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FA Center: The best financial advisers are your guide to more than just money

When financial advisers meet a new client, they may ask lots of questions about income, investments, and spending habits. Then they craft a financial plan built around the client’s answers, addressing areas such as asset allocation, taxes and retirement.

That’s the drill. But is it the right one? A more comprehensive approach consists of a series of deeper discussions that Bob Veres calls “collaborative planning.” A longtime commentator on the financial planning business, Veres is publisher of Inside Information, an information service for advisers.

“Collaborative planning means that you start with a thorough, multiple-meeting conversation about your clients’ goals, what money means to them, what they are saving for, and then helping them refine those goals,” said Veres, author of “The New Profession.

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