Canadians who engage in comprehensive financial planning report significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being than those who do no planning or limited planning. Those with comprehensive plans feel their financial goals and retirement plans are more on track; their ability to save has improved in the past five years; and they are more confident they can handle the inevitable bumps in life.
For many, this may begin with a retirement analysis. I've utilized some of the more popular commercial products in past years and was always left a little bewildered. They were not friendly to use for client or advisor and so much time was required by both to generate a report that you never dared go back to update.
That changed when I began using THE RAZOR which is the first financial planning program to analyze multiple retirement scenarios at once. THE RAZOR automatically calculates the financial analysis, providing answers to the 4 main questions clients have;
1. How much can I spend in retirement?
2. When can I afford to retire?
3. What rate of return do I need to earn on my investments?
4. How much do I need to save for retirement?
I will assist you in identifying what information is required so I may integrate all your entitlements (CPP, OAS, employer-pension plans, RRSPs etc.) and prepare and present your options. Following the presentation I will update and print the analysis a second time to reflect any changes you desire.
Investment clients receive this service at no additional charge. For others, the service generally costs $395 plus GST. In the event one becomes an investment client shortly after preparation these fees are refunded. Sample Razor Report
In the best-selling book, The Millionaire Next Door here is what they say about wealth accumulation. "The foundation stone of wealth accumulation is defense, and this defense should be anchored by budgeting and planning."
No successful business runs without a budget and you shouldn't either.
There is lots of talk about the need for personal budgeting and cash flow planning from the advisory community. Ever seen one? Me neither. In practice it is very difficult to find something suitable that an individual can use beyond a very basic outline. In fact, I had so much difficulty locating a suitable commercial product I ended up creating my own based upon previous experience in managing budgets for my own business interests and past organizations.
Perhaps the greatest value to this exercise is that it allows you to visualize your circumstances in advance and (in consultation with myself) redirect your financial resources towards your goals. This is done by progressing through items line by line and asking the questions do I need this and if so, can I do it for less?
This service is provided to investment clients at no additional charge. For others, the service generally costs $350 plus GST. Sample Budget and Cash Flow Analysis
*should you wish both a RAZOR Analysis and Household Budget and Cash Flow Analysis the price is $650 plus GST (save $95).
Imagine a surgeon recommending an invasive procedure without first obtaining an MRI. How confident would you feel? Why would it be different for your investments?
There is a process of discovery that begins with reviewing where you currently are or "your situation." As we progress through this process we will discuss your past experiences, expectations, risk tolerance and time horizon. It will involve reviewing your current investments for their strengths and weaknesses in achieving those objectives.
Depending upon your situation, I may provide direct assistance and ongoing counsel through my own licensing (segregated funds, annuities, banking products). Where it is more suitable and cost-efficient based upon your resources and needs I may make an introduction to one of the outside advisory firms I partner with. Rarely, do I use a product with a commission but a thorough discussion of all costs and options will be presented prior to asking for any commitment.
Whether saving for a particular goal, a child's education or your own retirement there are a myriad of plans, options and features to choose from. Unless you have unlimited resources the opportunity cost is which ones to choose to support and to what level?
Chances are you already have participated in some of the registered plans listed above or the many others available. With an understanding of your situation I can assist you in making an informed choice as to the pros and cons of each vehicle and any other considerations.
Rarely, do I use a product with a commission nor those vendors who charge annual registration fees but a thorough discussion of all costs and options will be presented prior to asking for any commitment.
There are 3 primary reasons for purchasing life insurance. To provide ongoing support for dependents in the event of premature death, to fund a corporate buy-sell agreement or to create an immediate estate.
I'm currently an agent for several insurance firms (Canada Life, Manulife, BMO Life Assurance, RBC Insurance, Standard Life) and have access to many others through my partnership with my Managing General Insurance Agency (S&V Planning Corporation-Victoria, BC). I'm available to offer solutions for most every situation and budget and can request direct assistance from experts for the most complex scenarios.
While many websites and large firms advertise instant quotes in practical terms there are only a limited number of insurance companies in Canada all offering the same product at a very similar price. Versus beginning a relationship with an unknown in some call centre you pay no additional fees for utilizing an agent. A good agent will review your entire situation, prepare any paperwork, submit the application, prep you for any medical requirements and be in touch as to the progress of your application. They can also advise on how to set-up beneficiaries, trustees and be there to advise you on deadlines for any rights your contract entitles you to. Making an Informed Choice
It is estimated that 1 in 3 Canadians will suffer a life-altering illness (often cancer, stroke, heart disease) prior to the age of 65. Statistically, you are likely to survive. The secondary question is, "what impact will this have on your finances?"
In addition to an interruption in full-time employment one must consider the costs of travel, accommodation and treatment in larger centres. While some of these may be covered for those undergoing treatment they are not covered for a spouse. This can easily add up to thousands of dollars in unanticipated obligations.
Some may have partial coverage through disability benefits through an employer. Otherwise, your options are to liquidate some of your investment holdings or borrow.
Critical illness term insurance may make sense for you and is likely more affordable than you think.
Everyone needs a bank. Everyone needs an emergency savings account. Everyone wishes for a little more interest on their deposits.
I've partnered with Manulife Bank to bring my clients the best rates on their personal and business accounts. This includes rates on High Interest Savings Accounts and GICs (Term Deposits) that are consistently among the best available.
The best part is that by a simple linking of your bank account with a High Interest Account with Manulife you are able to easily transfer money back and forth at your convenience.
These accounts can only be established through an advisor with a wealth code with Manulife and I'd be happy to assist. Manulife Bank
At some point in your life, you are going to wish to turn your savings into monthly income.
There are many vehicles today that provide income each with their pros and cons. Beyond government programs like CPP and OAS you may have employer sponsored pension plans each sending you a monthly cheque. In addition you may utilize vehicles including; systematic withdrawal plans, income from RRIFs, transfers of dividends, trust allocations or interest from stocks and bonds. An alternative is the purchase of an annuity from an insurance company.
In most cases, a combination of options may be employed depending upon your resources, needs and anticipated income required.