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Turning our clocks forward each year, while it may take some of us longer than others to adjust to that lost hour, can feel like a new beginning. As we slowly move out of our winter hibernations and begin to take advantage of our longer days, we may be asking ourselves what they can do with our newfound time and energy. Before your clients’ calendars quickly fill up, as they inevitably do, take this opportunity to start a conversation on something we all understand: spring cleaning.

While spring cleaning typically refers to the annual purge of belongings and a deep cleaning the home, encourage your clients to not just refresh their homes and habits but to sit down with you and review their finances. Much like cleaning out our closets, start by helping your client take stock of all you’re working with so you can decide what to get rid of. Are your client’s goals the same as when you first put together their portfolio? When you first started working with your client, they may have been saving for retirement, a home, and children’s 529 accounts. Since that initial meeting, they may have bought that house, sent that child off to college, or started retirement. Work with your clients to figure out what their new goals may be, and discuss a plan for how to work toward those goals.

Not only might your client’s goals have changed, but what’s important to them may have changed as well. Spring cleaning is a good time to evaluate what funds to keep as well as possibly add to their portfolio. They might be more interested now in ethical investing, giving you the opportunity to introduce them to Environmental, Social and Governance funds. Or maybe your client’s risk tolerance has changed as they move into different phases of life. You could offer different diversification options that are better suited to the investor your client is today as opposed to when they first walked into your office.

Dusting off old financial goals and adjusting their portfolios for each stage of life can allow your client to work toward their financial potential, as well as positions you as an advisor who takes a proactive role in their success. These check-ins let your client know that you are an accessible, constant resource for their year-round needs, and can give your clients the peace of mind that you are proactively looking out for their financial best interests.


John Diehl is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC.

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About the Author
John Diehl, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®
Senior Vice President, Strategic Markets Hartford Funds

John Diehl is senior vice president of Strategic Markets for Hartford Funds. He and his team are responsible for engaging and educating financial advisors and their clients about current and emerging opportunities in the financial-services marketplace. These opportunities range from tactical strategies in areas such as retirement-income planning, investment planning, and charitable planning, to anticipating and preparing for long-term demographic and lifestyle changes. John also oversees Hartford Funds’ relationship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab.

John joined the company in 1988 and was promoted to assistant vice president in 1991 and vice president in 1997. He was named senior vice president in 2007, while he led the Retirement and Wealth Consulting Group, which was responsible for building awareness and knowledge of retirement challenges and the latest planning strategies to address them. In 2012, John was named Senior Vice President, Strategic Markets; in this role, he devotes his efforts to serving the needs of financial advisors and their clients.

John has been widely quoted in consumer and trade publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Planning, and On Wall Street. He has also appeared as a featured guest on CNBC and Bloomberg Television to discuss his views on retirement-related topics.

John attended Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) since 1991. In addition, he holds the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designations. He is also FINRA Series 6, 7, 63, and 26 registered and holds a life and variable insurance license.

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