How being an advisor affects personal financial goals

By Michelle Schriver | October 13, 2017 | Last updated on September 21, 2023
2 min read
Target and arrows
© olm26250 / Thinkstock

Marlene Puffer

Marlene Puffer

partner at Alignvest Investment Management, Toronto

As a portfolio manager, meeting my personal financial goals has become easier as I’ve become more sophisticated and learned various strategies.

For instance, I used to invest in a diversified, passive portfolio, but that doesn’t cut it in this environment, when bond returns are low and risk premium for equities isn’t growing.

Now, almost half my portfolio is allocated across various alternative strategies and assets. That includes alternative risk premia that you can access from asset categories like real estate, insurance-linked securities and alternatives like water rights. I have 10% in fixed income, 45% in equities and 45% in alternatives.

Karin Rimnyak

Karin Rimnyak

investment advisor at Action Financial Group, HollisWealth, St. Thomas, Ont.

From working with clients, I’ve discovered that some people wait too long to begin financial planning, while others wait too long to retire and enjoy the fruits of their plans.

Working with clients has also taught me to be goal-specific: what do I want my retirement to look like, and when do I want it to begin? I’ve set my own objectives and time frame so that I can enjoy retirement.

I approach financial planning for myself as I do for clients. For instance, we create model investment portfolios, and applying this technology to my own portfolio allowed me to identify higher-quality investments and better monitor performance.

Pravin Kumar

Pravin Kumar

first vice-president and portfolio manager at CIBC Wood Gundy, Vancouver

As a first-generation immigrant, my financial goals were modest: own a home, have a nice car and take a few vacations.

However, gaining industry expertise, continually updating my credentials and assisting clients has allowed me to broaden my expectations. That’s because developing financial plans and helping clients follow those plans has cascaded into my own life, so that I too have a plan I follow. And I invest using the same strategies I use for clients.

Agree? Disagree? Have your own question or answer? Write us at

Michelle Schriver headshot

Michelle Schriver

Michelle is’s continuing education editor. She has worked with the team since 2015 and been recognized by the National Magazine Awards and SABEW for her reporting. Email her at