you’re having problems letting go or if it’s because you don’t trust your advisor,” says Grant.