Frequently Asked Questions
I am a strong believer in holistic financial planning; in other words, integrating all aspects into a complete plan that includes tax savings, wealth accumulation, insurance, retirement planning and estate planning. This allows me to create a customized portfolio that matches your objectives and financial personality while maintaining a level of risk with which you are comfortable. Once your financial plan has been constructed, I continue to monitor, adjust and make ongoing recommendations at our reviews that continue to be aligned with your goals.
I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), which means I have achieved and maintain the internationally recognized gold standard in the industry. CFP professionals demonstrate their financial planning competence through extensive education, a rigorous standardized national examination process, comprehensive continuing education requirements and accountability to the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) for a code of ethics, practice standards, and the rules and regulations of that professional body. There are currently around 18,000 CFP professionals across Canada, which means only 20 per cent of those in the industry hold this designation. In addition, I have my insurance license, which enables me to provide an integrated approach to your financial plan.
There is no charge for the initial consultation. I see this as an opportunity to provide you with a detailed overview of my credentials and experience, my priorities and goals in developing a customized plan for you, and what to expect when working with me to ensure this will be a good fit. Equally important for me is to find out what has – or has not – worked for you in the past to ensure I am customizing the service you need.
I have a 99.4% retention rate with my existing clients. I attribute this success to the time and diligence I spend at the beginning of our relationship understanding my clients and their varying needs to ensure that I am providing the appropriate advice and individualised service.
I think most clients would say (the most consistent feedback I receive) I am passionate about my work, I have a very strong work ethic, and I have strong skills at communicating clearly and concisely what needs to get done, in a practical but no nonsense manner.
Unlike many of our competitors, Equity Associates does not have in-house funds where there is often a different compensation model and an inherent conflict of interest. Working for an independent financial firm allows me complete freedom to select products from various banks and mutual fund companies and my compensation is the same. This allows me to maintain my objectivity and integrity and provide comfort to my clients knowing there is no conflict of interest when recommending products.
Yes, I work closely with a team of accountants and lawyers ensuring my clients are receiving advice from highly skilled experts
I have developed my investment philosophy to mirror the approach taken in managing retirement savings by the large pension plans such as the Canada Pension Plan. This means a disciplined, thoughtful approach that relies on diversification covering a broad range of sectors, styles and geography. Its emphasis is on seeking top money managers who avoid excessive turnover of assets or changes in portfolio management and hold quality companies. A crucial component underlying this approach is integrating your risk tolerance with your investment decisions with the aim to maximize your potential returns while preserving your peace of mind.
We will meet face-to-face annually and maintain open, two-way communication throughout the year to benefit fully from the strategies agreed to in person. If necessary, we may meet more often. Our annual review allows us to ensure we are on track. It will follow a developed agenda that will summarize what we reviewed at our last meeting, provide you with a full review of your investments, and continue to build upon and adjust our longer-term plan.
All calls to my office received before 4:30 are returned the same day. If I am away there will always be a Certified Financial Planner to assist you in my absence.
Account updates are sent out quarterly to clients and I review these before they are sent out. Every six months I complete a full review of your accounts and will reach out to you if I believe we need to make any adjustments. You will also have access to your accounts on-line, which allows you to track how they are performing on a daily basis.
Yes, I carry the most comprehensive liability insurance available to a financial planner in Ontario. Throughout my career I have never had a claim against my liability insurance, which reflects the careful planning we do prior to implementing recommendations.