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A Day in the Life

Oftentimes, folks have ideas of what a professional financial advisor does during their “normal” day which differs a good deal from reality.   For those interested in what a typical day looks like for an advisor here at Woodward Financial Advisors, here’s a sample from a recent day:

8:30 - 9:00am – Get Organized and Prioritize My Day

I usually spend the first 30 minutes of each morning planning my day. I review my task list, prioritize things, check and answer email, return voicemail messages and look through items that may have come in the mail.

9:30 - 11:00am – Conduct a Client Review Meeting

We’re meeting with the O’Neills for a financial update meeting this morning.  We’ll be reviewing their net worth, investment portfolio and 2014 tax return.  They’ve also asked us to look over their whole life insurance policies and discuss the trade-offs of keeping the policies for their death benefits versus using the built-up cash value to meet some of their other financial goals.

11:00 - 11:30am – Gather and Deliver Tax Related Information

Mrs. Randolph forwarded an email from her accountant requesting tax information related to her taxable accounts.  Her accountant needs to know how much tax-exempt income was generated in the accounts as well as some cost basis information on items that were sold last year.  I pull together this information and then securely deliver it to Mrs. Randolph.

11:30 - 12:30pm – Investment Committee Meeting

Our advisors get together regularly to discuss portfolio construction and ways to improve our investment process.  Today we’ll be discussing alternative investments and how they fit into our clients’ portfolios.

12:30 - 1:00pm – Lunch

Some downtime is critical for productivity, and I grab some lunch and read over some industry publications to stay up to date on current happenings in the financial planning and investment world.

1:00 - 1:30pm – Meeting Follow-Up

I start writing up the notes from our morning meeting with the O’Neills.  In the next day or so I’ll send them a summary, noting any actions for us and for them that resulted from the meeting.

1:30 - 2:15pm – Recommendation for 401k Investment Allocation

Our client Martha Gehrig’s employer recently announced a new investment line-up for the company’s 401k plan.  She has asked us to provide her with a new investment allocation.  I review the investment options and select an allocation of passive, low-cost funds that closely matches Martha’s target portfolio and email that over to her.

2:15 - 2:30pm – Notarize Forms

Anne Berra is getting ready to buy a house, and her mortgage broker has sent her some pre-qualification forms that she needs to have notarized. She stops by the office so that I can notarize them for her.

2:30 - 3:00pm – Update and Mail Beneficiary Forms

Mike and Christie Mattingly recently met with their estate planning attorney and have decided whom to name as primary and contingent beneficiaries on their IRA accounts.  I prepare and mail them the beneficiary change forms to help them implement their estate plan.

3:00 - 3:30pm – Meeting Preparation

We will be meeting with the Mantles later this week.  I meet with my fellow advisor to review our meeting agenda to make sure we’re prepared.  The Mantles own some old variable annuity policies with some complicated riders and have asked us to research, explain and provide them with recommendations on how to handle these investments.

3:30 - 4:30pm – Financial Plan Updates

Shirley Jeter called and provided us some updates to her family’s financial plan.  They would like to increase their retirement living expenses by 10% and would also like to buy a vacation home.  They are willing to cut back on some of their large travel expenses and would like to see what their financial plan looks like with the addition of these new goals.

4:30 - 5:00pm – Process Requests for Cash

Don Rizzuto calls and tells us that he needs some cash to cover his tax bill and make a down payment on a trip for later this year.  I initiate our internal process to determine what, if any, securities need to be sold to raise cash while still keeping his portfolio aligned with its target allocation.  After this, I’ll place trades and send Don the cash he requested.

5:00 – 5:15pm Wrap Up

I finish things up for the day and head home.  Whether it’s monitoring our clients’ financial plans, managing their investments or helping them organize their financial lives, tomorrow will be another chance to apply our financial planning expertise to add value to our clients’ lives.

Disclosure:  All names of individuals used in this post are fictitious.  Any resemblance to actual persons is purely coincidental.

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