Your first meeting
Your initial consultation with a financial advisor is complimentary. It's an opportunity for you to ask questions, talk informally about your dreams, goals and financial needs, and get to know the advisor.
After your initial consultation, you should have an idea of how a financial advisor can help you, the fees and costs you may pay if you decide to work together, and next steps.
Preparing for your initial consultation: A financial planning checklist
To help prepare for this meeting, you should have a basic idea of your current financial picture and financial goals. Where are you today? What concerns do you have? Where do you want to be in 5, 10 or 25 years? You may also want to fill out and bring our financial confidence quiz to your meeting.
What to think about
- How comfortable or confident are you with your current financial situation? How about the future? What things would you like to change? Where can you use the most help?
- What are your most important financial goals? What do you hope to accomplish financially within the next year or two? The next 5 years? 10 years? 25 years?
- Have you planned for your retirement? If so, how confident are you that you'll be able to retire? What concerns do you have?
- What would you like to do when you're retired? What do you most look forward to doing in the future? Who do you want to spend more time with? Where do you dream of going? Where do you see yourself living?
- What level of risk are you most comfortable with? How involved do you like to be in investment decision-making?
- What kind of legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to make your lasting mark?
What you'll need
- Questions you may have about your current financial situation
- Account statements, budget information or other areas of your financial picture that you feel deserve immediate attention
- Future dreams and financial goals you'd like to achieve, including short- and long-term goals
What to ask the advisor
- How long have you been a financial advisor? Why did you decide to become a financial advisor?
- What do you enjoy most about your work? What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
- What can you tell me about clients that you've helped?
- What is your fee structure? How do you get compensated?
- How do you typically work with your clients? How often will we meet? What can I expect from you?
This financial planning checklist is a starting point to help you and the financial advisor get to know each other and your financial needs. Ultimately, we encourage you to ask the questions in your initial consultation that are most beneficial to you.
1 Based on the number of financial planning clients SEC-registered investment advisers disclosed annually. Date as of Dec. 31, 2011 available at adviserinfo.sec.gov.
2 Company data as of December 31, 2010.
3 Ameriprise Financial Fourth Quarter 2012 Statistical Supplement, Dec. 31, 2012.
Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.
The initial consultation provides an overview of financial planning concepts. You will not receive written analysis and/or recommendations.
Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. Some products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all clients.