Brett Clark, an Investment Advisor with Envision Financial, says everyone’s finances can benefit from a second opinion.

Brett Clark, an Investment Advisor with Envision Financial, says everyone’s finances can benefit from a second opinion.

Invest in success — why a second-opinion can pay dividends

Time for a check-up on your financial health! A second set of eyes ensures you’re on the right track

When you’re facing a serious medical situation, it’s normal to seek out a second opinion. Assuming you have the time, energy and opportunity, why wouldn’t you? Your life’s on the line, after all.

Brett Clark, an Investment Advisor with Envision Financial, says we should treat our investments the same way.

“Getting a qualified financial advisor to take a second-look at your investments is something everyone should do on a semi-regular basis, every five years or so. You’ve worked hard to build your nest egg — it makes sense to gather as much information as possible on taking care of it.”

Getting a second-opinion isn’t just something to do when you’re unhappy — even talented advisors sometimes overlook important opportunities, and unless you’re a trained financial expert you’re not likely to notice.

“It’s not about changing advisors or switching your loyalty — if you’re in good shape, a second opinion won’t lead to any drastic changes. But it gives you extra knowledge, an extra set of eyes that will give your portfolio the best chance at success,” Clark says.

What to expect from your second opinion

1. The face-to-face

A second opinion is more than just giving your investment statements a once-over. It starts with a conversation.

  • What level of risk can you tolerate?
  • What are your long term goals?
  • What is your budget, and how much are you saving month-to-month?
  • Are you expecting to make any big changes to your lifestyle?

“You may have discussed these things when you first started investing, but it’s important to keep that information up-to-date,” Clark says. “It even happens in great advisor-client relationships. You may think you know the other person well enough that you don’t have to ask, but that’s how little things can get missed.”

You’ll likely keep your financial advisor up-to-date on big changes like marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child, but gradual changes matter too.

2. The plan

Once the advisor outlines your current goals, they’ll take a look at your financial plan.

“It may be very straightforward, but we’ll check to see if anything’s missing,” Clark says. “Someone giving a second-opinion may have suggestions to fit your current lifestyle.”

3. The investments

Now it’s time to study your investment statements and other paperwork. Are you invested beyond your risk tolerance, just for your advisor’s benefit? Are you being charged unnecessarily high fees?

“Some companies are still charging high fees, but there’s no way the average investor would know they’ve been overcharged, unless they get a second opinion,” Clark says.

Get a second-opinion on your finances — book an appointment with an Envision Financial wealth expert online, or call 1-888-597-6083. For more investment advice visit envisionfinancial.ca/invest.

Envision Financial is a division of First West Credit Union.

Financial planning