What to expect from an advisor

6 things you should expect of your advisor

  1. Make clear and specific recommendations, and explain how their recommendations will help you meet your goals.
  2. Explain the risks involved with every investmentInvestment An item of value you buy to get income or to grow in value.+ read full definition they recommend.
  3. Answer your questions about investment products and strategies.
  4. Keep your personal information safe.
  5. Get your permission before buying or selling investments on your behalf, and confirm it in writing (unless you have a discretionary accountAccount An agreement you make with a financial institution to handle your money. You can set up an account for depositing and withdrawing, earning interest, borrowing, investing, etc.+ read full definition or you have given someone else trading authority or power of attorneyPower of attorney A written authorization for another person to make financial and health care decisions for you if you are not able. Rules vary from province to province.+ read full definition over your account).
  6. Send regular account statements, and meet with you at least once a year to review your information, progress and update your plan, if appropriate.

3 things you should not expect of your advisor

  1. Guarantee market performance.
  2. Buy or sell investments with unclear instructions.
  3. Achieve unrealistic expectations of profit or always recommend profitable products.

For more information about working with an advisor, read this brochure from the Canadian Securities Administrators.

Types of advice you might get

Your advisor may offer advice in any or all of these areas:

It depends on the type of advisor you’re working with. Some offer a range of financial products and services, while others are experts in 1 or 2 areas. Make sure you’re working with an advisor who is qualified to offer the type of advice, products and services you need.

What type of advisor do you need?

  1. Do you want short-termTerm The period of time that a contract covers. Also, the period of time that an investment pays a set rate of interest.+ read full definition help with a simple transactionTransaction The process where one person or party buys goods or services from another for money. Examples include taking money out of an account, buying something with a credit card or taking out a loan.+ read full definition? Or are you looking for a long-term relationship with someone who can advise you on many aspects of investing and finance?
  2. Are you looking for basic investment advice? Or do you also need help with financial planning, estate planningEstate planning The plans you make to build and manage wealth for your lifetime and thereafter. Goals may include leaving the most money possible to your loved ones, with the least amount of taxes. Other goals may include caring for children, paying off debt or passing on a business.+ read full definition or taxTax A fee the government charges on income, property, and sales. The money goes to finance government programs and other costs.+ read full definition planning? Look for an advisor who is qualified to offer the types of advice you need.
  3. Do you need help buying insurance? If you do, choose an advisor who is licensedLicensed An advisor or firm that has met the standards set by the insurance industry. Regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO).+ read full definition to sell insurance products or who can refer you to an insurance advisorInsurance advisor See Insurance agent.+ read full definition.
  4. Do you want to hear about many optionsOptions An investment that gives you the right to buy or sell it at a set price by a set date. The buy right is termed a “call” option, and the sell right is termed a “put” option. You buy options on a stock exchange.+ read full definition, or just 1 or 2? If you’re an experienced investor, you may want a wide range of products to choose from. If you’re less experienced, you may want fewer choices and more guidance.

Watch this video to learn more about what to expect from your advisor.

 4 questions to ask

  1. How much advice do you need?
  2. What type of advice do you need?
  3. Do you need help buying insurance?
  4. What kind of investment options do you want?
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