Off to a good start

How do you know if your dreams are attainable and what they will cost you? What investments should you put into your RRSP and how much should you put outside of an RRSP? Are your financial records up to date? These are not simple questions, especially when they usually involve so many factors. How can you plan properly if you don't take everything into consideration? And how can you figure out where you are and where you're going?

A financial planner can help you get a clearer picture. It's their job to assess your financial situation objectively!


Who can call themself a financial planner?


In Quebec, any individual claiming to be a financial planner (or F.Pl.) must:

  • Have an IQPF diploma and
  • Have the appropriate certificate issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers or be authorized to wear the title by a professional order who has an agreement with the Autorité des marchés financiers (the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec (CPA) and the professional order of chartered administrators).

Make sure your financial planner meets these criteria!


What will your financial planner do?


Before presenting you with a plan of action, your financial planner will meet you to explain their financial planning approach and their role in the process, determine their mandate with you and gather the necessary data and personal information. He or she will help you determine your goals.

With this information, your financial planner will then be able to analyse your current situation and formulate strategies and recommendations. He or she will present you with a written personal financial planning report. Optimal financial planning integrates knowledge from all seven financial planning areas: estates, finance, insurance and risk management, investment, legal aspects, retirement and taxation.

You and your financial planner can then decide together which of the suggested strategies you will carry out and determine the method and frequency of your follow up.
Don't forget that personal financial planning requires a professional service contract between you and your financial planner. If your planner only deals with certain aspects of your financial situation, this is considered a partial financial planning mandate. Athough this is sometimes done to fulfil a specific or immediate need, ideally a complete analysis should be undertaken.