How to prepare

How to prepare for that first meeting…

The first meeting with your financial adviser can sometimes be an overwhelming prospect, especially when the reason for you to visit is related to an important financial decision. In order to ensure you are well equipped we have outlined ten simple steps that you can follow to help guide you before you take the plunge. If you are being accompanied by someone else that will also be involved in any decisions, it is wise to ensure they consider our factors below too.

By following our steps it may feel like you are divulging a lot of information to your financial adviser but it is important to understand that this information builds a clear picture of you and your situation. This is vital as it will allow your financial adviser to reach the best, tailored solution for you.  Successful preparation will also mean that both you and your adviser will get the most out of the meeting.

 

Step 1- What do you hope to achieve?

  • What was your reason behind meeting a financial adviser today? Perhaps visit the What is you plan section of our handy toolkit to guide you on this.
  • What solution / financial product did you have in mind?
  • Have you made a note of any questions you have so you don’t forget to cover everything
  • Have a think about where you would like to be in the future and how having a financial plan in place can help you achieve this.

 

Step 2 - Make a list of your ingoings and outgoings

  • Try to be as honest as possible; an understanding of your financial position is the basis for all effective financial planning and taking this into your first meeting saves you time to discuss the finer details.
  • Use a budget planner – You can download our printable PDF version at the bottom of this page or alternatively visit the Money advice service’s website that has some great tools to help you to remember to include everything.

 

Step 3 – Jot down your assets and liabilities

  • Do you have any debt, including credit cards, store cards, personal and car loans?
  • How much do you have set aside for emergencies? Is it easily accessible?
  • Do you own your home or rent it? Do you have a mortgage or any secured debts?
  • Do you have any savings or investments?

 

Step 4 – If employed, what benefits do you receive?

  • How much sick pay do you get and for how long?
  • Do you have any protection, such as death in service, health insurance or income protection?
  • What pension benefits does your employer offer?

 

Step 5 – Do you have insurance in place?

  • What protection plans do you currently have? This includes life cover, income protection, critical illness, or any other policies.
  • What insurance products do you have such as income protection or home insurance?

 

Step 6 - Do you have a mortgage?

  • How much do you pay a month on your mortgage and what is still outstanding?
  • How much equity do you have?
  • How many years do you have left to pay your mortgage?
  • What is the interest rate?
  • Are you tied into a specific product? If so, for how long?
  • Do you need to borrow more or could you pay some off?

 

Step 7 - Summarise your savings

  • List the value of your cash based savings
  • What types of accounts are they held in?
  • Are there any terms and conditions or penalties for accessing this money?
  • What interest are you receiving?

 

Step 8 - Look into your pension plans – old and new (if any)

  • Dig out your old personal and company pensions to answer any questions the adviser may have.
  • What type of pensions are they? – Defined benefit or defined contribution? (aka final salary or money purchase – your adviser will be able to guide you on this).
  • Look at where and how your pension (s) are invested

 

Step 9 - Do you have any investments?

  • If so, where are these investments and how much are they?
  • How long have you held your investments for?
  • How are your investments performing? – are you happy with them?
  • Do they have a maturity date?

 

Step 10 - Discuss with your adviser?

  • Has reviewing the above caused you to think of anything else you would like to discuss with your adviser? If so, note this down or fill in your own printable handy checklist that can be accessed below.