Testimonials

15 years of caring

In 2010 I wrote this in a testimonial for Rona Birenbaum:

“For 28 years I got off easy: my husband Steve handled all our household and personal finances. I didn’t know, I didn’t worry, I was lucky...he took care of everything. Being married to a financial planner, I trusted his judgment totally. I was happy to let him do everything...That all changed when I suddenly realized that if anything happened to him, I’d be SOL. I wanted 3rd party perspective and the reassurance I had experts I could trust who would be there as my back-up.”

Thankfully, Steve and I did hire Caring for Clients to do a financial plan; one that set me up to enjoy peace of mind knowing that should I ever need her, Rona would have my back. Little did I know at the time, that in 2014 I would become a widow.

Rona indeed does financial planning with a difference: throughout my husband’s cancer and in the midst of my loss, knowing Rona was there was a huge comfort and security. After Steve died I did not skip a beat in calling her to set up a meeting to go over what happens next. Rona walked me through every aspect of dealing with his estate. There was so much to handle and she both professionally and personally knew what I was facing and what I needed to do. Thanks to her wise, balanced approach, I confidently transferred our investments into her full care.

If you manage your family’s finances, don’t leave your partner in the dark. Engaging Caring for Clients will be the best investment you can make.

Sincerely,

Laurelea Conrad

President

Conrad Ferguson & Associates

 

“My parents met with Rona and immediately made the decision to hire her as their financial planner. They felt that they would be very well taken care of.”

Recently my father asked me to recommend an investment advisor. He did not have confidence that his broker could be counted on to provide the best financial advice and guidance.

My father is 86 years old and in great shape (he just gave up tennis) and his mind is still sharp. My mother is 81 and her short term memory has become a real problem. My father has always been the financial custodian and he was worried that if something would happen to him, my mother would be in no position to manage her financial affairs.

I strongly recommended that they meet Rona Birenbaum as I thought she’d be the best choice. I told him that Rona could be trusted to review their portfolio and provide sound recommendations.

My parents met with Rona and immediately made the decision to hire her as their financial planner. They felt that they would be very well taken care of.

There are many financial advisors out there - it’s a jungle – but rest assured that if you hire Rona Birenbaum it will be the best financial decision you make.

Michael Marmur

 

“From the first meeting...Rona and Clifford demonstrated their caring, passion for helping, and deep expertise in financial planning”

For 28 years I got off easy: my husband Steve handled all our household and personal finances. I didn’t know, I didn’t worry, I was lucky...he took care of everything. Being married to a certified financial planner, I trusted his judgment totally. I was happy to let him do everything but also felt guilty because I knew I was abdicating responsibility.

That all changed when I realized that if anything happened to him, I’d be SOL. I wanted 3rd party perspective and the reassurance I had experts I could trust who would be there as my back-up.

I knew that Rona Birenbaum and Clifford Boland, with their holistic and values centric client approach would be perfect for us. It took some convincing, but Steve agreed to engage their services to review our finances and help with our retirement planning.

Rona and Clifford were wonderful: their pre meeting homework forced us to lay everything on the table and discuss our needs and future dreams together. Letting people into your personal finances is an intimate experience. Personal finances, like sex, are not something one easily talks about with “strangers”.

From the first meeting to their comprehensive evaluation and recommendation, Rona and Clifford demonstrated their caring, passion for helping, and deep expertise in financial planning. Their communication skills facilitated discussion between Steve and I on some tough topics and opened a new level of partnership in planning for our future.

Thanks to Caring for Clients I am more informed and educated. Steve is reassured he’s been doing the right thing. And as a couple we share the job more equitably and have greater partnership around our money.

Thank you for giving us greater confidence about our finances, for opening great discussions about the future and for giving me a new peace of mind knowing you’ve got my back should I ever need you.

Sincerely,

Lauralea Conrad

 

“They approached my situation in a holistic way...”

I have known Cliff Boland and Rona Birenbaum for over four years and their help to my family and me was, and is, invaluable. They approached my situation in a holistic way - knitting together our hopes and dreams, market realities and current and expected financial situations to create (and execute) a crisp integrated plan so that the Prevosts can be financially sound, protected, and eventually, independent.

Cliff and Rona are as skilled as they are approachable - with them you get an unusually warm professionalism, coupled with a broad network of related professionals (tax, legal) that they can bring to bear.

Needless to say our returns have been excellent, but so is the ongoing relationship, and their resulting advice. I can't imagine my family's future being in better hands.

Dean Prevost
President, MTS Allstream

 

“Who knew it could be fun talking about money!”

Splitting up is hard to do...my investment portfolio and I had become more and more distant over the years. It was sometimes suffering and sometimes benefiting from my benign neglect. I felt guilty about my lack of attention.

Once I met Rona and Clifford I knew that they were the ones I could trust. I could tell that they care about people and know how to manage money. Within a few weeks I made the decision to give a three-some a try.

What a relief it was when they worked through my investment profile, took my current statements away and then came back with charts, graphs and a proposed plan. Congratulations about my good choices in some areas and understanding about my neglect in others. Who knew it could be fun talking about money!

Now I am happily delegating the details to my investment team. I know they will give my portfolio the regular attention it deserves.

C. McCandless

 

“Honesty and integrity are the hallmarks of your service”

We thought it was about time to write a note to you folks to let you know that you have really added a tremendous amount of value to our lives. Both of us have always felt very comfortable that we are getting the very best advice, (even when we didn't want to hear it!) and the trust relationship has grown over time.

We really appreciate the interest, friendship and counsel you have also provided to our family. Your insight into the needs of one of our sons has put him on a very different and more appropriate path. That is way more than I would have ever expected from a financial advisor.

We have and will continue to recommend your services to friends, family and colleagues. Honest and integrity are the hallmarks of your service - please keep up the excellent work!!

Judy & Robin McLeod

 

“Beyond the call of duty”

As I completed another review of your notes from our previous meeting and attended to some loose ends, I thought it appropriate to pause and acknowledge all that you have done for our family over the past five months.

Perhaps this is just normal service at Queensbury, or perhaps it is how you honour the long term relationship you had with my Dad. In any case, it strikes me as exceptional service and certainly 'beyond the call of duty'.

I am astounded by the minutia of detail and complexity of issues, associated with survivorship, that you have navigated Beth and myself through over the past several months. In addition, you have dealt with a change in investment priorities and level of sophistication with patience and openness. Notwithstanding the attributes of some of my father's long-term investments, that you have so patiently explained, I am convinced that the best investment choice that he made for his family was the decision to engage Queensbury. I now more fully appreciate the confidence in you that he valiantly tried to communicate to me from his last bed in the hospital.

Scott Richardson

 

“In a league of their own”

Rona and Clifford are in a league of their own in the Canadian financial planning industry. They have consistently exceeded my expectations and are my trusted advisors. I would strongly recommend their services to anyone seeking a tailor built financial plan that recognizes their uniqueness and long term goals.

Peter Grech

 

“The plan gave us a clear roadmap”

Rona and her partner, Clifford Boland, created a financial plan for our family. The plan gave us a clear roadmap. Equally important, Rona's ongoing interest in our financial success enables us to feel very comfortable about this part in our lives. Rare in this world are people and businesses who truly walk their talk. But you and Clifford take caring beyond the transactional, above the professional, past the expected to a place that is truly without compare.

Thanks for being there. Thanks for caring.

Paul Heron

 

“In a very short period of time Rona has become one of my most trusted advisors”

My experience with Rona has been very positive. I felt that she fully understood and appreciated my current financial situation and my needs. She shared with me a story about her own personal experience that gave me the confidence and trust that she was the right Financial Planner for me. Since then she has been very proactive in following up with me and offers solid/sound advice when asked. What makes Rona unique in the financial world is: 1) she genuinely cares about her clients and that comes across in spades and 2) she relates to her clients through shared, relevant experience. The more I interact with Rona the more confidence I gain in Rona's ability to provide me with the financial advice I need. In a very short period of time she has become one of my most trusted advisors. Words that come to mind when I think of Rona are: Caring about her clients, Empathy, Customer Focus, Knowledgeable, Integrity, Trust, Patience and Problem Solving. I would recommend Rona to others without hesitation.

Karen Calder

 

“Having them in our corner certainly helps us sleep better at night”

Investment decisions always need to be made in context.

Clifford and Rona have consistently delivered results in the context of our family's requirements. They take the time to understand our priorities and then help select investments that are in line with what we want in life, and as importantly when we want them.

Every major decision that we make, that has any financial impact at all, is reviewed with Clifford and Rona before we make a final decision. Having them in our corner certainly helps us sleep better at night.

Clifford and Rona have truly become trusted advisors and we look forward to benefiting from their advice for many years to come.

Tal & Michelle Bevan

 

“Your advice over the years has been sound, measured & consistent...”

Lynda and I want to acknowledge and thank you for the financial planning and consulting advice that you and your team, most notably Rona, have provided us and our family since 1989.

Your advice over the years has been sound, measured and consistent with our financial planning goals. In addition, you have provided a wide range of counsel related to career planning decisions that has helped us in our career path management.

We have enjoyed our relationship and look forward to your leading us down the road to retirement.

David & Lynda Lewis

 

“Your efforts are noticeable and set you apart from the "competition", who pale by comparison.”

Over the last few years, I have come to understand and appreciate what "Caring for Clients" is for Rona and Clifford. It is not just a tag line, or platitude. You actually mean it!

How do I know this?

Well, there have been mutual referrals, although the truth being known, you have referred far more professional work to me than in reverse. But regardless of direction you always pay attention from the client's perspective and needs right through the project and beyond. My clients who have retained Queensbury for their financial and retirement planning have nothing but praise. And you know something, that makes me a big winner! I look good for having made the introduction or worked with you. Thank you. But thank you too very much for the referrals you have made to me. Expectations are high, but I arrive pre-qualified. The standards have been set by you and no less is therefore acceptible, or can be delivered. Your clients are your biggest fans. And so too am I.

Rest assured that when the opportunity arises, it will be my pleasure to recommend you. Your efforts are noticeable and set you apart from the "competition", who pale by comparison.

G.W. Culverson, C.A.
 
 

“They are deeply conscientious, professional and hard-working. They are good people!”

It is with great pleasure that I recommend Rona Birenbaum and Clifford Boland as Financial Advisors.

I have known Clifford and he has been my Financial Advisor for over 10 years. Rona has shared those responsibilities with him in caring for my financial planning and needs since they began working together as a team some years ago.

I cannot imagine how I could have managed the turbulent up's and down's of the last dozen or so years without this wise guidance. During that time, I have gone through some life changing passages, including a divorce, a serious health crisis, growing a successful professional practice, as well as supporting an adult mentally disabled son. Without fail, Cliff and Rona were there for me with the knowledge of the financial industry and ability to take a holistic view of my needs. Consistently, this guidance allowed me to move forward using my investments in an optimal way to supply my immediate needs, while also preparing for my long term needs. Now, that's peace of mind!

I strongly recommend both Clifford and Rona. They are deeply conscientious, professional and hard-working. They are good people!

Barbara Durst

 

“Caring for Clients" at Queensbury Strategies has become a trusted, family affair.”

Approximately 17 years ago, I received a letter from my father about changes that he had made in updating his will. In this letter he wrote: "We are hiring a financial planner who provides an excellent and very comprehensive service, including planning, execution and provision of a complete data base in case of emergency. I'm working on a plan with him now." The financial planner that he was referring to was Clifford Boland.

My father was exceptionally knowledgeable about financial matters. He worked hard all of his life and was very careful about his savings. I knew that he would have researched the matter very thoroughly in making his choice of financial planner.

When the time came that my father became critically ill, and subsequently died, I had the opportunity to meet with Clifford Boland and Rona Birenbaum. They responded to the circumstances immediately, professionally and compassionately. They have continued to be very involved, at my brother's request, in managing my father's estate in the best interest of my mother.

I have very little knowledge about the complexities of financial planning and my husband, who is well informed, has very little time to give these issues the attention that is required. Having been impressed with the portfolio and advice that we were given concerning my father's estate, we made the decision to transfer our personal retirement savings and the assets of my husband's holding company to Queensbury Strategies under the direction of Clifford and Rona. They have been very active in giving us advice, seeking our opinions and helping provide direction so that we can meet our financial goals. Their expertise includes integrating all relevant factors such as insurance plans and various tax incentives.

Most recently, my sons, who are still university students have set up RRSP accounts with Queensbury Strategies. It is my hope that Clifford and Rona will guide them, as they begin to acquire assets, so that they will learn to make appropriate financial decisions with the long-term in mind.

"Caring for Clients" at Queensbury Strategies has become a trusted, family affair.

Elizabeth Richardson Burn

 

“They are thorough, patient, clear communicators, and excellent listeners.”

Rona and Clifford combine consumate professional skill with genuine personal warmth. They are thorough, patient, clear communicators, and excellent listeners. I am fortunate to be among their clients and now consider them friends.

Ann Kirkland

 

 

 

 

 

 

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