Jason Hare speaks on working with a finance professional 

Finance

 

Why should you work with a financial advisor?

Managing your investments can be complicated. You also may not be entirely comfortable investing on your own. Having a professional financial advisor or planner can help you immensely. 

An advisor can create a detailed financial plan for you, which involves: 

  • Assessing your current financial situation 
  • Determining your present and future financial goals and needs
  • Giving advice on the financial products that could be right for you
  • Reviewing and updating your investments periodically

Choosing the right advisor depends on your own personal financial needs and the type of help you’re looking for. If you need specialized advice, look for an advisor with expertise in that area. 

Jason Hare, CRP, H.BSc., OD, and President and Founder of Cornerstone Wealth Planning based in Kingston, has over 20 years of business and financial experience. He aims to help family and business owners achieve their goals by harnessing his expertise to mitigate risk and plan for the future. 

“Not everyone feels comfortable managing their investments while others may just value having a professional opinion,” explains Jason Hare. “Financial planning can be a valuable asset to people who want to prepare for the future.” 

Who qualifies as a financial advisor? 

The terms “financial planner” and “financial advisor” can be used in a broad sense. These terms don’t always mean that a person has specific qualifications, expertise, or even certifications. Outside of the province of Quebec, anyone can technically call themselves a financial planner or advisor. 

What sets most advisors apart from others include education, training, experience, and qualifications. There are many designations that an advisor can carry. For financial planners, a type of financial advisor, there are three common designations available: Certified Financial Planner, Registered Financial Planner, and Personal Financial Planner. There are different requirements for each. Be sure that you inquire with your financial advisor about their education so you can determine whether someone has the specialized training required to help meet your needs. 

“Many financial advisors are life-long learners who continue to earn designations and continue to advance their education,” says Hare. “It definitely pays to have a candid conversation with any financial professional in your life to make sure you’ve got the right fit for you and your family.” 

Questions to ask a financial advisor

“You should never be afraid to ask a financial advisor any questions,” says Hare. “Working together is a partnership that should be based on mutual trust and understanding, so keeping yourself in the loop is a good idea.” 

Ask questions to help decide whether a financial advisor has the qualifications or if they would be a good fit for you and your goals. Take notes and compare responses to other advisors you may meet and don’t rush into a decision. 

Here are some questions you can ask a financial advisor: 

  • Their education and professional experiences
  • Their certifications and designations 
  • How long their firm has been in business
  • How long they have been with the firm
  • If they or their firm is registered with a securities regulator
  • What products and services do they offer
  • If they are paid by salary, commission, or other fees
  • How often you will meet with them
  • How they’ll keep you informed

“Working with a financial advisor is a big decision and there’s no reason to rush,” says Hare. “You have to make sure you both fit together and have the same mindset when it comes to making sure you achieve your financial goals. So, take your time, do your research, and be sure to be curious.”