Q & A
All You Need to Know
I understand the name of your firm is "Personal Financial Solutions?" Is there a story behind that?
There sure is! We know that stress is an inevitable part of life. We also know that financial stress specifically accounts for a major part of the negative stress most people feel. My objective is to help people find solutions to their financial concerns so they can achieve their goals and enjoy the peace of mind knowing all is in order. That's why I named my company, Personal Financial Solutions.
What are some of the services and benefits you provide your clients?
First and most importantly, I take a sincere personal interest in the overall financial success of my clients. I'm totally committed to helping them achieve their objectives. This genuine interest in their financial well-being dictates that I always put a client's interests first. Secondly, because of my professional background and experience, I provide a comprehensive service that is well structured and compatible with all aspects of the client's overall financial planning. In other words, I listen to find out what is truly important to my clients. I understand that we each have our own unique feelings about security and growth and I respect those views. Working from a financial plan, I help clients take action towards their financial goals. Thirdly, I have a conveniently located office with free parking. Clients can discuss their financial affairs in comfort and with assurance of confidentiality. They can see my office setup and meet my excellent team of Assistants and Client Service Representatives.
I noticed on your business card two designations CFP and RFP. Could you take a moment and explain the significance of these designations?
Well, the CFP or Certified Financial Planner is an education designation which is awarded to those who successfully complete a broad program of study specifically in financial planning such as money management, financial economics, taxation and estate preservation. The RFP or Registered Financial Planner is a professional designation and is the hallmark of the financial planning profession in Canada. This designation is awarded to practicing professionals who have passed a comprehensive written exam and who maintain suitable Professional Liability Insurance. Registered Financial Planners must reapply to have the right to hold the RFP designation each year and must adhere to exacting requirements for continuing education. The reason I became a Certified Financial Planner and Registered Financial Planner was to bring real value to our client relationship. Anyone can call themselves a financial planner but not everyone can be consistently up to date on tax changes, investment changes and overall financial changes. This is where I can really help people.
What is the advantage in working with a boutique firm like Personal Financial Solutions?
There is a very definite advantage working with our firm. When you enter one of the banks, investment brokerage houses, you are highly encouraged to buy their own products and sometimes that's not in your best interest. When you work with us, we seek out the most suitable products which match your needs and comfort level. Should you decide to implement your financial plan through us then I am compensated from the companies with which we place your funds and, planning fees can be reimbursed. I represent over fifty financial institutions which allows me to provide you with unbiased advice.
What kind of updates and ongoing communication can a client expect from you?
I consider an annual review meeting extremely important. I believe a client’s financial plan should be consistently monitored. I maintain a checklist of the major financial planning issues. Because a financial plan is constantly evolving, I spend the time with the client to discuss financial concerns and, if warranted we adjust the plan. We also provide an Investment Portfolio Summary where clients can see their entire Portfolio, usually on one page. I also monitor client's investments and keep them up to date with an annual client Communiqué. In addition to these contacts, individuals investors receive semi-annual statements of their investments directly from the companies.
I always encourage clients to phone me and discuss their statements, reports or financial concerns.
I need to focus on retirement planning--how can you help me?
Retirement planning is an important topic because, it affects everyone. Building adequate retirement income can be an uphill battle. It’s a battle many Canadians are losing. Consider this fact: according to Statistics Canada, a full 43% of Canadians over 65 must now rely on government pensions to see them through retirement years. It’s a real shame. You see, these days, when change is the only constant, we need a system to properly plan for retirement.
I have clients provide me with their financial summary, I then calculate how much income their current investments, future savings, and pensions will provide by a projected retirement date. I consider taxes, inflation and the client’s expected rate of return which I have compared with their personal investment comfort level. We can then have a clear idea of a realistic lifestyle and retirement timeframe. In this way, I provide my clients with information and help them make informed decisions to implement their financial plan.
Say I have a savings account or an inheritance of twenty five thousand, fifty thousand or even a hundred thousand dollars, how should I start?
The key is to just start! There is so much money just sitting in bank accounts and earning low interest. Without current knowledge sometimes people are frozen by fear of making the wrong decisions. That’s why I encourage you to phone my office for an initial meeting. This allows you to learn more about me, my firm, and the excellent service we provide our clients. To sum it up, this no obligation approach gives each of us the opportunity to decide if we want to work with each other. I believe in laying a good foundation of common understanding. With this common understanding I am able to help people find solutions to their financial concerns so they can achieve their goals.
I haven’t looked at my investments since before the pandemic. It’s too scary. What should I do now?
After two years of economic doubts, I think you deserve to hear an objective second opinion from a someone you can trust. I would be pleased to offer you a second opinion on your financial planning and investment portfolio.