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How to Work with a Canadian Financial Advisor

While there are many unknowns when moving into a country, there are a number of resources in Canada to help you and your family succeed.

When you set up a bank account at Scotiabank, you will have access to a financial advisor that will help you navigate the Canadian financial system and reach your personal financial goals. Here are four tips on how to get the most out of your meetings.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

    As a newcomer, some parts of the Canadian financial system may be new to you. It’s important that you understand the investments and accounts that your advisor recommends and how they work with your financial plan. If you have any concerns or don’t understand something, always ask for clarification. Your advisor is there to answer your questions!

    Before you attend a meeting with your financial advisor, take some time to review your financial goals and make note of key items you want to discuss. To help answer some of your initial questions about banking in Canada, consult the StartRight website which answers commonly asked questions such as how to secure a Canadian bank account and how to send money to and from Canada.

    When you attend any follow up meetings with your advisor, remember to bring all relevant paperwork, including recent account statements, budget plans and relevant tax forms.

  2. Become an informed investor

    Always continue to learn and improve your knowledge of the Canadian financial system. Make sure you read documents that you receive about your accounts and investments. As a newcomer there will be new investment opportunities for you to consider such as a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and High Interest Savings Account (HISA).

    Your advisor will direct you to helpful resources to help build your knowledge base. Scotiabank’s fees at a glance is a great resource to help understand the costs associated with your new investments.

  3. Stay involved

    Stay on top of your finances by keeping a file of your account statements, tax slips and any other related Canadian documents. Take some time to review your statements when you receive them. Remember that if you have any concerns or questions, contact your advisor – they are there to help you.

  4. Keep your advisor informed of changes

    Just like you would tell your dentist if you’re having tooth pain, you need to keep your advisor informed about changes in your personal or financial circumstances. Major life changes – such as marriage, the birth of a child, divorce or the death of your spouse – can profoundly impact your financial outlook. Keep your advisor updated so that he or she can make necessary adjustments to your financial plan.

3 steps to starting a financial plan with your advisor

One major benefit of working with a financial advisor is that they can help you make a Canadian financial plan. A financial plan is a customized strategy for your financial future, and with the help of an advisor, considers major aspects of your life to help you achieve goals such as buying your first home in Canada or retirement. This is an important step in achieving long-term financial success and stability in Canada. Here are three steps to get started:

  1. Calculate your net worth

    Listing out all your assets (ex. your current savings, paid off car etc.) and liabilities (like any debt) is an important step in understanding your current finances and reaching your goals.

  2. Establish a budget

    Where does all your money go? Tracking spending can be a bit daunting, especially as you are familiarizing yourself with a new financial system in Canada. To help you get started, try out the Scotiabank Money Finder Calculator.

  3. Set your goals

    Are you saving for your first home in Canada or funding your child’s education? The financial plan that you build with your advisor will be personalized to you, based on your unique goals and stage in life.

Remember, when in doubt ask questions! Your financial advisor is there to help you navigate the Canadian financial system and ultimately succeed in your new home.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change without notice and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.