I started my own practice as a ‘Independent Financial Advisor’ because of 2 experiences I had with Financial Advisors at Big Institutions. I received a call from the Institution to meet with one of their Financial Advisors, I was happy to accept that request. At the time, I didn’t have much knowledge about a Financial Plan, since I was going to meet with a Financial Planner my expectation was to leave that meeting with a Financial Plan. I didn’t know exactly what the Financial Plan should look like, but the things I thought we would talk about would be things like Debt Management, Investment Options, Insurances, some Projections, maybe an Estate Plan or RESP because I have kids. My wife and I left that meeting, getting a $20,000 RRSP loan, a Credit Card and a Secured Credit Line. What came to mind was, how does this person call themselves a Financial Planner without providing Financial Plan? I thought to myself how does this help me?
The second experience, I was again called from another Big Institution that I had a credit card with, they said, “Free Financial Review”. I thought that it was important to get a Second Opinion so I agreed to the meeting. I spoke with the Financial Advisor before I made the appointment, he boasted about his licenses and accreditations and how he was going to help change our life. In the end, we only moved our mortgage, received a Home Equity Line of Credit and a higher Limit on our Credit Card, and moved our Investments into some Mutual Fund I had no knowledge of or acquired any knowledge of the Mutual Fund from the Financial Advisor.
It was disappointing to know that this was it and we were now on our own. It always bothered me that I didn’t have Life Insurance and didn’t have a structured Investment Program. I expected to have a Financial Plan after meeting with 2 Financial Advisors. I didn’t know when I would Retire, or what I would need to do to reach Retirement.
When I became an ‘Independent Financial Advisor’, one of the Goals was that every one of my Clients will be well educated about the Investment, Insurance and Credit World. My Clients will be educated on Life Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance and Disability Insurance. I will also educate them on the Investment World, the different types of Investments you can buy like an RRSP, TSFA, Open Investments, Insurance Tax Shelters, Exempt Securities and the Tax Implications of Owning Each Investment. Knowledge is Power, and we all need the knowledge of our finances and to know what Retirement will look like, how to get there comfortably no matter what happens.
My Passion being an ‘Independent Financial Advisor’ is one close to heart, and something I greatly believe in. Everyone can have Peace of Mind about their Finances, where they are, where they are going and where the want to go. Let’s be realistic about your Financial Plan, what is important to you today and tomorrow?
-T. Charly Fatal