Rona answers the question, “When is the right time for a financial plan?”
Who is your typical client?
You, in fact—because every client is unique. Since we do financial planning on a fee-for-service basis, we feel no pressure to seek out clients that fit a certain profile. So we work with people of all ages and wealth levels. Our clients do share some common aims, however. They all want to be empowered, to set personal financial goals and have a plan to achieve them. They all want a trusted advisor to give them unbiased, professional advice, and to monitor and follow up as circumstances change. And that’s what we do.
How do you get paid?
We charge fees for our financial planning advice. We give you an estimate during our first meeting for developing your financial plan. Typical comprehensive financial plan fees start at $3,000 plus HST and range up to $6,000. What makes us price a plan higher than that base rate? Additional complexity that often relates to:
- Incorporated business owners
- Blended families
- Couples managing their finances separately
- Career transitions
- Multi-generational estate planning
- Challenging family dynamics
- Expatriate/multi-jurisdictional planning
How long does the process take?
Every situation is different. But, from the time you decide to work with us and provide us with your information, an initial working draft plan usually takes 3-4 weeks to develop. Fully implementing an agreed-upon plan usually takes about 6 months. In fact, planning never really ends, since most clients ask us to provide ongoing advice as their situations change.
What can I expect from you?
You can expect professional, experienced advisors. You can expect us to work in your best interests only. You can expect us to be interested in every aspect of your life. Why? Because finances touch on career, family, health, leisure—just about everything you do. The more you share, the more we can help. You can expect us to be available, pretty much anytime, to answer questions and solve problems. You can expect us to stay in touch. We will anticipate ways to save and protect your wealth as times change and to advise you of these opportunities as they arise.
Is financial planning the same as investment advice?
Not at all. Financial planning takes a comprehensive look at all your circumstances to ensure your finances (budgeting, cash flow management, borrowing, insurance, investing, tax planning, etc.) fit with your goals and preferences. Investment advice ensures that the marketable securities in your plan align with your financial planning goals.
If you do my financial plan, do I need to invest with you?
No. We charge for our advice and the plans we develop. You are completely free to deal with anyone you wish to handle your investments.
Are you tied to specific investment products?
No, we are completely independent of any financial institution and its products. We have just one aim: to ensure the investment products you own are the best available to carry out your financial plan.
Do you take commissions from financial institutions?
We do not receive commissions on investment products for our Financial Planning Clients. We do charge a fee for service as a percentage of your assets under management. These fees are fully disclosed. If insurance is part of your financial plan, we may receive a commission on those purchases, because that is the insurance industry practice. But we will always be completely transparent about disclosing any income we receive for acting on your behalf. We volunteer this information without being asked.
Do you split fees with other professionals you refer?
No. We often get asked to recommend professional and other services. We never accept commissions or fee splits from those we recommend.
If you have a question not covered here, please contact us.
* Rona Birenbaum is a certified Financial Planner and is licensed to do financial planning. Rona is registered through separate organizations for each purpose and as such, you may be dealing with more than one entity depending on the products purchased. Rona is registered through Caring-for-Clients for financial planning services. Financial Planning is not the business of or under the supervision of Queensbury Strategies Inc. and Queensbury will not be liable or responsible for such activities.