Nuts and Bolts of Investing
The first steps we take are all about communication: initial "getting to know each other" conversations, review of your NI Social Questionnaire (which give both you and your advisor additional clarity about your priorities), and deeper follow-up discussions about you and your needs.
Don't be surprised if we ask some probing questions about you. It's really important that we learn as much as we can about your goals, hopes and fears, work and family situation, traumatic experiences with money when you were a little kid...you might tell us things that even your best friends don't know about you! All this is important information that we use to design an investment strategy that is right for you.
After that, your advisor will draft an "Investment Policy Statement". This document becomes the roadmap that we use to create an initial investment portfolio. It spells out the goals for your investment plan, including your comfort level with the inherent risks carried by different investment types, how long you anticipate investing, any current or anticipated income needs, tax sensitivity, and of course, the specific social and environmental concerns you wish reflected in your account. After this, your advisor will begin suggesting specific investments, and your money will begin to speak for you in the world.
Meanwhile, your advisor will be getting the paperwork going to set up your brokerage account, review your IRA and other retirement options with you, and monitor the process of transferring any existing investments you have in other places.
When your account is open and funded, and when both you and your advisor have signed the Investment Policy Statement, it's time to invest.