You’ve taken the first step and booked an appointment with an advisor. Nice! But, now what? Here’s a rundown of how you can prepare – and what you can expect from your first meeting with your advisor. 

What do you need to bring to your first meeting with a Sun Life Financial advisor?

In your first meeting with a Sun Life Financial advisor, be prepared to talk about:

  • Your goals
  • Your finances, including:
    • Your employee benefits
    • Any mutual funds, TFSA, RRSP or Insurance policies you have
    • Your mortgage or rent payments
    • Any other financial assets
    • How much debt you have
    • Your monthly payments (i.e. bills, car payments)

The more information you can bring to a meeting, the better!

1. Your goals. Before you meet with an advisor, it’s a good idea to have your goals sorted out. 

To understand what your goals are, think about things like this:

  • What do you want in short-, medium- and long-term? 
  • Would you like to have children (if you don’t already)? 
  • 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? 
  • Do you have anyone who depends on you financially?
  • What’s important to you?

Wondering how to start working on your life, health, savings and retirement goals? Try our Bright Start tool.

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 documents, or noting the amounts:

You should also be prepared to share: 

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

5 steps to organizing your finances

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

Your first meeting is a discovery session. This is a chance for your advisor to learn about your personal goals. It 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 out. This will help your advisor make the best, customized suggestions for you.

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

The second meeting is normally where your advisor will present a report to you with recommendations. Your advisor will help you understand: 

  • where you are,
  • how you can get where you want to be.

What happens next?

After your second meeting, you may be ready to start choosing products – like investments and insurance. Or, you may need to digest all the information presented to you. In which case, you’ll likely want to set up a third meeting to talk about implementing the suggestions.

What can people in their late 20s or early 30s do to take control of their finances?

The best place to start is with a plan. Your advisor can help. You don’t need to have money to start this plan. You need a plan even when: 

  • your income is low, or
  • you think you can’t take action. 

Where you start depends on what your financial goals are. This is unique to everyone. 

What’s the cost of having an advisor?

Your meetings with your advisor are free. But of course, advisors do receive different forms of payment. They may get a commission or a fee for sales (and ongoing services). Or, they may get a 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 they’re paid. They can also tell you how they can support you in achieving your goals. 

Can you meet with multiple advisors before picking one that’s right for you?

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.