Questions to ask your financial adviser

Is your investment strategy on track in early 2010? Investors experienced a bumpy ride in 2009 when the stock market plunged the first nine weeks and then rose sharply by 65 percent to close the year with one of the strongest surges in market history.

Because of the volatility of the market in the past two years and the passage of time, it would be worthwhile to meet with your financial adviser to see if your investment strategy now needs readjusting and if you are on track to meet your long-term goals, such as funding a child’s education or providing for a secure retirement for yourself.

If a year or more has elapsed since you set up or last adjusted your investments, you may need to reallocate your portfolio.

-Has your financial situation changed? Re-examine your investment goals, time horizon (that is, when you need to begin spending the money), risk tolerance and financial situation. Have your objectives or circumstances changed?

-Has your tolerance for risk changed? Risk tolerance is often described as your ability and willingness to lose some or all of your original investment in exchange for greater potential returns.

An aggressive investor, or one with a high risk tolerance, is more likely to risk losing money in order to get better results. A conservative investor, or one with a low risk tolerance, tends to favor investments that will preserve the original investment.

During the recent down market, many investors found that they had moved from being an aggressive investor to a conservative investor.

-How do you readjust your portfolio if your investment mix are out of sync with your preferred asset allocation? Investment portfolios can shift over time without our realizing what happened. If you have not changed your investment mix in the past two years, you may need to rebalance your portfolio.

It is important to take the time and to meet with a financial adviser who can help you make educated financial decisions.

This will in turn help you be better prepared financially for future events.

Jeff Waters is a financial adviser for Waters Wealth Strategies.  He can be reached at 358-7126 or by e-mail at jswaters@waterswealthstrategies.com.