MAY 4, 2023
By Jillian Stinson

Read time: 3 minutes

Whether it’s your first time ever – or your first time with a new advisor – here’s how you can prepare and what you can expect from your first meeting.

What do you need to bring to your first meeting with an advisor?

1. Your goals. Before you meet, think about what's important to you.  

Not sure what your goals are? Here are questions you can start by asking yourself:

  • What do you want in the short-, medium- and long-term? (i.e. a large purchase, retirement, giving to charities, etc.)
  • Do you have anyone who depends on you financially? (i.e. spouse, kids, grandkids, your business, etc.)
  • Are you thinking about changing careers?
  • Do you want to buy a house
  • Do you need an emergency fund
  • Do you want to go back to school? 
  • What’s important to you?

2. Your financial documents. The next things to prepare are your financial documents. The more information you can bring to a meeting, the better. 

Start by gathering up these, or noting the amounts:

Be prepared to share: 

  • how much debt you have, and 
  • what your monthly payments are (i.e. bills, mortgage/rent, car payments).

It may feel uncomfortable to share personal information with someone new. But rest assured that your advisor will keep your information confidential. The more information you provide, the better analysis and recommendations an advisor will be able to give you.

Remember: your advisor is here to help, not to judge. Their role is to draw an accurate portrait of your present financial situation. And help you draw a plan to help get you where you want to go.

What can you expect from your first meeting with an advisor?

Your first meeting is a discovery session. This is a chance for you to share your goals and why you’re seeking advice. It’s also a good way to:  

  • ask questions,  
  • get to know the advisor,
  • find out how they work, and
  • hear what they can offer you.

This meeting takes about an hour. After that, your advisor may ask you to find any additional financial documents for your follow-up meeting. The second meeting will usually be about a month later. This will help your advisor make the best, customized suggestions for you.

What can you expect after your first meeting? 

After your first meeting, your advisor may share recommendations.* At that point, you may be ready to start choosing products – like investments and insurance. Or you may need more time to think. Your advisor can walk you through what to expect for the application and buying process.

*(This depends on the complexity of your needs, and if you provide documentation at your first meeting).

Does meeting with an advisor cost money? And how do advisors get paid?

Your meetings with an advisor are free. But of course, advisors get paid once you become a Client and purchase solutions with them that support your needs. They may get a:

  • commission,
  • fee for sales and continuing services, or
  • combination of both.

Some investments, like mutual funds, include management fees. The advisor selling the investment receives a portion of these fees. If you're looking at insurance, advisors typically receive commission for those products. 

Ask your advisor to explain how the companies they represent pay them.

Can you meet with multiple advisors before choosing one?

Don’t be afraid to interview different advisors to find one that suits you. It’s important to find an advisor that you feel has a clear understanding of your goals and needs. So, feel free to chat with a few before buying any products.

If you haven’t already, you can find a Sun Life advisor today.


Need help figuring out what’s right for you?

An advisor can help put together a solid plan that suits your goals.

This article is meant to only provide general information. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada does not provide legal, accounting, taxation, or other professional advice. Please seek advice from a qualified professional, including a thorough examination of your specific legal, accounting and tax situation.