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Review Your Financial Plan

5 steps to stay ahead of the curve


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January marked a fresh start and hopefully you are more than half way to achieving your financial goals. Pause from your summer reading, and use this time to review your financial plan. Be proactive and stay ahead of the curve by following these five steps:

  1. Think about the past months and write down what worked and what didn’t. Maybe you made changes in your portfolio that made you feel more confident about investing, or you decided to reduce your monthly costs. Acknowledging the highs and lows will help you to improve on your plan and pinpoint items to discuss with your advisors.
  1. Know Who’s Who in Your Plan – Though your overall plan may not have changed, it’s always a good idea to review your fiduciaries and beneficiaries. Documents drafted years ago may not be as up to date as you’d like and you should review your beneficiaries for each account to ensure they mirror your wishes. Don’t forget to designate beneficiaries on retirement plans.
  1. How Many Eggs and Which Baskets? If you have a few small accounts in different places that you haven’t kept up with over the years, don’t fret; you’re not alone. Try to review your statements to see whether it’s a good idea to consolidate your accounts or perhaps change your asset allocation. It would be a good time to schedule a meeting with your financial planner.
  1. Great Plan, Better Execution – After you’ve reviewed your plan, be certain that it’s being followed.
  1. Tell the Story – Clear communication at the beginning of a plan can prevent problems in the future. Designate a place to keep your records, and schedule a date with your loved ones to tell them your goals for your plan. Though it may be a difficult subject to broach, telling your family about your wishes in advance can bring peace of mind to everyone involved.

Follow these five steps and gather your planning team this month for a review. Being proactive should make for smooth sailing ahead!

Christopher DeLaura is Chief Operating Officer for the private wealth management arm of Westport Resources, a leading independent financial planning and investment management firm headquartered in Westport. He has more than 15 years of expertise in financial planning, technology and asset management. Mr. DeLaura may be reached at cdelaura@westportresources.com or 203-226-0222.

Westport Resources is an independent investment and financial planning firm headquartered in Westport and founded in 1986 by current CEO John Adams Vaccaro, CFP®, CLU. The firm consistently earns top industry rankings for its portfolio management, including recognition by Barron’s for the last four years as one of the “Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors in the U.S.” For more information contact Mary Roland at mroland@westportresources.com or 203-226-0222.