Change is inevitable, and it can significantly impact your family and your financial well-being. Whether it’s the natural progression of starting a family, buying a home, looking to retire, or an unexpected illness or job loss, when change happens the value of the financial advice you’ve been given in the past – and the advice you receive at that particular moment – becomes abundantly clear.
Good advice from a trusted advisor can have a profound positive impact on your own, and your family’s, financial future. When you meet with your advisor, you are likely looking for answers or solutions to your financial questions and needs. And there are many trusted advisors who have the knowledge, competence, and desire to keep your best interests in mind so that you and your loved ones can maintain your sense of financial well-being.
When looking for an advisor, it’s OK to ask them questions to help you get comfortable in working with them—in fact, it’s encouraged. The more confident you are that you are working with an expert you trust, the easier it is to have those difficult conversations and make decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask your advisor these questions:
1. How will you assess my financial security needs? A good advisor will ask you questions about your life, goals, expectations, income, current assets and liabilities, and your time horizon for retiring. This process helps them properly assess your needs and work with you to plan for the future. If they don’t ask you a lot of questions, then they may make assumptions that could result in an estate and/or retirement plan that won’t take you to where you want to be.
2. How do you protect my privacy? The information an advisor collects from you is personal and possibly sensitive. A good advisor will be aware of their privacy obligations to you and will have processes in place in their office to ensure the protection of your personal information. Feel free to ask about those processes.
3. How does your business operate and how do you get paid? Advisors should provide you with a document which outlines which provinces they can conduct business in, which companies the advisor represents, how they are paid, and whether there could be any conflicts of interests in dealing with them.