Working with an advisor

Step 2: Which advisor’s right for me?

Advisor Services

Now that you have a basic understanding of your financial situation, it’s time to think about the kind of services you’ll require from your advisor.  For example, are you just looking for investment advice or will you require more specialized services, like tax or estate planning? When thinking about services, it’s  also important to consider your level of investment knowledge and how involved you want to be planning and investment decisions.
 
To start prioritizing your specific needs, refer to our Advisor services checklist .
Couple planning

Types of Advisors

It’s also important to understand that advisors differ in terms of the services they provide, the products they can offer, how they’re paid and their professional designations. As well, many traditional distinctions in the financial services industry are beginning to overlap. For example, insurance brokers may be licensed to sell mutual funds, while many banks now offer investment products and advice.
When looking for financial advisors, make sure that you understand the scope of their expertise and what they can and can’t do for you. This will help you identify the appropriate advisor for your specific needs.
 
Take a deeper dive to see which types of advisors suit your requirements. Be sure to ask about:
 
  • Services provided
  • How they’re paid
  • Where to find them
  • Professional designations/regulatory bodies
  • Are they right for me?

At a glance: Types of advisors


Financial planner
Financial planners offer advice and guidance covering the complete personal financial spectrum, including saving and investing, insurance, retirement and estate planning and taxation.

 
Insurance agent/broker
While these advisors generally specialize in life insurance and annuities, they may also be licensed to sell mutual funds and securities.
 
Investment specialist
Investment specialists focus on investment planning and wealth management.
 
Broker/investment advisor*
Specialists in developing and implementing investment plans and strategies, these financial professionals have also been branching out into other areas of financial planning.
* Also known as financial consultants, investment representatives or investment executives
 
Investment manager/portfolio manager
These advisors provide investment-planning and discretionary portfolio management services based on guidelines and objectives set out by the client.