If you have talked to a teller or someone in your bank, if you have bought stocks or bonds from a stockbroker over the phone, or if you have used the Internet to pay your bills, you may already be aware of some ways you can work with an adviser or financial institution. But do you know all your options?
Five ways your adviser or financial institution can help you:
- Personal contact with an adviser This involves meeting in person, or speaking on the telephone with an adviser. It is one of the most common ways that people communicate with their financial institution.
- Telephone Here you use a phone number (can be toll-fee) and voice message system to do your banking. You use the telephone keypad to make choices, answer questions, and type in numbers and choices. You can also ask questions about, or buy, investments over the phone.
- Pre-Authorized Debits (PADs) These take money from your bank account on a regular basis to pay bills on time. They can also help you save money in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), or buy investments like mutual funds, Canada Savings Bonds (CSBs), and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs).
- Bank machines/Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) ATMs let you do banking when you want – often any time, day or night. You can perform many banking tasks, including deposits, withdrawals, and updating bank books.
- Internet You can use the Internet for research and to learn more about investing. You may also keep track of your accounts, do basic banking, or buy and sell investments.
Tip: People often open an account in person. After that, they have less need for face-to-face contact. A phone call, a visit to a bank machine, or a few clicks of the mouse can handle most of their everyday needs. When special events occur, like marriages or births, many people need to talk with an adviser in person again. Some meet with advisers once a year to check that their investments are on track or to discuss future investments.
Remember: You can choose any number of ways to handle your finances.
Your choices will depend on how much you know about investing, your experience as an investor, and how much help you want. It will also depend on your comfort with the Internet, phone purchases, and other ways of buying.
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.