A SCENIC RIDE AND STEADY CLIMB
2001 was the year I started my Engineering career in an automotive manufacturing firm in the Toronto area and I was officially a "Young Professional". Unknown to me at the time, this was also the beginning of the journey to start my own Financial Planning Business and embark on a mission to help Young Professionals and Families.
With my first full-time job, I was earning a steady salary and doing well. My future wife was also beginning her career and we were planning our life together. We qualified for a mortgage, bought some insurance, contributed to RRSPs, had an advisor and a bunch of mutual funds. Everything seemed to be going just fine. We were enjoying the ride.
THAT UNEASY FEELING
But then the questions started rolling in. As I climbed along this track, I was getting that uneasy feeling - Wait What!? - Where the heck is this thing going!?!?!? (Did I mention I HATE roller coasters?)
How much should I be saving?
What should I invest in?
How should I manage my debt?
Are we saving enough for retirement?
Can we afford to live the lifestyle that we are living?
Is my investment strategy right for us?
Is our insurance coverage adequate to protect my family?
Why is my portfolio not growing as expected?
I WAS SCARED TO LOOK
I am born and raised in Canada, educated through high school and university, but at NO TIME was I ever taught one of the most basic life skills - Personal Finance. Only until I faced these questions about my own finances did I really start to seek out better understanding.
A Globe and Mail article similar to this one got stuck in my head several years ago. It mentioned the high-MER fees associated with active mutual funds and I had to learn more. I dug up my investment statements to see for myself, one eye closed, ..... WTF - What the FEES!
It turns out that the financial advisors at the bank or the investment brokerage were basically sales people for their own high-fee products. Were the 2-3% annual fees worth the "advice" I was getting? Did my advisor take into account all aspects of my financial life before recommending products? Does yours?
GET ME OFF THIS THING!
Since I wasn't originally from the financial industry, the learning curve was steep. As I learned more, I applied it to my own situation. I performed a full net-worth audit and set up a low-cost, balanced and diversified portfolio. And dare I say, it was fun and exciting! I now have a full understanding of where we are and where my family is heading financially. I also know that I'm not paying unnecessary fees that hurt my long-term goals. This peace of mind is priceless, and it feels great having a solid platform and plan to step onto.
Let's go again
I want to share my experience with others, to offer the same peace of mind of knowing where their financial path is taking them.
As I was working through my own family's finances, I was so inspired by the impact that it had on us that I left the automotive industry to become a Fee-for-Service Financial Planner and Money Coach to offer unbiased advice and holistic financial planning to other young professionals and families. At the time of this writing, there are just over 300 Fee-for-Service Planners in Canada.
If you're interested in taking control of your financial situation or just want to know where you're headed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free 30 minute consultation.