What is Personal Financial Planning?

Personal financial planning focuses on you as an individual-bringing together all the financial and psychological factors that have an impact on your life.

How do I know if I need a Financial Planner?

People hire financial planners for many reasons. These questions will help you to decide if you need professional financial advice:

Do you have the time to attend to your personal financial affairs? Are you confused about conflicting financial advice from several sources? Do you feel you are paying too much tax? Are you confused about where to invest your money? Do you feel that you can’t make ends meet? Do you feel that you can’t save any money? Has there been a recent change in your life that could affect your financial future, such as retirement, job loss, an inheritance, an addition to your family, or loss of your spouse?

How do I choose a Financial Planner?

All of our planners are qualified professionals, with different types of experience. It is important that you get along well with the person you choose as a financial planner. Meet with the planner to discuss how s/he will work with you. Find out about the planner’s background and credentials – experience and education are very important. Meet Our Planners.

Which financial planning designations have your planners earned?

Many of our planners have one or more of the following designations: Chartered Financial Planner (CFP), Registered Financial Planner (R.F.P.), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Trust & Estate Practitioner (TEP), Elder Planning Counselor (EPC), and Certified Executor Advisor (CEA). The right to use these designations must be renewed each year by satisfying ongoing educational requirements and adhering to each association’s code of ethics and conduct.

Chartered Financial Planner (CFP) was the first Canadian financial-planning designation and is awarded to individuals who complete a three year correspondence course offered by the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning and pass a qualifying exam.

A Registered Financial Planner (R.F.P.) is a professional designation awarded by the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP) to its members who satisfy certain educational and experience standards and pass a comprehensive written examination.

The Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation is awarded by CMA Canada to strategic financial management accounting professionals who integrate accounting expertise with advanced management skills to achieve business success.

The Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation is a globally recognized designation and is awarded to individuals who satisfy the educational and relevant experience requirements.

The Elder Planning Counselor (EPC) designation is awarded upon successful completion of an examination and acceptance to the Canadian Initiative for Elder Planning Studies.

The Trust and Estate Practitioner designation (TEP) is a worldwide recognized designation granted through the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and is a way to formally identify qualified practitioners and distinguish them from non-specialists who occasionally deal with trusts and estates.

The Certified Executor Advisor (CEA) designation is the first and only executor-facing designation in Canada and is regulated by the Canadian Institute of Certified Executor Advisors.

Is the first consultation free?

Yes, your initial meeting is free.

How much does the financial planning service cost?

After the initial consultation, a planner will be able to quote a specific fee. All fees will also be outlined in an engagement letter.

What is an engagement letter?

An engagement letter will spell out: (i) the planner’s understanding of your situation and requirements, (ii) what type of plan will best suit you-comprehensive or focused, (iii) the format of the written plan-multi-page brief or letter, (iv) the fee for the plan, (v) the services the plan fee covers, (vi) whether the planner is paid for implementing portions of the plan, and (vii) how to initiate the engagement.

Are your planners tied to just one product vendor?

No, our planners are able to offer you a wide range of products.

How are your planners compensated?

Our planners are fee and commission-based financial planners. Our planners determine the fees by the amount of work involved in designing a client’s plan and the need for ongoing updating. The commissions are derived from the purchase of financial products, if the client implements the product portion of the program through the planner.

Do your planners carry liability (errors and omissions) insurance?

Yes, all of our planners carry liability insurance. Besides protecting you against errors or omissions, we feel that professional liability insurance is a sign of prudence, an important trait in any financial planner.

Ten questions to ask your financial planner