Frequently Asked Questions
We have almost four decades of experience helping people make decisions about their money and their life. We bring a depth of experience cultivated from being fully engaged in the many chapters of each client’s life. We do so by combining the strengths and experience of each member of our team and taking the time to truly understand your financial and personal situation and goals. We make working with us as accessible as possible through our transparent fee-based services. We also hold fiduciary status, meaning we’re legally bound to put your best interests first, always. We hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards, so you can feel confident that your money is being used to serve YOU, not us. If you are looking for guidance that goes beyond basic financial planning, and are ready to gain a whole picture perspective on your finances and life, we are likely a good fit for you.
No. We can advise you where-ever you live. We have many clients who live all over Canada and outside. However, we are licensed for insurance and investment funds in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario. As demand requires we will become licensed in other provinces in Canada also. We adjust to our clients’ situations and preferences. Where other advisors are retiring around our age we are planning on continuing to serve our clients for another twenty years and beyond.
If you don’t have $500,000 yet but still need financial advice, fear not — there are still ways we can help and we would love to hear from you. If you’re serious about accomplishing your goals contact us and let’s have a conversation. We also publish a complimentary monthly e-newsletter, full of financial articles, advice, and guidance. You can subscribe to receive this via the box at the end of this page. Another option is to use www.fpcanada.ca/findaplanner to find a Certified Financial Planner®️ professional to do a simple financial checkup or for ongoing financial advice.
We’ve found that a lot can happen in one initial conversation. As such, our initial meetings are complimentary. We know we might not be the right fit for everyone for an ongoing advisory relationship. Still, we’ve always believed it’s good to share our experience and observations about your situation in this initial discussion. Our goal in this first meeting or phone call is to learn more about the items on your mind that led you to us, about you and your priorities, and finally, to determine if we might be a good fit for a long-term relationship. Whether you become a client or not, we’re confident you’ll find this meeting beneficial.
The most widely recognized financial planning designation in Canada and worldwide, the Certified Financial Planner®️ designation provides assurance to Canadians that the design of their financial future rests with a professional who will put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.
Chartered Life Underwriter®️ (CLU®️) is a professional designation for individuals who wish to specialize in life insurance and estate planning. Holders of the Certified Financial Planner®️ (CFP®️) designation will often add CLU®️ to their credentials to demonstrate additional subject-matter expertise. Individuals must pass a series of courses and examinations to receive the designation.
The Chartered Financial Consultant (CH.F.C.®️) designation is a financial planning designation that specializes in wealth accumulation and retirement planning. A CH.F.C.®️ designation holder is an expert in retirement planning and capital accumulation strategies. The professional designation represents the completion of a comprehensive course consisting of financial education, examinations, and practical experience. Those who earn the designation are understood to be knowledgeable in financial matters and to have the ability to provide sound advice.
The Elder Planning Counsellor designation®️ (EPC®️), is an educational designation program in Canada that was designed to enrich the knowledge and understanding of professionals working in the 50+ age group. It provides advisors with a comprehensive understanding of the financial issues facing seniors, from housing costs to social security and estate planning matters.
A fiduciary is a person or organization that acts on behalf of another person or persons to manage assets. Essentially, a fiduciary owes to that other entity the duties of good faith and trust. The highest legal duty of one party to another, being a fiduciary requires being bound ethically to act in the other’s best interests. A fiduciary’s responsibilities or duties are both ethical and legal. When a party knowingly accepts the fiduciary duty on behalf of another party, they are required to act in the best interest of the principal, the party whose assets they are managing.
We believe in a simple but sophisticated and disciplined approach to managing our clients’ investments. It is important to us that our clients should understand their investments, and the process we use to select and manage their portfolio should be consistent. We follow a disciplined approach to building customized, long-term investment strategies and portfolios that are tailored to each client’s unique circumstances.
Most clients still prefer to compensate us for our services through fees from their investment account. These fees are deducted monthly or quarterly from your investment account, and you can always find them on your statement – front and center – labeled “fees.” These fees are based on the assets that we manage for you and are usually 1-2% annually.
A recent study shows that the value clients receive from financial planning is the equivalent of 3% annually and even more.
Other options to compensate us include invoicing you for our time just as accountants and lawyers do. For those implementing insurance through us, insurance companies compensate us. And, when you arrange for a mortgage through us we receive a referral fee.
This is an important question. There are so many great tools for those who want to handle their own investing and financial planning. What we’ve found, though, is that many people have a tough time implementing their plan consistently.
While they may be able to research a great fund, or do their own taxes, the key is bringing all the pieces of your financial life together. Many fail to align taxes, insurance, employee benefits, investments, cash flow and retirement planning, estate planning, credit reports, and so much more.
Whether our clients are raising children or planning retirement, that’s where real financial security and wealth creation happens, a few small but strategic steps repeatedly, over many years.
The reason our clients choose to work with us is because there is a lot to learn. And the cost of making a mistake is high. What if you didn’t save enough to cover for inflation before and during retirement? How do you know if you’re saving enough? Or if you’ve saved enough? Should you work for another year? Or more? Should you pay off your mortgage at retirement with your RRSP?
What if you end up running out of money and you must sell your house anyways? When is the right time to sell during a market correction? Or is there a right time? When should I take Canada Pension and Old Age Security? When should I downsize?
These questions might have separate isolated answers, but how do you weave together all the pieces to provide perspective on each of those decisions? There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and it’s hard to Google your way to financial security. Our clients choose us because they don’t want to get it wrong. They want a partner they can trust.
One way to look at it is to ask yourself: is it possible that you’ll have more money or a bigger nest egg or net worth by having a financial professional involved – even after paying the advisory fee? In many cases, we find our clients are paying a lot in fees already (like in RRSPs) – even without a real financial planner involved.
Our position is if we are helping our clients stay on track with their financial goals by implementing a strategic, yet easy to follow plan to help them create the life they want to live, how much is that worth?
Between taxes, investments, legal issues with estate planning, not to mention priority setting and having a clear vision of the future – there’s a lot to know and to keep organized and on track. And it takes a lot of time.
We think the cost of getting it wrong is high, and our clients agree. Some of our relationships go back over 38 years, and we deeply value these long-term relationships and the level of trust and respect afforded to us.
We partner with The Canada Life Assurance Company, a company with more than 100 years of putting clients first, and Quadrus Investment Services Ltd, a division of Canada Life. Canada Life is owned by Power Corp, one of the largest and strongest Canadian financial companies – a leading provider of insurance and one of the leading asset managers, wealth, and retirement providers in Canada.
All our clients’ accounts are held with Canada Life/Quadrus. That means they hold your money and investments, produce your account statements, and tax forms every year. They also provide us access to some of the brightest investment analysts, a dedicated security and technology support team, and all the important oversight and compliance we need in an incredibly regulated industry. All while maintaining the personal, one client at a time approach, best offered through an independent firm.
Canada Life offers investing with a safety net through segregated funds, with assets segregated from Canada Life insurance division.
Quadrus, Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. and design are trademarks of Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. Used with permission.
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Insurance products, including segregated fund policies, are offered through DO FINANCIAL, and Dave Otto offer mutual funds, referral arrangements, and GICs through Quadrus Investment Services Ltd.
Important information about mutual funds is found in the Fund Facts document. Please read this carefully before investing. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Unit values and investment returns will fluctuate.
The information on this website is intended for residents of AB, ON, NS only.
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