Planning for life’s financial eventualities could be summed up as one big collection of “what-ifs.”
What if you incorporate your small business? What if you die without insurance or without a buyout plan in place for your business partners? What if your son or daughter wants to takeover management of your business when you retire?
What if you save this much per month? What if your kids go to university?
It can be dizzying to contemplate all the possibilities – and easy to put off such thoughts for another day.
|The Investors Group team includes, back row from left, Ron Cuthbertson, Brad Gustafson, Kathy McMillan, Joseph Csakany and Rick Lowe, and front row, Rob Daumler, Jeff Sterzuk and Richard Sheppard.|
But wise individuals know the urgency and value of good planning. Many of them look to Investors Group, a respected financial planning firm with a strong team of Financial Advisors.
In order to serve a wide variety of clients, including small-business owners, Investors Group is expanding their office and seeking people with small business experience to join their team as Financial Advisors.
“One of our objectives in our office when I arrived here was to create a dynamic, energized work environment,” explains Jeff Sterzuk, Region Director with Investors Group’s Calgary Bow River office, “so we’ve enhanced our ongoing training curriculum, expanded our client-appreciation events, and developed social events for the Financial Advisors and spouses, inside and outside the office.
“Our theory is that if people enjoy coming to work, they’re going to be more effective, and more loyal, long-term members of our team.”
That, in turn, gives Investors Group’s clients confidence when they begin a business relationship with the company.
Describing what he looks for in a Financial Advisor, Sterzuk says: “I like the term ‘value,’ which I think is very important, whether it’s in financial services or any other business.
“If the company or the individual is generating value, and doing it in an honest, knowledgeable way, people appreciate it and will reward the provider of that value with their own loyalty and continued business.”
In serving its clients, Investors Group takes a comprehensive approach to financial planning and wealth management – an important distinction from many of its competitors. It’s not just an exercise in selling a customer some life insurance or pointing to a few mutual funds. The firm’s motto, Solutions Built Around You, is taken seriously.
“Our team of specialists and head-office support allow our clients to receive service and advice on 100 per cent of their financial life, not just their investments,” says Senior Financial Advisor Brad Gustafson.
Sterzuk adds: “We say to the client, let’s create a
solution that gets you from your current situation to achieving your long-term goal.”
The first consultation takes a “snapshot” of the client’s current financial
situation. That includes their income and expenses; assets and liabilities; insurance to cover life, disability, critical illness and long-term care; pension plans; education savings for kids; tax details. If they own a business information is gathered regarding the corporate structure and other related details.
“We need to know everything about their financial situation, and we also want to spend some time getting a better idea of what their long-term objectives are,” Sterzuk says.
“In 99 per cent of the cases, people want to retire comfortably, minimize taxes, save for children’s education, and protect their family if they pass away.”
It’s particularly important for small-business owners with partners to put in place the mechanism for an easy transition in case of death – so the surviving business partners aren’t saddled with making tough decisions in the midst of what can be a very emotional time.
Advance remedies include giving the surviving partners the option to buy the deceased’s portion of the business.
Clients these days put an especially high priority on planning for retirement, and hope to be financially successful enough to enjoy it. That’s when it becomes imperative to consult a
To assist Investors Group’s Financial Advisors with creating the right “financial roadmap” they utilize some of the best financial planning software in the industry.
“This allows us to clearly illustrate the long-term impact of today’s
decisions” says Sterzuk.
Trying to make sense of the stock market and other potential minefields is tough for the average investor without a guiding hand. Most Financial Advisors in Investors Group’s Calgary Downtown or North Hill offices are certified financial planners (CFPs) or are working toward their CFP designation.
“Given the numerous investment alternatives in the marketplace,” says Securities specialist Peter Blanchard, “it’s essential to have a team of professionals to analyse and create investment portfolios that meet the individual client’s needs.
“As a Securities Specialist with Investors Group Securities, I analyse the client’s equity and fixed-income holdings and make recommendations that are in accordance with their financial plan.”
And in accordance with their comfort zone. Sterzuk suggests people with the steely nerves of a riverboat gambler, who want to get rich fast with a bold, risky stock-market play, should probably shop elsewhere.
His Financial Advisors
portfolios that might have their short-term ups and downs, but which pay off in the long run.
“Over the past century, on average, stock markets out-performed every other kind of investment significantly,” he says.
“The important thing is to stay invested and not react emotionally. Theoretically, buying low and selling high is simple, but emotions cloud simple decisions.”
For more information about investing or joining the Investors Group Financial Services team
of Financial Advisors,
call 403.284.0494 or
403.220.9654 or visit www.investorsgroup.com