When you're getting started with an adviser, you need to set aside about an hour to meet. It may take less time if your situation is simple, and more time if it is complex.
What will happen when I first meet with my adviser?
- Review your goals, so your adviser will understand what you want your money to do for you and when
- Talk about what you hope or expect to make on your investments
- Discuss how you feel about investing. Are you worried about keeping your money safe or do you want to try to grow your money faster, even if there's a chance you may lose money?
- Discuss how you'll work together. For example, how often will you talk to each other?
- Find out what fees you'll pay
- Fill out some forms, such as a personal information profile. Sometimes this form is called an 'account opening form'
- Agree on next steps. If you're not sure what you want to do, say that you'd like some time to think.
What is a personal information profile?
This form is required by securities regulations. It includes basic information about you, and how you want to invest your money. It must also sum up:
- Why you're saving or investing the money (e.g., for retirement, education savings, or other reasons)
- What you own, what you owe, and the income you earn
- Whether you're willing to take chances on losing some of your money (i.e., the amount of risk you are willing to take)
- What kinds of savings or investments you will need
- How much you know about investing and your investment experience.
Once you sign a personal information form, your adviser should only sell you investments that fit with your profile. Advisers should never sell you an investment you don't understand.
What is an investment policy statement?
This form outlines the rules you want the adviser to follow for your portfolio. It's similar to a personal investment profile but includes more details about:
- How much risk you're comfortable with
- What types of investments you will have in your account
- What asset mix you will have.
Remember: Your first meeting with your adviser is a key one
You should be prepared to share a lot of information and ask a lot of questions if there's something you don't understand.
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.