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10 Questions to ask your Financial Planner


FP Canada, the governing body for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professionals in Canada recommends that you ask your Financial Planner these 10 questions before hiring them. 




1. WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?

I have a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Toronto. My father Richard and I hold our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® Professional designations and are both Registered Retirement Coordinators.  Richard is also a Chartered Life Underwriter and Certified Executor Advisor.  

2. WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?

I am nearing 10 years in the Financial Planning industry.  I started out working for a large firm that focussed on financial planning so I was focussed on high quality financial planning from day one.  We then moved to a smaller firm focussed on Retirement Income Planning where I learned to appreciate the complexities of retirement. 

I'm also a second generation financial planner, so where many families prefer not to talk about money, I couldn't escape it.  I grew up with a fantastic resource on money and investing right at home.  

3. WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER?

We offer full Financial Planning including Retirement Income Planning, Drawdown Planning, Estate Planning  & Philanthropic Planning.  For more details I suggest checking our website at www.blakewealth.ca

4. WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO FINANCIAL PLANNING?

For us, the whole point of financial planning is to improve the decisions our clients make.  We know that human beings tend to make poor decisions with money; after-all, much of our evolution happened long before money was invented. We use the principals of Behavioural Finance to  overcome those innate tendencies that just don't help. We also outsource our asset management to a professional 3rd party firm to ensure that we can focus 100% on financial planning.  Asset management is a separate and distinct skill, and we prefer to hire experts in that realm to ensure that our clients get the best service, attention, and results possible.

5. WILL YOU BE THE ONLY PERSON WORKING WITH ME?

I am the Financial Planner at Blake Wealth, so for financial planning services you will work directly with me. If we need to involve a Lawyer or Accountant to implement our strategies then we will either work with professionals that you use already, or suggest some competent parties for you to consider.  

6. HOW WILL I PAY FOR YOUR SERVICES?

We begin each engagement with an upfront Financial Planning fee.  Once a client has transferred assets over to be managed by our partners, we charge a percentage of assets invested.  When we sell an insurance product we earn commissions.  Our clients don't pay those commissions directly, they are paid by the carrier that is offering the insurance contract.

7. HOW MUCH DO YOU TYPICALLY CHARGE?

Our standard upfront Financial Planning fee is $3,600 + HST or higher if necessary due to complexity of the clients situation. Once clients have invested money through us, we charge 0.95% of invested assets annually (minimum of $375,000) and our fee is reduced for larger accounts. It is also possible for us to create an ongoing fee-for-service arrangement for clients that do not have, or do not wish to transfer, the minimum asset threshold.  

8. WHO, BESIDES ME, BENEFITS FROM YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS?

As a CFP I’m obligated to always put your needs ahead of my own.  You benefit.  If I am to receive compensation for referring you to another professional I will disclose that before proceeding.

9. ARE YOU REGULATED BY ANY ORGANIZATION?

Planners who hold the CFP®  credential are subject to internationally recognized professional standards of competence, ethics and practice that are set and enforced in Canada by FP Canada.  The Financial Services Regulatory Association of Ontario (FSRA) regulates me as an insurance agent.  I have never been subject to disciplinary action or enforcement.

10. CAN I HAVE IT IN WRITING?

Yes – We prepare a letter of engagement for each new client which outlines the business relationship and expectations that are part of our engagement.  


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