It all starts with a consultation: Financial advice can assist you, whether your goal is to reduce debt, buy a house, save for retirement or simply pay the monthly bills, you don’t have to do it alone. Regardless of one’s stage of life, we can all benefit from the professional counsel and services of an advisor. Milestones such as buying that first home, starting a new job or having a child provides great opportunities to review these new financial needs with an advisor. This starts with the advisor developing an understanding of your objectives and doing a thorough review of your complete finances. And then working with you to develop a strategy to help reach your financial goals.
This strategy may include recommendations on some or all of the following:
- Creating a disciplined savings program including cash flow planning and debt management.
- Designing and implementing a customized investment strategy.
- Proposing tax reduction or deferral strategies.
- Facilitating wills and estate planning.
- Reviewing and recommending a range of insurance products, including life, critical illness, disability and long term care.
- Providing access or referrals to other professionals such as legal and accounting professionals.
Develop your custom prescription for long term success: As one’s plan develops, it’s important to be realistic about your expectations, as an advisor can’t magically make your debt disappear or guarantee double digit returns on your investments. He or she will provide ongoing support and guidance so you can remain focused on your goals through the curves that life throws your way.
Annual checkups: Just like your annual checkup with your doctor, a regular review with your advisor is important to your overall financial health. In an effort to stay healthy we all understand the importance of regular medical checkups, our doctor knows our medical history and if we have a problem, can recommend a course of treatment. This same concept applies to our finances as regular checkups with an advisor can go a long way to improving one’s financial health.
The earlier you start working with an advisor and scheduling regular reviews (I like to call these progress reports) the more you will benefit over the long haul. To get the best value, be sure to ask questions and get the information that you need to develop a high level of trust and confidence in your advisor. The healthiest and most rewarding long term relationship is one that will benefit you not just for today but well into the future.
Backing this all up is a “The Value of Advice Report” published by the Investment Funds Institute of Canada that found that households that work with an advisor and receive financial advice are:
- 5 times more likely to stick to their financial decisions and goals.
- More confident about their financial future.
- More than twice as likely to participate in RRSPs, RESPs and TFSAs.
Which as you can see, those who choose to work with an advisor have a clear advantage, both in terms of increased financial benefits and their level of confidence about their overall situation.
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