How to make the most of your meetings with an advisor?
Talking to a CSF member advisor is a great way to ensure you’re planning effectively for your financial future. Your advisor is equipped to recommend appropriate solutions for meeting your financial goals, and they can help you make wise decisions regarding your insurance policies, investments and financial planning. To ensure you’re able to answer all your advisor’s questions, it’s important to prepare for your meeting ahead of time.
Before meeting your advisor
Before you meet with your advisor for the first time, verify if they are a CSF member and check if they have a disciplinary record.
One of your advisor’s fundamental obligations is knowing their client. Your advisor needs to understand your current personal and financial situation in order to recommend products and strategies that are most appropriate for your needs and goals.
Your financial situation
- What’s your risk tolerance?
- Do you have dependents?
- Do you have disability coverage?
- Are your loved ones protected if you pass away suddenly?
- At what age do you plan to retire?
- Do you have a pension plan?
- Do you plan to save for major expenses?
- Do you plan to help finance your kids’ post-secondary education?
Your advisor will also ask to see some documents to help them get a complete picture of your financial situation. When meeting with your advisor, have documents handy related to:
- your job benefits (group insurance, employer-sponsored pension plan)
- all your insurance policies (life, disability, homeowners’ insurance, etc.)
- your estate (legal will, power of attorney, mandate)
- your financial assets (registered or non-registered investments)
- your debts (type, balance, interest rate)
- your most recent tax returns and notices of assessment
During the meeting
Typically, during your first meeting your advisor will complete a new account form with the information you provided. Your advisor is bound by an obligation to protect the confidentiality of your personal data. A financial needs analysis form and investor profile form will be used according to the type of product or service recommended to you.
It is important that you feel comfortable around your advisor during this initial meeting. Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the advisor listen to me attentively?
- Do they take the time to develop a full understanding of my financial situation?
- Do they take the time to explain the products and services they recommend, and go over their advantages and disadvantages?
- Do I understand how the recommended products and services work and how they meet my needs?
Write down a summary of all your meetings and phone conversations with your advisor and record the date and time. Finally, keep copies of all correspondence and documents you exchange with your advisor (letters, faxes, emails, etc.).