Kendra Sivertson, CFP, CLU is an advisor at Perspektiv Financial and Sora Group. She works in the historic Gastown neighbourhood in Vancouver. She has been in the financial industry for more than 15 years. Kendra’s primary expertise is creating financial plans for business owners and people in the film industry.

when Kendra Sivertson was a teenager, she dreamt of becoming a famous actress—and might have been one if not for a car accident that left a deep scar on her face.

While she took a pass on the bright lights, her passion for the film industry never wavered. Told she was too young for an MBA in theatre management, she landed a job as a credit-union teller, and realized she was equally as enamored with finance.

Today, Sivertson advises actors, directors and other film-industry professionals. The Vancouver-based advisor with Sora Group Wealth Advisors, Inc., began building a base of movie-related clients through friends in the industry. They now constitute about 40% of her book. “I can live vicariously through my clients,” she says.

Dealing with film professionals is similar to working with business-owner clients, which constitute another 40% of her base. Many don’t make money for weeks, and then get a massive influx of cash. Her highest-earning film clients can make up to $1 million per year—but can see that drop to $350,000 or even zero in subsequent years.

To prepare them for slow work periods, Sivertson takes a basket approach. She creates three separate accounts: the first for immediate needs, such as bills; the second for medium-term wants, like a house; and the final account to fund financial independence.

If a client’s show gets cancelled, or he’s off for the summer, Sivertson dips into the first basket to fund his lifestyle. That account is primarily invested in fixed-income to shelter it from volatility. The second basket is an even mix between bonds and equity, and the last account is more weighted to equities.

Generally, Sivertson says, because her clients don’t get regular paycheques and could be out of a job at any time, their portfolios will have a higher weighting to fixed income.

As for retirement, many clients say they’ll never stop working. So Sivertson focuses on financial independence instead. “I say, ‘What happens if you’re not doing this anymore?’ It’s about choosing when to work” rather than aiming for a set stop date.

She also runs scenarios to determine what will happen to clients’ draw rates if they don’t see income for certain periods. Plus, “we set funds aside that we never include in any long-term planning”—at least a year’s worth of emergency savings.