1. What are your qualifications and experience? What do the letters next to your name mean?
Many people offering financial services call themselves financial planners. However, financial planning is a detailed, comprehensive process requiring hands-on experience and a strong technical understanding of topics such as personal tax planning, insurance, investments, retirement planning and estate planning – and how a recommendation in one area can affect the others.
In addition, with the exception of Quebec, there is no legislated standard in place in Canada for individuals who call themselves financial planners to obtain any credentials whatsoever. Be sure that your planner is appropriately trained, certified and held accountable to professional oversight – as Certified Financial Planner® professionals are today. You couldn’t pay me to write that 6 hour exam again!
I do have an alphabet soup behind my name now…. BMgmt, CFP, FCSI, CPCA, CCS
I have been licensed for 15 years and a CFP for 10 years. I also complete 60 plus hours of continuing education per year to remain current on all my licensing. I am a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA), which is a solid understanding of the health, social, and financial aspects for our aging population. My current client list boasts long-term relationships with more than 250 families, and growing. I’m also have earned my FCSI (Fellow of Canadian Securities Institute) designation, which is the highest honor and most senior credential in Canadian financial services.
The latest and most exciting designation I’ve received in my career is my CCS designation – A Certified CashFlow Specialist. It’s the most effective way to create lasting financial transformation, create clarity and fund your dreams!
I am also the creator of the Money Makeover Online Course which helps women create clarity, confidence and courage around their money situation! Check it out here! MONEY MAKEOVER ONLINE COURSE
2. OK, I want to become a client, what do I need to do?
I’m so glad you asked! It’s simple!
- Give me a shout or set up a 15-Minute Initial Phone Appointment now!
- I ask my clients to register for Money Makeover if they want to work with me further. Not only is this course of GREAT FINANCIAL VALUE for them, it’s also imperative that they understand all the basics of money and have given thought to what they are wanting to accomplish in their financial life. Plus, all my clients that have gone through the Money Makeover Online Course are super organized and will be able to accomplish what they set out to do financially!
3. What services do you offer?
For a complete list of the services I offer, please visit the services page:
I also offer online access to all your accounts.
4. What’s your approach to financial planning?
Ellements Group loves to develop financial plans that encompass all of a client’s financial goals, however not all clients need that, so we offer A-La-Carte planning options, to help fill in the gaps that are missing in your financial plan. Ellements Group considers your overall financial goals, values and attitudes in a specific area such as taxation, estate planning, insurance or investments. As an example, an investment specialist’s portfolio recommendations should consider your investment objectives and risk tolerance, but also your cash flow needs, tax situation, risk management and estate goals. This is Holistic Planning – taking a look at the big picture of your life and helping you get the most out of it financially.
While some financial planners will only service those clients that meet a minimum asset or income requirement, we have created a process that works for clients at any level. And while those with higher income and more assets provide us with much more to work with, we believe that it is never too soon to start learning best-practice approaches to financial planning and can provide you with a view of the future that will give defined goals to work towards.
We will help you implement the plan we develop or, should your situation simply be too far removed from what we do, refer you to a specialist that is more suited to your needs.
5. But I know NOTHING about financial stuff! This all sounds Greek to me!
That’s ok – I love newbies. Education is my favourite part of the process! I’m happy to explain what a “RRSP” is or what a “Bull Market Rally” is or what an “Angelina Jolie Stock Index” is (yes, it’s a thing) or invite you to one of my fun educational seminars for women.
6. Will you be the only person working with me?
It is quite common for a financial planner to include others within the organization to develop and implement financial planning recommendations. You will be introduced to everyone who will be working with you on our end and I am always willing to work with any professionals, you already use – such as your family lawyer or current accountant.
The big difference you’ll notice between working with me and working with a bank is that I am not actively trying to get promoted to another department. I will stick with you for as long as you choose Ellements Group for your financial planning – this is what I do, I do it well and I will never be passing you onto someone that is about to learn on the job as they go. All the people on my team are well qualified, and as my team grows there will just be more people to help you get to where you want to go while offering better service.
7. How will I pay for your services?
Ellements Group will disclose how we get paid from the products and services that we believe are best suited for you. However we can be paid in several ways and in certain situations you can choose the method that works best for you.
From the cost of the product: Ellements Group receives compensation directly from the product manufacturer when you purchase a product through the planner. For example, their compensation is part of the management fee of the fund. In this case no money is exchanged between the client and the planner. Rather, the cost to the client is embedded in the cost of the investment or insurance product. This is great news for you!
Percentage of assets under management: Ellements Group will charge a fee as a percentage of the assets they are managing or administering on your behalf typically ranging 0.5% to 2.9%
Fee-for-service: Our Fee for Service is an hourly Fee that starts at $225 per hour. Stand–alone Comprehensive Financial Plans will range from $1997 to $2999. This fee is tax deductible for most people, however you will need to consult your tax professional.
However, if you want to get all my FREE content, then sign up with your email below or register in our Money Makeover Online course for only $297.
We also accept all major credit cards and cheques.
8. How do I know you will recommend what is in my best interest?
We are completely independent, that means that we get paid the same or similar from all the companies we represent, and can choose virtually the products and services that fit you best! It’s also part of my ethical and fiduciary duties.
9. What is your process?
I follow my Four Easy E’s to Envision, Examine, Educate and finally Execute a plan that takes into consideration your unique life situation including income, life goals and dependents. Our first meeting is typically an interview, and we can establish a follow-up plan after that based on your needs.
10. Where do we meet?
I am happy to meet you at your home or favourite coffee shop. I do have office space if needed and board rooms, but I find that most people enjoy the fact they don’t have to leave home and dislike dragging all their financial documents around with them.
11. So how do I get started?
I would recommend that you register for my Money Makeover Online Course to get a good handle on all things financial. To learn more, click here!
If you live in Calgary, Cochrane or surrounding areas, give us a shout and set up an absolutely free no-obligation meet & greet coffee date at your favorite coffee shop. Remember we keep your information completely confidential and I LOVE COFFEE (or wine, after business of course)
12. Should I bring my husband? Do you only meet with women?
Yes, bring your husband! I have all sorts of clients, old/young, married, single, divorced – we like everyone and believe everyone needs the information we share. My attention is focused on bringing women in on a conversation that is typically focused on men not to exclude men, but to include women.
13. Are you available for speaking engagements?
Yes, I am happy to discuss my area of expertise with those who feel my message resonates with their audience, and I am both willing and able to tailor my presentations to fit any number of themes from couples therapy to empowering women to general financial planning awareness and any number of other niche topics.
14. Does financial planning really make a difference?
Let me answer your question with one of my own. Is planning anything in life important? While spur of the moment is great for plans with friends, last-minute flights and choosing what’s for dinner – planning allows you to achieve peace of mind…..and who among us hasn’t laid awake at night wondering about our future – especially when it comes to finances.
15. If I use your service, what obligation do I have to follow your recommendations?
My recommendations are just that, and you are under no obligation to use my recommendations, however, if you are serious about reaching your goals, we will work together to find a solution that fits you to a T.
16. What companies do you represent?
We use all the major banks, major insurance companies and fund companies in Canada. If you feel safer with big bank names, we can do that for you or if you want to support smaller independent firms or private equity placements, we can help you with that as well.
17. Are your fees tax deductible?
Yes, my comprehensive investment counselling fees are deductible in certain cases, if you choose the fee for planning option. However, I encourage you, as with all tax matters, to consult with your tax professional, as the rules are always changing.