Has an advisor?
Yes, since 2013 (see Perkins and Gow)
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Linda and her husband invested for eight years on their own. Over that period, the couple focused on dividend-paying stocks such as large Canadian banks and telecom companies, and they enjoyed the low trading fees. “That worked out well,” she says.
Her approach changed after her husband died in 2012. On hearing the news, Shawn Perkins, a planner at Safety Bay Financial in her community, reached out to offer his condolences. He’d handled her husband’s insurance and said he could help her review that paperwork when she was ready.
“My husband had taken care of all of the life insurance, so Shawn called me to help implement the claim,” she says. “I also had a couple of other policies and he helped me with those, too, even though they weren’t with him.”
Linda transferred the bulk of her assets to Perkins, but she hasn’t switched from DIY completely—she likes the independence and control.
She also retired shortly after her husband’s passing. “I wasn’t sure how far my money would go, and Shawn said, ‘You’ll be OK. We can invest here and here.’ He explained it all and it was very personalized.”
She appreciates learning about markets, her portfolio and investments, but says it’s also important to feel at ease with your advisor. Perkins, she says, illustrates how her financial plan ties to her goals through long-term calculations. Even better, he cares about her life.
They meet twice per year to discuss and fine-tune Linda’s plan, and to see whether she needs money for anything. “But a lot of times, we’re sitting talking about the family; it’s not all business,” she says.
Getting to know the whole team
Linda also wants to know the portfolio managers who handle her investments. Perkins and his team work with third-party managers. To make sure clients are comfortable and involved, they’ve set up some group and individual sessions with these experts—and Linda plans to attend in future.
I want to understand a little bit more about where my money is and who’s taking care of it,” she says. “My money is my security; it’s an important part of my life.
While information about market cycles is valuable, downturns don’t keep her up at night. “I’ve been through big downs a few times already,” and Perkins and his team always send reassuring emails.