Answers to Common Questions

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Design Your Future Financial

Are you just another Financial Advisor?

My goal is to be the best financial advisor and success coach in Atlantic Canada. To do this, I surround myself with like-minded people that want to make the Maritimes (Newfoundland Included) even better, not just for themselves, but for everyone! Being truly independent and working with a great team with an access to a large array of the best products and services available, people can trust they are getting the best and what works for them!

Why are you doing this?

My mother and father always gave back to the community. It was something we just did. I enjoyed my engineering career as I solved problems, found out how things worked and came up with practical solutions but something was missing... I love giving back to our community and helping people, something I can now do. As someone who cares about social, ethical, and especially environmental issues, I found my passion in socially responsible investing. As a husband and father of three, I shifted to a career that puts me in a position to help people.

I made this transition for one reason: to make a difference for you and your family.

How do you get paid?

It depends.. We are paid on either a commission or fee basis, or sometimes a combination of the two. Commissions are usually one-time charges based on each product sold or for each transaction. Fees can be based on the percentage of assets under management, an hourly rate, or even a flat fee.

Are you working for an institution?

I have access to a wide range of professional services but I am not an employee of an organization. This is important because there is no conflict of interest and I can customize a plan to suit your particular needs.

Who is your ideal client?

An ideal client is someone that wants to do better for themselves, their family, and their community. I love helping people that love helping people.

Can you help everyone?

Financial goal setting

Why should I have a financial advisor?

A financial advisor will be able to connect all of the financial dots in order to provide you with an overall plan to meet your financial goals. He or she should have training and experience in all kinds of financial products and financial aspects of your life – equities, bonds, insurance, taxes, and estate planning – in order to make the right recommendations for your personal situation.

A financial goal setting can also save you thousands of dollars in tax deductions and find higher-yielding investment products at little or no extra risk. People with financial advisors and a plan do better than those that do not.

What is involved in financial goal setting?

Financial goal setting looks at a person's overall financial picture. I will often ask a prospective client to fill out a questionnaire in order to understand his or her financial needs and goals. The planner will usually put together a detailed, short-term 5-year plan designed to improve the client's overall financial position. That may be followed by a long-term plan, along with suggestions about how to save and invest for retirement and a child's college education at the same time. The planner will also look at ways to reduce current and future tax liabilities and protect assets by having the proper life, health, disability and long-term care insurance coverage in place. Finally, he or she may offer suggestions on estate planning. Great advisors will help you replace your bad spending habits with good spending habits.

How do I pick someone to help reach my financial goals?

Choose a financial advisor who has experience dealing with clients in similar circumstances to yours. You'll also want to make sure that advisor has your best interests in mind, and that he or she isn't selling you products that are not suited to your needs. Interview prospective advisors and ask them about credentials, management strategies, and history of performance. Call up past clients as references.

What questions should I ask a financial advisor?
  • Ask about education and certifications.
  • Ask about his or her experience with people in a similar situation to yours.
  • Ask about the breadth and depth of products offered.
  • Ask how he or she is compensated for services.
  • Finally, always be sure to check that the financial advisor is fully licensed and in good standing.
How often should I see my financial advisor?

While your financial advisor may make a different recommendation based on your particular circumstances, it's a good idea to see him or her at least once a year. You should also consider making an appointment in anticipation of life-changing events such as marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, or after inheriting a large amount of money.

What is a time horizon?

Time horizon refers to the amount of time a person has to save for a particular event. For example, the time horizon for a college savings account might be 10 years for the parents of an eight-year old child, but 15 years for the parents of a three-year old. Likewise, the time horizon for a 30-year old saving for retirement might be 35 years, whereas it might be 15 years for a 60-year old who started saving late in life.

What is fiduciary responsibility and why is it important?
  • Fiduciary means to hold a confidence or trust. A financial services industry professional who has a fiduciary responsibility to his or her clients must put a client's needs and interests ahead of his or her own.
  • Certified Financial Advisors have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. While stockbrokers and insurance agents are regulated and licensed, they do not have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. The recommendations they make must only meet the "suitability standard." In other words, the risk level of the product must be suitable for the client based on income, assets, risk tolerance or another standard that is specified in the prospectus.
  • Advisors with a fiduciary responsibility are less likely to push products that earn them a quick buck.
How are financial advisors paid?

Financial advisors are paid on either a commission or fee basis, or sometimes a combination of the two. Commissions are usually one-time charges based on each product sold or for each transaction. Fees can be based on the percentage of assets under management, an hourly rate, or even a flat fee.

How it works (process)

15 minute phone call
Discoverey meeting

This is the step where you have some homework and we do the heavy lifting from here. Your income, your expenses, insurances, assets, debts will be needed and reviewed. A draft planning meeting can be scheduled 2-3 days after this information is received and your vision, values and goals have been discussed.

1st draft meeting

Your goals, values and visions are discussed and your numbers are reviewed. Usually a cashflow, debt elimination and investing plan will be made.

2nd draft planning meeting

The first meeting is based on if you lived a long and happy life, this meeting we will the discuss if life was cut short or the unexpected happened. Following your commitment to your goals and making any needed adjustments to your plans from the 1st Draft meeting, Risk Assessment, Income Protection, and Estate Planning will be discussed.

3 rd meeting: Delivery of your plan

This is where we bring it all together and deliver YOUR Plan. Your plan will consist of proven strategies that reduce tax, grow, protect, and keep what you have built – all based on your vision, values and goals!

Biannual review

A goal without a plan is often referred to as a dream. I'm sure you heard "We don't plan to fail, we fail to plan". A plan that is not measured, reviewed and tracked often falls apart. I'm here to help you reach your goals, follow your plan and make needed adjustments to ensure you stay on path to design your best future.

What you may not know...

Many Maritimers believe they are unable get insurance.

We are #1 in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Would you like to see if you qualify for a policy? If you think you're uninsurable, let's talk. I may have a solution for you!

The majority of Maritimers do not like to talk about money.

Recent polls suggest it's because we are riddled with debt, and most have little to no understanding how money works. We fear what we do not understand. It's my belief that everyone should have access to professional financial services.c

Reasons for buying insurance...

There are several types of insurance. Term Life Insurance is to provide for your family and loved ones when you are gone, Critical Illness and Disability Insurance can act as income replacement if you become sick or injured. Permanent Insurance can act as a combination of providing for you family, income replacement and also as tax efficient way of funding your lifestyle and retirement needs. We can also help with group and health benefits.

The 3 easiest ways to save for retirement...
  1. Pay yourself first. Most people only plan to invest after bills and living expenses are paid.
  2. Get financially educated. Financial freedom is possible for everyone.
  3. Pay down that debt. That's something I can help you with, making it easier and faster.

The Infinite Banking Concept

What is the Infinite Banking Concept (IBC) and why should I use it?

The Infinite Banking Concept was established by Nelson Nash in an effort to help people take back control of their own money, giving them the ability to keep and grow what they worked hard for instead of giving it away to the banks, government, fees and loss. Using a properly structured dividend paying whole life policy, you can recapture the interest you would have paid to someone or something else and still buy the things you want and need.

Why use Whole Life Insurance for Infinite Banking?

The main reasons for using a properly structured dividend paying Whole Life Policy is because because the cash value inside the policy is vested, meaning it never goes down, and grows tax efficiently. Insurance premiums are fixed while paid up additions and loan options are flexible, making whole life the ideal vessel to practise the Infinite Banking Concept.

Is it better to buy Term Insurance and invest the difference or buy Whole Life?

"Buy term and invest the rest" is a catchy slogan. It should be clear, in the financial world, there is never a one-size-fits-all. The design of the properly structured dividend paying Whole Life Policy is very important and there are generally 2 ways to structure a policy:

  • For maximum commission and low opportunity or
  • Minimum commission and maximum opportunity. We have been trained to help maximize opportunity.

How do I pay a policy loan back?

One huge advantage of Life Insurance loans is that you determine your payback schedule and payment amount.

With most insurance companies, you can pay a policy loan back with a monthly EFT bank draft or call in and give payment over the phone.

And the best part: You determine either how much you want to pay per month or calculate the payment amount based on the interest rate and the number of years to pay back the loan.

The most important part to grasp is that all the loan repayment options are flexible and are determined by you.

Also, later in life many people use their policy loan provision to supplement their retirement income.

As a result, they do not pay back their loan. Rather, the annual cash value growth and dividend payment of their whole life insurance is used as tax-free retirement income.

What are the advantages of Whole Life Insurance and the Infinite Banking Concept?

The main advantage of the Infinite Banking process is that it creates a peaceful, stress-free financial life. Other benefits include:

  • The investment portion grows tax efficiently. It is vested, meaning never goes down or will lose.
  • It is not affected by the stock market or economy.
  • You have the ability to borrow against it so you never have to pay personal tax.
  • This is like a high-interest savings account with tax and death benefits.
  • Creditor protected.
  • Helps you control your money like a banker.

What are the disadvantages of Whole Life Insurance and the Infinite Banking Concept?

Infinite Banking has disadvantages too. A person must either be insurable OR have a beneficial interest in someone else who is. Other disadvantages include:

  • It is slow growing. The dividend is not guaranteed.
  • It will not reduce your personal or INC tax.
  • The minimum cost of insurance must be paid each year, either by you, your INC, or by the cash value inside the policy. There is a maximum how much you can invest each year.

In addition, if you're not working with an Authorized Infinite Banking Practitioner, you may not be getting the best advice or coaching. To implement this properly, you need a good coach who has your best interest in mind.

Why haven't I heard of the Infinite Banking Concept before?

You've known for years that something is wrong with our financial system but you could never quite put your finger on it. What can the average person do? The wealthy have been using this concept for generations. Unfortunately, the current financial industry to mainly focused on selling products. Mutual funds and term insurance are easy to sell. Another reason is you can't get Whole Life Insurance at the banks unless they consider you an ultra high net worth client. These may be the reasons you have not heard of the Infinite Banking Concept before. We believe we're hitting a tipping point where the Infinite Banking Concept will become a household term in the near future.

Why would I ever borrow when I can pay cash?

The simple answer is opportunity cost. When you pay for something with cash your money leaves you, never to return when it could have been earning interest. Using a properly structured dividend paying whole policy to secure a loan allows you to recapture the interest you would have lost if you simply used cash.

Where can I get more information?

Socially & environmentally responsible investing

What is it?

Socially responsible investing is an investment approach that considers both the financial return and the social good that a company generates. By selecting companies that improve our communities and our environment, and by excluding companies that have a negative impact, I can offer investments that contribute to a better financial future for you and a better world for everyone.

How are investments selected?

Companies that are selected to invest in are based on three factors:

  • Environmental Performance
    • How does a company act as a steward for the natural environment? This includes:
      • How does its operations impact the environment?
  • Social Responsibility
    • How does a company treat people both inside and outside the company? This includes:
      • Do they value diversity?
      • Do they protect human and consumer rights?
  • Corporate Governance
    • How does a company govern itself? This includes:
      • How are executives compensated?
      • Does the company operate transparently and accountably?

Companies that are involved in industries that are considered to be harmful to the community or the environment are excluded from SRIs. This includes:

  • Tobacco
  • Nuclear power
  • Military weapons
  • Pornography
  • Gaming
How does responsible (ESG) investing advocate for change?

Responsible investments use the special rights that come with shareholder status to create positive change on behalf of investors. Through engagement, companies are alerted to ESG risks by the fund managers and then propose solutions, and encourage them to improve their performance.

Does responsible investing (ESG) limit my return on my investments?

No. Actually, several studies show they even improve them! No one should have to choose between building wealth and building a better world. Check out this chart – Blue investments are the responsible (ESG) investments.

What is the demand for socially responsible funds?

Millennials, a large group of young and educated investors are very socially and environmentally conscience. Baby Boomers, another large group are looking for lower risk investments and want to leave a better world for the next generations. Combined with the fact that SRI's are improving returns and engaging in corporate change is a win-win for everyone. This is where the demand is coming from – to make the world better! As long as society wants to make the world a better place, SRI's will be in demand.

Do all SRI Funds follow the same screening and compliance?

While all SRI funds from all fund managers focus on Environmental Performance, Social Responsibility, and Corporate Governance (ESG), no two SRI funds are the same. One fund company may prohibit fossil fuel producing companies while others will include fossil fuel companies that are leaders in ESG in their field. Fossil free funds do not focus on ESG standards and practices.

How do I get started?

To learn more about responsible investing, set up an appointment with me today.

What can you expect?

What is your best advice you offer to your clients?

Financial Independence or having the ability to retire comfortably is rather simple and really comes down to 2 things.

  1. Get a financial education.
  2. Follow your financial education: Knowledge is only potential power. It's not what you know, but what you do with your knowledge.

If you would like to take your finances to the next level, you will need to learn how to invest in yourself, something I'd be happy to help you with.

Will you put me on a budget?

Only if you want me to. Budgets, in my opinion, are like diets: They either don't work or last only a short while.

How will I feel after meeting with you?

Initially, we should meet 3 to 4 times to ensure we have the best plan that works for you. Once the plan is in motion, it is important we meet at least once a year to review your progress.

How often will we meet?

Initially we will meet 3-4 times with a 3 month time span. I highly recommend that we then continue to meet at least twice a year. We are here for the long haul and value the process over the plan.

How long does it take before I come wealthy?

Just like eating an apple a day or exercising, success doesn't happen overnight. Over time, your financial habits will become your philosophy of success.

Should I include my spouse?

If you have a spouse or partner, they should definitely be included in the process.