Every adviser works a little differently. With some advisers, you may only talk or meet once in a while. With other advisers, you may have lots of regular contact. For example, they may help you buy and sell investments often, if that's what you want. Either way, when you work with your adviser, it usually involves five main things:
1. Getting started
When you first meet, you and your adviser will plan what to do with your money. Some advisers will help you build a complete financial plan. Others will help you decide how to invest your money to meet your goals. They can also simply advise you on which investments to buy and sell.
2. Choosing investments
Some advisers only provide advice. Others provide advice and sell investments as well. If you buy investments through your adviser, make sure you understand what investments you are buying and why they are right for you.
3. Paying for services
Many advisers charge for their services. For example, some advisers charge a commission for every buy or sell they make for you. Other advisers charge a fee each year. The money for these fees usually comes right out of your account.
4. Reviewing your investments
You should get a confirmation each time your adviser buys or sells something for you. You'll also get a statement at least once a year. Always check your confirmations and statements for errors, and to see how your investments are doing. You and your adviser may also meet from time to time to see if anything new has come up and to review your progress toward achieving your financial goals.
5. Making changes
Whether you get a new job or have a baby, life often changes. When it does, be sure to talk to your adviser. You may want to work out new plans for the future. Sometimes, you may want to add a new adviser, or change advisers, if your current adviser is not meeting your needs.
Remember: Be clear about what you want
Every adviser relationship is different. It's up to you to decide what you want and to communicate that to your adviser.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.