Even if you’re on top of your finances, it takes a lot of time and energy to ensure your money is working towards your ever-evolving goals. Add in the life-changing events like growing a family, buying a house, or retiring, and you’ll quickly find keeping an eye on every asset you have can become confusing and overwhelming.

This is where a financial advisor can help. Financial advisors act as coaches who understand the moving parts of your financial goals, pulling from their expert knowledge on the subject to help you achieve freedom and comfort throughout your life. In fact, people who have a financial advisor often have 4.2x more financial assets than those who manage their money independently.

But not all financial advisors are the same, and it’s entirely possible to have a financial advisor not fully synchronized with your goals. When this happens, the results can be frustrating and expensive. Today, we want to show you what you can look for in a financial advisor to ensure you find the right person for the job.

And if you’re ready to see how a team of trusted advisors like ours can help you sustain your lifestyle and achieve your financial goals, please get in touch with us today.

Know What You Want & Your Current Situation

If you’ve decided that you want a financial advisor to help manage your money, that’s fantastic! However, before we can start pouring through the many different options available to you, you first need to understand your goals and your current financial situation.

Take some time to sit down and consider your cash flow, monthly expenses, quality of life, and where you want to see yourself in the future. Some of the most common financial decisions people make are determined by their:

If you don’t have any clear goals at the moment, don’t worry. You can always work with a financial advisor to determine what these goals may look like and how you want to achieve them. In most cases, retirement is often at the forefront of people’s minds when planning their financial future.

Where to Find a Financial Advisor

Financial advising is an umbrella term that refers to anybody you hire to manage your money. Under this umbrella, you’ll find Certified Financial Planners, Personal Financial Planners, and Registered Financial Planners.

Outside of Quebec, many financial advisors don’t need any form of certification to provide their services, so it’s essential to speak to advisors who have formal qualifications and are overseen by regulatory boards. This ensures that your advisor has a fiduciary responsibility to you and your money.

For example, QOPIA Financial and QOPIA Investments are registered with Aligned Capital Partners Inc (ACPI), which is designed to provide advisors everything they need to deliver customized financial solutions for their clients.

Here are some common places you can find a financial advisor:

  • Independent advisor firms are private companies. They determine their fees, their services, and strategies.
  • Some insurance companies may offer a financial advisor as part of a specific benefits package or as a single service. They can sell mutual funds, annuities, and segregated funds.
  • Your bank or credit union may also offer financial advisory services. They can help you purchase mutual funds, GICs, and public stocks. They can also help you start a retirement savings fund like an RRSP or TFSA.
A couple having a meeting with their financial advisor, both looking down at the paper in front of them that the advisor is pointing to

How Financial Advisors Help

Advisors can help you manage your money any way you want to meet any goal you have. They’ll consider your regular income, your current investments, your debt, and your lifestyle to develop a plan that maximizes the power of your money.

In other words, financial advisors find the most efficient and effective way to make your money work for you. Some of the most common services financial advisors can provide are:

Investment Management

Investing is one of the most important things you can do with your money. 

Even if you’ve been making investments on your own or you’re already executing an investment plan, a financial advisor can fine-tune your strategy, diversify your portfolio, and maximize your earnings.

Tax Planning

Tax season is arguably one of the most stressful and confusing times of the year, especially if you’re managing your own taxes.

What you may not know is that certain saving plans, like RRSPs, can help reduce how much money in taxes you pay a year. Financial advisors can uncover similar programs to help you keep more of your hard-earned cash to yourself.

Retirement & Estate Planning

Retirement is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life, and you’ll need as much money as possible so you can enjoy your golden years in comfort.

Financial advisors can help you maximize how much money you earn for retirement, reduce taxes on these savings, and provide you with a strategy for maintaining your lifestyle. Advisors can also help you plan what will happen to your estate to best benefit your family.

Interviewing Financial Advisors

Now that we’ve broken down where to find financial advisors, what types there are, and how they can help you, it’s time to start the interview process.

There is no single best way to interview an advisor, and the approach you take can depend on your goals. You should ultimately feel comfortable with the decision you make, so always take the time to consider your potential advisor’s credentials and portfolio before you have a conversation. 

Some other strategies you can use to help you choose an advisor is:

Speaking to More Than One

Never settle for the first advisor you meet. When you sit down with a potential advisor, ask about:

  • Their experience
  • Their services
  • Their qualifications
  • Their strategies

Answers change from advisor to advisor, but these questions will help you determine which one may better fit you.

Comparing Rates

Advisors can also charge fees and rates in various ways. Some of the most common include:

  • Hourly rates
  • Commission for investments
  • A percentage based on the amount of investible assets the firm manages
  • Charging for specific services

Investigating Their Investment Strategies

You should absolutely align with your advisors’ strategies when it comes to investing. If you’re more risk-averse, it might not be the best idea to work with an advisor interested in volatile and speculative markets.

Always Be In Touch

You and your advisor should be on the same page regarding your money. Set up regular appointments with them to ensure their work is paying off in the ways you were expecting.

At QOPIA Financial, our clients are our priority. Under our care, you’ll always know where your money is and how it’s serving your interests. If you’d like to see how we can help you achieve your dreams, please get in touch with us today.

Aligned Capital Partners Inc. (“ACPI”) is a full-service investment dealer and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (“CIPF”) and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”).  Investment services are provided through Qopia Investments, an approved trade name of ACPI.  Only investment-related products and services are offered through ACPI/Qopia Investments and covered by the CIPF. Financial planning and insurance services are provided through Qopia Investments. Qopia Financial is an independent company separate and distinct from ACPI/ Qopia Investments.

Arif Kanji, CFP, CLU
Arif Kanji, CFP, CLU

Managing Director of Qopia Financial / Investment Advisor of Aligned Capital Partners Inc.

Since 2012, I have been helping Canadian families with their financial planning needs, with solutions ranging from personal and corporate life insurance and living benefits to estate preservation tools. As a registered investment advisor with Aligned Capital Partners Inc., I am able to provide investment strategies that are tailored to each individual’s needs. I have earned the distinguished Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Canada’s premier wealth transfer and estate planning designation as well as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation which is the gold standard in the financial planning industry.