Some clients are prepared to have a full financial review of their affairs, pay large amounts of money to re-arrange matters but that quibble over the cost of reviews

In my opinion the review is almost more important than the original advice because it is only if you have a review that you can judge the advice. Only at a review can you see whether the advice is actually moving you along the financial plan which has been prepared for you.

The financial advice which you are given in the original report is almost out of date before the ink is dry. Why is that you ask? The answer is the speed of change, our own personal affairs change, we marry, our partner dies, we have children, we get made redundant; our lives are constantly changing. Similarly Governments and legislation is constantly changing. A plan which today seems to save us tax may be quickly out of date and in some cases even lead to us paying more tax.

When we look at the investments within our portfolio, their suitability also changes. The manager may change, the aim of the fund may no longer be appropriate, the asset allocation to the sector may need reducing or increasing.

I hope you can see that including regular reviews in your financial planning is essential. If at all possible you should aim to work with the same adviser all the time so that you do not have to waste valuable time filling him in on the basic background at each meeting.

At the review meeting you need to make sure that the advice is still anchored to the original report and cash flow statement. This statement should be regularly updated so that you can see how you are progressing on the financial plan and what alterations are necessary.

As you will see from my later article on adviser charging you will be paying for a review, so make sure you do get value for money.

June 2013