Does financial planning really make a difference?

Yes. The Value of Financial Planning, a three-year study of almost 15,000 Canadians, revealed that regardless of net worth, those who engaged in comprehensive financial planning report significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being than those who did not. Those with comprehensive plans had improved their ability to save and felt more on track with their goals and retirement plans, better able to indulge in discretionary spending and more confident that they could meet financial challenges.


Why should I use a fee-only, advice-only financial planner when my financial advisor does all that for free?
Conflicts of interest. You may not pay a fee directly to the advisor, but fees are always buried in mutual funds or other financial products. When your advisor receives a commission on the financial products you purchase, your relationship becomes focused on sales and a conflict of interest necessarily arises. This business model only requires your advisor’s recommendation to pass a suitability test. The recommendation may be appropriate as one of your options, but your advisor owes you no fiduciary duty and does not have to act in your best interest.
A fee-for-service financial planner who charges a fee directly to you for advice and makes no money from a third party by selling you a product, has no incentive other than to offer the best service possible.


Are you Certified?

Yes, I hold the FPSC Level 1® Certificate in Financial Planning and abide by internationally recognized professional standards. The certifying body is FP Canada. I am also a founding associate member of the Financial Planning Association of Canada.


How do I get started?

Complete the Contact Form on the Contact page. I will respond to your message and arrange an initial meeting by phone or video chat with you. We will discuss your needs and confirm whether my services will be a good fit for you. I will then prepare a draft Letter of Engagement (LoE) for your review. After we sign the LoE we can begin designing your financial plan!


Will you be the only person working with me?

Yes.
Only I will have access to your information, which I will use to design a financial plan just for you. Depending on your needs, I may recommend other specialists to help you implement your plan. For example, you may require a lawyer for estate planning and will drafting, or an accountant to assist with complex tax matters.

I recommend these specialists to you based on my assessment of their expertise and customer service. I do not receive any referral fees for these recommendations. You are of course free to engage your own specialists.

Your information will at all times be kept private and will not be disclosed to third parties without your consent or as otherwise required by law. For more information on privacy, see our Privacy Policy.


What information do I need to prepare and provide?

Designing a comprehensive financial plan requires a wide variety of documents, including:

  • bank account statements;
  • life insurance policies and statements;
  • a copy of your will and power of attorney;
  • investment statements, both registered and non-registered;
  • employer-provided retirement program statements;
  • details of real estate holdings, whether your own residence or a rental, vacation property, and/or income property,
    as well as mortgages or home equity lines of credit;
  • estimated value of automobiles and any related loans owing;
  • any personal property of value;
  • credit card statements, loans, or lines of credit;
  • pay slips; tax returns and Notices of Assessment (available from the CRA My Account for Individuals);
  • estimated monthly CPP benefits (available from My Service Canada Account).
    Document requests may vary or evolve as your financial plan develops., depending on your financial priorities, goals and information that you provide.


What do I do with the financial plan when it is complete?
Presentation. I will deliver the finalized plan to you and schedule a meeting to explain its components and answer any questions you may have.
Implementation and Coaching. The design fee includes five (5) hours of coaching to assist you as you implement the plan. As part of my commitment to eliminate conflicts of interest I do not select products or retain external professional services for you in the implementation process. My coaching generally consists of:

  1. Any fine-tuning of the financial plan that may be required following its presentation.
  2. Referring you to other specialists, such as lawyers or accountants, who will assist you with any professionally regulated components of your plan
  3. Responding to any questions you may have about your plan by email, telephone or video chat.
    Additional coaching is available for an hourly fee.
    Annual Update. I recommend that clients annually update their Money Architect plans to ensure they reflect current priorities and goals, Annual updates are currently available for 10% of the design fee formula, as re-calculated at the time of the update.


How do I pay you?
Billing terms will be agreed upon in the Letter of Engagement. At this time, only cheque or e-transfer is accepted.