10.4.7 Questions to ask

Before you choose a financial planner, be sure to ask these questions. Also, ask for references and check them. Read any contracts or agreements carefully before you sign them.


1. Are you and your firm registered with a provincial securities commission?

2. What is your background?

  • How long have you been working as an advisor?
  • How long have you been with this company?
  • What results have you achieved for other clients?
  • What are your education, qualifications and training?

3. What can you do for me?

  • Can you provide advice only?
  • Can you sell products?
  • Can you help me build a financial plan?

4. How will you decide what’s best for me?

  • Will you take time to understand my retirement goals?
  • Will you offer me different investment options?
  • Will you only tell me about products that your firm sells or recommends, or will you offer other products?

5. How do you work with your clients?

  • How often will you contact me or meet with me?
  • Are you used to working with people like me?
  • Do you plan to keep working with me for many years?
  • Will you advise me to buy and hold fairly safe investments that are likely to make money over a longer period of time?

6. How do you get paid?

  • Will you charge any fees?
  • Do you get a salary from your company?
  • Will you get a bonus for selling certain products?

For more information about finding and working with a financial professional, see the Financial planning and Getting advice pages on the GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca website from the Ontario Securities Commission.

See the video, Choosing a retirement planner, for more information.

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