You shouldn't keep your symptoms a secret from your doctor, and you shouldn't withhold pertinent information from your lawyer. This same idea applies to your relationship with your financial adviser. Here are five secrets you need to share:
I'm thinking of divorce, or marriage
A well-designed financial plan will address prenuptial agreements, beneficiary designations, transfer-on-death designations, inheritance distributions, blended family concerns and legacy planning. If financial advisers are kept in the dark, they won't be able to implement these considerations into your financial plan.
I have a lot of credit card debt
The cost of this consumer debt can be astronomical over time. Do yourself a favor, and let your financial adviser know about your credit card debt. He or she can help you figure out a credit card debt reduction plan so you can avoid paying large amounts in interest.
I'm going to be a caregiver
Inform your financial adviser if you're going to be a caregiver so they can create a comprehensive financial plan that includes liquidity needs, risk management measures and anything else you might need to prepare for the expected and unexpected needs.
I carry large deductibles
Your financial adviser should ask why you're carrying large deductibles, but in the event that she doesn't, let her know that having this level of liquidity is important. You don't want to have to surrender a variable investment on a down-market day.
I don't fully understand risk
Some clients agree to an aggressive portfolio design that they don't fully understand. Never be timid to ask questions. It's your money, and you're paying for the advice in some fashion. You need to know how it's going to be handled — especially in volatile markets.