We're complete financial planners, which includes Insurance and Estate Planning, Retirement Planning and Tax Planning.
We complete personal tax returns for over 80% of our clients, which gives us a unique insight into our client's everyday finances. We review insurance and wills and answer estate questions. We do retirement planning with more than half of our clients, and monitor the assumptions during our annual meetings.
Of course, we also sell products - TFSA's, RRSP's, RRIF's, LIRA's, RDSP's, RESP's, Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, etc, etc, etc... but the focus is always on the planning aspect.
I find it curious that people will devote considerable time and effort "researching" their next TV or car purchase, yet will purchase investments based on a whim, or a mutual fund sales person's suggestion.
Number crunching can often be intimidating - many people don't like doing their taxes, making a budget, negotiating for cars or dealing with their banker on mortgages or loans.
But in terms of your financial plan, number crunching is critical. The analytics behind the numbers is a science. We employ independent analysis to monitor all of our financial plans, so that when we make a recommendation to you, it is based on the best possible information, both from an investment performance perspective and a tax planning perspective.
High risk, high return...?
The concept of risk is poorly understood by many clients.
Some clients avoid market risk at all costs, instead investing in GICs, and thereby, endanger their retirement longevity. Others think that if they are young, they can be 'riverboat gamblers', and look for the big win. Big swings can cause people to lose their nerve, and make bad investment choices. And quite frankly, with GIC interest rates at record lows, that's no place for your retirement money.
Our approach is a balanced one. We select managers that minimize downside risk, while earning a return that allows us to meet our retirement goals.
Many of our clients have been with our firm since the mid 80's. Financial plans take a long time to mature.
We've been through a lot, both with our clients and the markets. Good financial plans last.