Why is my financial adviser asking so many questions?

Imagine you had made an appointment with your GP because you were feeling unwell, and as soon as you sat down, the doctor wrote you a prescription and sent you on your way. I'm sure you'd be quite upset. How could your doctor prescribe a remedy without understanding what was wrong? A good GP would ask about your history and symptoms, perhaps recommend tests, or discuss a diagnoses and treatment options before handing you a prescription.

It's the same with a good investment adviser. Before we go giving you any advice, we want to fully understand your situation; how you got to where you are now, what your concerns for the future are, and what you want to achieve going forward. Only once we know and understand you can we start discussing options and offering solutions. 

We could take this analogy further and look at our annual review process. Once we have 'diagnosed' your situation and collaboratively agreed on a financial plan or investment solution, we implement that and regularly revisit the agreed plan to make sure it is still working for you. 

In the same way that a GP might do a follow up appointment, we want to catch up with you each year and check on progress. We will ask what has happened over the last 12 months, what plans you might have for the next 12 months, and discuss whether the level of income from, or contributions to, the portfolio are still appropriate. We will want to know how you are coping with any 'side effects' from volatility and whether we need to adjust the prescription. 

So please don't be concerned if we seem to be asking a lot of questions. It's a vital part of how we make sure our advice is right for you and your unique situation.