Six ways to get the most out of your annual client review   

phil wright - DECEMBER 3, 2021

According to a recent survey conducted by Jackson and Greenwald Research, four in five clients stated review meetings are extremely or very effective and have contributed to their confidence in their investment decisions. Learn about the six quick steps to help make your review session even more effective

To gain insight on the value of the annual client review, Jackson and Greenwald Research recently surveyed 305 consumers who recently had an annual review and 305 financial professionals who recently conducted at least three annual reviews. 

According to survey results, four in five clients stated review meetings are extremely or very effective.  Almost all said they have contributed to their confidence in their investment decisions and their feelings of loyalty to their financial professional1.

Here are six quick steps that you and your financial professional should consider to help make your review session even more effective:  


1.) Ask for a meeting agenda.

Having planned discussion topics for your meeting will keep it focused and directed on the key items you want to cover with your financial professional. If the agenda is prepared before the meeting, you can also review and add topics. Identifying and reiterating short and long-term investment objectives are also a great way to get the meeting started.


2.) Take inventory of key documents. 

Collecting additional information before the meeting, including your tax returns, life insurance policies, and other account statements is a great time-saver. Some financial professionals may also send a pre-meeting questionnaire.


3.) Prepare questions to ask your financial professional and be an active listener.

Perhaps the best meetings are those where you can be comfortable speaking freely and expressing any concerns or worries.  Also consider the importance of taking accurate and detailed notes.    


4.) Suggest graphs and charts be utilized to help simplify complicated points. 

Financial professionals know that visualization can be a powerful tool when reviewing complex financial information. Your understanding of investment direction and product offerings should become less abstract and more concrete through visual depictions. If you are part of a virtual meeting, such as Zoom or TEAMS, make sure your screen is adjusted so you have a clear view of what is being presented.   


5.) Ensure your beneficiary designations are updated and accurate.

Life events frequently change family dynamics. Ensuring your beneficiary designations are accurate and current is essential to the planning process. When your legacy is at stake, you never want to be out of date.


6.) Expect or request an executive summary following the meeting.

According to the survey, follow-up is critical to annual reviews, Over half of clients say this is extremely or very important. This is an important document for your file.


Going forward, the COVID-19 pandemic has unquestionably affected your relationship with your financial professional.  With two in five clients surveyed meeting virtually, the pandemic has changed the way reviews occur, and has potentially transformed the process permanently. As an active participant, you can help make this important meeting even more effective. When executed correctly, each annual review is a necessary checkpoint in maintaining your financial future.    


1. Jackson National Life Insurance Company - Survey of Investors on Annual Review, August 8, 2021

About the author

Phil Wright, Assistant Vice President, Content Marketing, Jackson National Life Distributors, LLC

Phil Wright leads a content development team for Jackson National Life Distributors LLC (JNLD) and is an award-winning financial writer. He started with the company in 1994 and focuses on the development and creation of digital content and thought leadership. He is a Registered Principal and Certified Fund Specialist (CFS®).

Annuities are issued by Jackson National Life Insurance Company (Home Office: Lansing, Michigan) and in New York, annuities are issued by Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York (Home Office: Purchase, New York). Variable products are distributed by Jackson National Life Distributors LLC, member FINRA. May not be available in all states and state variations may apply. These products have limitations and restrictions. Contact the Company for more information.

Jackson® is the marketing name for Jackson Financial Inc., Jackson National Life Insurance Company®, and Jackson National Life Insurance Company of New York®.

Phil Wright is affiliated with Jackson. All other authors are not affiliated with Jackson.