News and Commentary

Is it Time for a Financial Checkup? by Scott Montgomery, CLU, ChFC

Mitigating investment risk and preparing portfolios and estate plans for an uncertain future requires investors to meet with their financial advisers on a regular basis, and especially mid-year, to ensure that long-term plans remain on track. Here’s a checklist of topics to consider:

Are my investments still aligned with my long-term goals?

Whether saving for retirement, a child’s college education or a future vacation home, investors’ long-term goals should always be considered before reacting to market swings. A mid-year review of an investor’s portfolio provides an opportunity to assess recent performance against historic trends and identify whether the asset mix continues to meet the investor’s time horizon and risk tolerance. Perhaps an asset rebalancing is needed to stay on track.

Is my estate plan up to date?

Life events, such as changes to marital status, death of a spouse or birth of a child, can affect financial plans. These events may trigger a change in assets and income and/or require updates to wills and trusts, insurance policies, retirement plans, beneficiaries and a rebalancing of portfolio investments.

Am I making good use of all of the investing tools available to me?

Financial advisors are excellent sources to assess individuals’ current financial positions and provide recommendations on how assets may be better allocated for maximum savings, wealth preservation and tax-efficiency. Is the investor contributing to a tax-advantaged retirement plan or health savings account? Is he or she saving for a child’s education through a 529 plan? Has the investor established a special needs trust to safeguard assets and allocate money for the continuous care of special-needs children without jeopardizing those children’s eligibility for need-based government aid? Does the investor have ample insurance to protect family members in the event he or she passes away? Is the investor using life insurance in the most beneficial manner to meet his or her goals?

Am I maximizing tax-savings opportunities?

A mid-year financial check-up provides an opportunity for investors to forecast their tax liabilities for the remainder of that year and identify strategies to help them minimize their end-of-year tax bills. This is especially important when considering that tax laws can change substantially from one year to the next. Additionally, the middle of the year is a good time for taxpayers to take an inventory of their tax and financial records, including receipts for charitable donations, business expenses, estimated tax payments and confirmations of investments and stock sales. It is important to keep these documents organized in a safe and easily accessible location.  Documents that are scanned and stored electronically should be password-protected and backed up on external drives or in the cloud.

About the Author: Scott Montgomery is a director with Provenance Wealth Advisors, an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services.  For more information, call (954) 712-8888 or email


Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), 515 E. Las Olas Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.


Scott Montgomery is a registered representative of and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.


Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs. PWA is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment Advisory Services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc., and Provenance Wealth Advisors.


This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of Raymond James. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation. Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors.

Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss.