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ASK HIM THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
How can you properly prepare for a meeting with a representative and ensure he will meet your needs?
Before the meeting
Before meeting with a representative, it is important to prepare properly:
KNOW YOURSELF AND HAVE A GOOD GRASP OF YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION:
- How do you react to risk?
- Do you have dependents?
- Are you covered in the event of disability?
- Would your dependents be protected if you were to die prematurely?
WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES AND OBJECTIVES?
- When do you want to retire?
- Do you have a retirement plan?
- Do you foresee making any large purchases (house, car, etc.)? If so, when?
- Do you want to help your children with their postsecondary education?
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR A REPRESENTATIVE TO HAVE ALL AVAILABLE INFORMATION SO AS TO FULLY UNDERSTAND YOUR SITUATION AND BE ABLE TO PROPERLY ADVISE YOU. HAVE ON HAND THE DOCUMENTS PERTAINING TO YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION, SUCH AS:
- Your employee benefits: group insurance and pension plan;
- Your disability, life, home and other insurance policies;
- Your legal documents: will, power of attorney, mandate, etc.;
- Your assets: registered and unregistered investments;
- The balance of your debts and the applicable interest rates;
- Your most recent income tax returns.
It is the representative’s job to propose the best strategies based on your situation, priorities and financial objectives.
If you know the name of the representative with whom you will be meeting, check whether he is a member in good standing of the Chambre de la sécurité financière and whether he is authorized to practise. To check this information, click here.
If you don’t know his name, you can check this information after the meeting.
During the meeting
It is important for you to feel at ease with the representative during the meeting.
- Do you feel he is really listening to you?
- Does he take the time to get a complete picture of your financial situation? Does he provide a good explanation of the products or services he is proposing as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each of them?
Don’t hesitate to check with your representative to determine if the proposed products or services adequately meet your needs.
After the meeting
- If you have not already done so, check with the CSF to determine whether the representative is authorized to practise.
- Write down the date and time of your meetings and telephone conversations as well as a short summary of what was discussed.
- Keep all correspondence between you and your representative (letters, faxes, e-mails).
If your needs relate to securities (mutual funds or scholarship plans):
- Make sure your representative has prepared or updated your investor profile.
- Make sure you know your risk tolerance level and communicate it to your representative. If you don’t know your risk tolerance level, your representative can help you determine it. Most representatives who practise within a firm or financial institution have questionnaires that will allow you to determine your risk tolerance.
- If you have been dealing with the same representative for several years, it’s a good idea to update your investor profile each time you experience an important life event (marriage, death, birth, career change, etc.).
- Make sure you really understand the products or investments being proposed. Do they meet your needs and fit your financial situation?
- Ask all necessary questions in order to really understand the products being proposed. If necessary, ask for written answers. It is your representative’s responsibility to explain all the intricacies of the product being offered. It he provides you with a prospectus for a mutual fund, ask him to explain the relevant information it contains. This type of document is often complex and, as already mentioned, it is your representative’s duty to explain the important elements.
- Check on the applicable fees and the risks and characteristics of the products or investments being proposed. You have the right to refuse all or part of the proposed products if you do not feel they are suitable for you.
- Make sure that all your personal information (name, contact information, age, etc.) is accurate and complete and that you have signed all required documents.
- Never sign a blank form.
- Make your cheques payable to the order of the issuer or the firm, not the representative.
- Make sure you always receive a copy of the documents you have signed, your statements of account, the confirmation slips for your transactions, etc.