What should I expect? —
The role of your advisor is to give you helpful, informed advice as you build and carry out your investment plan. To do this, your advisor will need to ask you questions and get to know you.
Although the questions may seem personal, this information allows them to get a clear understanding of your financial situation, your goals and how you feel about risk.
Your new adviser will gather this information from you into a form known as a Know Your Client (KYC) form. This helps your financial adviser determine what investments are best suited to you and what should and should not be included in your portfolio. Bring your Investment Planning Workbook with you to make answering these questions easier!
Once your plan is in place, your adviser should tell you about investment opportunities and any changes that could affect your investments. They should be available to answer your questions, especially during market lows, or life changes when you may be tempted to act on your emotions.
You can expect your adviser to:
- Make clear and specific recommendations
- Explain the reasons for the recommendations and how the product will help you reach your goals
- Outline the risks involved with any products they recommend
- Get your permission before they buy or sell investments for you or withdraw money from your account. (The only exception is if you have given your adviser “discretionary” authority. Your adviser will send you a written confirmation of any transactions they make for you and will send you regular account statements.)
Your adviser will not be able to:
- Predict the performance of the markets with absolute certainty
- Recommend investments that are always profitable
- Act on vague or general instructions from you to buy or sell investments
- Meet unrealistic goals or expectations of profit
Your Responsibilities as a Client
Keep your adviser up to date
Your adviser can’t provide suitable and reasonable advice if they don’t have all of the facts and information. It is your responsibility to update your adviser if your personal or financial situations changes. Major life events like marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, an employment change or receiving unexpected income can have a significant impact on your finances and the recommendations your adviser makes for you.
Be honest about your risk tolerance and your comfort level. Don’t be embarrassed or shy about asking questions until you completely understand any investments being recommended and how they will fit into your overall plan.
Be prepared and informed
Review your statements and jot down anything you want to discuss. Read any documents you receive about investments you’re considering.
And remember, never sign anything you have not read or do not understand fully.