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Your First Meeting With Our Des Moines Financial Advisors: Everything You Need to Know

At Compass Financial, we feel our most popular services are our hourly financial planning sessions with clients. In these sessions, our financial advisors get a good idea of our clients’ financial position, we help them set goals for their future and we make actionable plans for working towards those goals. We work with clients at every life stage — it’s never too early or too late to figure out a financial plan. We have no minimum income or asset requirements for our hourly financial planning services.

Getting started with a financial planner is not a complicated process, but it can seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before. If fear of the unknown has held you back from reaching out to connect with a financial advisor, let us shed some light on the process. We’re here to help you understand what to expect from your first meeting with a financial advisor, and we’ll give you tips for how to prepare.

What to Know Before Meeting with Our Des Moines Financial Advisors

We'll start by sharing what you may need to do to prepare for your first appointment with a financial advisor. Each advisor is different, and your advisor will walk you through their particular process during your first meeting. However, there is one key thing to consider before your first appointment — why did you decide to meet with a financial planner?

Maybe you’re nearing retirement, and you want to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably. Maybe you’re looking at higher education options for your children, and you want to figure out a plan to pay for your child’s education. Maybe you want to know if you can really afford a new boat or a motorcycle. No matter who you meet with, your new financial planner will want to know about your goals and dreams. Be prepared to share about your current financial situation and your future financial goals.

There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all financial advising or a financial plan that works for every person. Our Des Moines financial advisors at Compass Financial will work with you to create a personal plan that makes sense for your circumstance, your goals, and your dreams.

What to Bring to Your First Financial Advisor Meeting

We will spend our first meeting reviewing a high-level overview of your assets, debts, investments and goals. In order to hit the ground running, plan to bring various financial documents and statements to your first meeting. Our financial planners in Des Moines recommend bringing the following documents, if possible:

  • Recent Paystubs
  • Recent Income Tax Returns
  • Debt Account Statements
  • Investment and Retirement Account Statements
  • Statements from Bank Accounts, Annuity Accounts and Life Insurance Policies
  • Any Additional Documents Relating to Income, Assets, Debts or Insurance

You don’t need to bring absolutely everything to your very first appointment, but the more you bring, the more accurate our initial assessment will be. We need to have a good idea about where you are now in order to help you get where you want to go.

If you’re married, we recommend bringing your spouse. It’s important for partners to be actively involved in the financial planning process, especially if you have shared accounts and assets.

Your First Hourly Financial Planning Meeting at Compass Financial

It’s important for you to make sure you find a financial advisor who is a good fit for you. Your first hourly financial planning meeting will be an opportunity for your new financial planner to get to know you, but it’s also a chance for you to get to know them. When you meet a financial planner in our Des Moines or Adel office, we will give you a tour and introduce you to the team members you may be working with.

We’ll also introduce you to our financial planning process, our values and our philosophy. At Compass Financial, we set ourselves apart from our competitors by doing things differently. First of all, our hourly financial planning services are always offered at a flat rate no matter what your income is. Our top priority is listening to your unique needs and goals, not charging extra fees based on your wealth.

Your first hourly financial planning meeting will mainly be a conversation. Your new advisor wants to get to know you and understand your story, goals, and dreams. At Compass Financial, our advisors truly care for each client and want to be able to offer wise, valuable guidance. Your advisor also wants to understand your financial position. We may use the documents you brought with you to create two new statements: a cash flow statement and a net worth statement.

What is a cash flow statement?

A cash flow statement is simply an organized way of looking at income streams and expenses for your household. Some families have very specific methods for managing cash flow, and some people are looking for tips and ways to improve. No matter what your income level is, our financial planners in Des Moines will have ideas for maintaining or improving your unique cash flow situation.

What is a net worth statement?

A net worth statement is a simple snapshot of your financial position at a moment in time. When we help you create your net worth statement, we look at all income, assets, debts and investments in order to fully understand where you’re at financially. Comparing your personal net worth statements on a yearly basis is a great way to track your progress toward your goals. Net worth statements are also a helpful tool to review when you’re making important financial decisions like large purchases or investments.

Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor at Your First Meeting

When you meet with a financial advisor, you should feel empowered to steer the conversation and ask questions. A good financial planner will be looking to collaborate with you, not just tell you what to do. A financial planner may offer this information upfront, but feel free to ask. Our Des Moines financial advisors welcome all types of questions from clients.

  • Ask if they have any specific areas of focus or special interest.
  • Ask about their experience and credentials.
  • Ask about their personal financial philosophy and outlook on money.
  • Ask how they are compensated and how their payment system works.
  • Ask about their team, and learn if others will be assisting you.

What to Expect After Your Meeting with a Financial Advisor

At the end of your first meeting with a financial advisor, you will decide on a strategy and a plan for how to proceed. This plan will be unique to you and your goals. Our financial planners in Des Moines will tailor any follow-up appointments to suit your schedule and your needs.

Some clients choose to schedule monthly or quarterly check-in appointments to review financial progress and make sure things are staying on track. At Compass Financial, our team members are available to support you in any way. We aim for our financial planners to be as accessible as possible to answer any questions you have.

We can meet with clients in person or virtually at any time, depending on what works best for you and your schedule. Whether you’re visiting our office for a meeting or connecting with us via video or phone call, we are eager to meet with you, listen to your concerns, answer your questions and offer our advice.

Reach out to our team of qualified financial planners and advisors to learn more about our hourly financial planning services or to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to learning about your hopes, goals and dreams.