Why so many questions?


If you are an existing client, you may have noticed that we are asking a lot more questions lately. In a world where you are encouraged not to share more of your personal information than possible, this can seem a little intrusive. Rest assured, this information is necessary and required.


In part, these additional questions are due to a change in requirements from the securities industry regulator IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada). The new KYC (Know Your Client) regulations require us to provide more information regarding your current employer or the last employer you had before retiring. We are also mandated to update KYC at least once every 3 years.


Another part of the information gathering helps us in our quest to provide you with the best service possible. The more we know about you, the more we can tailor your financial plan. This approach to financial planning is commonly referred to as "holistic planning". So, what does that mean? Just like holistic medicine looks at every aspect of your physical wellness, holistic planning looks at every aspect of your financial wellness. 


Creating a plan that is unique to you involves capturing all of your financial picture. It is a snapshot of where you are now and a depiction of where you would like to be. All of the information gathered, helps to create a roadmap of how to get you to your destination in the fastest, most efficient method possible. That doesn't mean that your plan is static. Sometimes your life takes a detour-- and just like your GPS-- we need to "recalculate". That is why annual "check--ups" are necessary.


We begin a plan by gathering all of your sources of revenue and all of your expenditures. Earning more money would be the easy answer—but is not so easy to achieve. The key to saving more often lies in reducing your expenses. This could involve helping you pay less taxes or spend less on interest or borrowing costs. Since mortgages are one of the largest expenses for all homeowners, we like to ensure that you get the best available rates by getting a competitive quote. We can even refer you to one of our independent experts.

Big banks rely on borrowers to take the path of least resistance and opt for the "auto-renew". By not exploring other options, you could end up paying thousands more in interest. That money could have gone into your investments and helped to grow your retirement funds.


Another area that we look at is risk reduction. How would your loved ones be affected if something were to happen to you? If your ability to earn income was impaired by accident, illness or death, that would have a huge impact on you-- and those close to you. Discussing insurance seems to conjure up a negative connotation for many people. It is somehow equated with being "sold" something unnecessary. Rest assured, the goal of insurance in a financial plan is not to make a sale. In most cases, insurance products are used to protect your loved ones and, in some cases, to help save taxes or pass on funds to you beneficiaries in a timely, tax-efficient manner.


How and where your funds are invested does play a big role in achieving your financial goals, but often times, advisors focus solely on this portion of your financial picture. Many of the online platforms claim that lower fees will ensure financial success. While it is true that lower fees can help you invest more, that is only a fraction of the story. Having reliable advice that is tailored to your situation can far outweigh any savings in fees. Not convinced? See what the experts at FPCA (Financial Planning for Canadians) have to say:


"Financial planning is more than budgeting, saving or the perfect investment strategy. It sets you on a course toward achieving your life goals through the proper management of your financial affairs. Canadians who engage in financial planning report significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being than those who don’t. They say they feel more on track with their financial goals and retirement plans, have improved their ability to save, are more confident that they can deal with life's challenges, and feel better able to indulge in vacations and other luxuries."


No matter where you are investing your money, you are paying fees. Some institutions are not required to disclose these fees as transparently as others-- and-- some of those same institutions offer no advice in return for those fees. This practice has resulted in class-action lawsuits filed against divisions of the six major banks and other major mutual-fund providers. (Read the entire article on the Toronto Star website). We believe that you should get your money's worth and always disclose our fees. We do better when you do better. That's why we ask so many questions-- and hope that you have lots of questions for us. We’re happy to answer. 


If you are ready to feel more "on track" with your finances-- let's talk.

-Greg Frost


Contact the office and speak to Sharon to book a check-up or financial planning meeting: 

519-741-8478 extension #3

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Greg Frost
Name: Greg Frost
Posts: 13
Last Post: March 17, 2022
Sharon Maheu
Name: Sharon Maheu
Posts: 2
Last Post: March 12, 2019