What should I do if I want to work with you?

First, we have to talk about who you are and what you want to accomplish (plus, I’m sure you have more questions than I can answer on a standard FAQs page). You can schedule a free introductory meeting right here on the site. Shortly after our phone or Skype call is done, I’ll send you a quote for the work we discuss.

What should I expect after we talk?

If you decide you’d like to work with me, the next step is to pay your planning fee and sign the financial planning agreement, and then begin collecting the information we need. It might feel a little intrusive, but it’s crucial for me to understand you and your entire situation to provide the right advice. If you don’t know the answer to a question, that’s ok; we’ll figure out the answer together. To share files securely, I’ll send you a link to a Dropbox folder that only you and I can access.

At our second meeting, I’ll present my initial analysis just to make sure I understand your circumstances completely before I start to develop your personalized recommendations, which you’ll receive in a written report, followed by a final review meeting. Most clients go on to join my retainer program at that point, depending on how much support they need as they implement their plan.

Who are these regular people you keep talking about?
“Regular people” are smart but fairly average wage-earners and entrepreneurs who don’t have enough money to attract the attention of AUM (assets under management) planners, and might not want to pay 1% on their investment balance each and every year no matter what.

 

 

Generally speaking, regular people don’t spend all day thinking, reading, and dreaming about money, tax rules, and investment performance, want to get advice from someone who does, and want that advice to be in their best interest, not the advisor’s best interest.

What are some good personal finance books/blogs to read?

It’s not an exhaustive list and in no particular order, but here are some great resources read and think about:

What if my situation is different than everyone else's?

Everybody’s situation is unique in some senses, but I understand what you mean. That’s why we talk before I send you a quote, so that we can decide together what the right approach is for you. Sometimes I’ll bring in a colleague who specializes in situations like yours, or I might even refer you to someone else if you’ll be better suited. We won’t know until we talk.

Do you ever meet your clients in person?

Rarely. My business is organized with two very specific goals in mind:

  • Goal one: So you don’t have to take time off from making money to talk about saving it or spending it wisely, and
  • Goal two: So I can do my work wherever and whenever I want to with as little overhead as possible.
What about the security of the information and and files I send you?

Here are some of the ways I take my security (and yours) seriously:

  • I protect my computer with password and fingerprint login
  • I never sign on to public networks without encryption
  • I use two-factor authentication for any account that stores or processes your information
  • I choose ridiculously difficult and different passwords for any online account, change them frequently, and never, ever (ever) store them online
  • I work with my payment processor and financial planning software team to ensure that the highest information security standards are part of everyday operations
  • I use Dropbox for sensitive file sharing instead of email, obscuring account and SIN numbers before uploading
Can't you just tell me what mutual funds to buy? I won't tell.

Nope. I would love to give you security-specific advice, because I passed the same exam and likely have more experience than your bank advisor, but here’s the thing: securities regulations are there for a reason, and that reason is to protect you. I’ve decided not to sell investments, and therefore I’m not registered with a regulatory body that can oversee my security-specific recommendations and make sure they comply with securities law.

These laws could certainly stand to be improved to better protect you, and I encourage you to visit FAIR Canada (The Canadian Foundation for the Advancement of Investor Rights) for a better understanding of the necessity of some of those changes. In the meantime, I remind you that there’s no sense trying to build the perfect portfolio if you have no idea what that portfolio has to do for you.