Investing is all about trust

By Geoff Lee

February 7, 2017 12:00 AM

NUMBERS GAME Craig Traverse, a financial consultant with Investors Group, emphasizes the value of advice in financial planning from an agent with whom you feel comfortable. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

When it comes to financial planning, don’t put all your eggs into one money basket.
That’s common sense advice from Investors Group in Lloydminster that offers a suite of investments, tax planning, mortgages insurance, estate planning and retirement to suit individual needs.
“With financial planning, you have the investment side and there’s an array of investments we deal with—mutual funds, stocks, bonds, GICs, annuities—you name it, we look after it,” said Craig Traverse, a financial consultant,
“And as part of a financial plan for each person, it’s going to be different in what you’re going to hold.”
Traverse notes every person is different, so every financial plan at Investors is tailor made to each individual person or family group.
“I think that’s important for people to understand; you have to have a plan based around your goals and is going to resolve your concerns,” he said.
That plan can also be protected with life insurance, disability and critical illness insurance and mortgage protection.
“We also do group benefits for companies to insure their staff are looked after,” said Traverse.
He said it’s key from the get-go to work with an advisor who you enjoy working with as it’s your money that’s being invested.
“If you deal with someone you really get along with and really trust, it makes it a lot easier to follow through on some of the actions required in some of the hard times in your life,” said Traverse.
The financial planning process starts by taking a snapshot of a client’s current financial situation with the focus on their long term goals.
Traverse said some people want to retire at 50, some people are 65, some are going to work forever and they try to build a plan around that.
“Some people have kids, some don’t, that’s where it becomes really personalized,” he said.
A personal financial plan would also include retirement savings, with this year RRSP contribution deadline on March 1.
“One of the things you need to understand is where you’re at—tax position for the end of the year before the tax deadline, and if you should be making last minute contributions,” said Traverse.
“A lot of my clients benefit from some last minute tax planning to earn free money from the government each year.”
Traverse said one of the best ways to find a knowledgeable financial planner is with a referral from a friend or family member.
He likens the search to going for a job interview.
“When you drop off a resume, you don’t just give it to anybody, you look for the manager, you look for the person you want,”  said Traverse.
“You have to go where someone is going to respect you and work hard for your money.”
That includes sitting down with a client at least once a year to review or tweak their financial plan.
He said life milestones such as moves, births in the family are all changes that need some time from your advisor to see how they are going to affect your plan.
He noted it’s also comforting to know most of your money will be invested in growth and very little into fees with industry fees continuously coming down.
“We just recently eliminated all of our redemption fees tied to any new money coming in,” said Traverse,  about Investors’ fees.
“That’s really a game changer in our industry, we are always trying to reduce the management expenses ratio in all our investments.”
Traverse said the great thing is clients don’t get a bill from him in the mail.
“Everything is looked after in their investments and they don’t see anything come off the top of their investment,” he said.

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