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Let’s Make it Personal

By Michael Callahan | October 3, 2018

Question. Hi, I have an RRSP and a TFSA, and have been working with the same financial advisor for about 10 years. To be honest, I don’t really feel like he’s doing much for me, so I’m wondering what my options are. I’m interested in ModernAdvisor, and your low-cost portfolios look great, but I also value a dedicated advisory relationship. I have two young children I will need help planning for their education, and I also want to make sure I’m properly prepared for my own retirement. So, I will need some assistance and guidance on financial planning matters as well as investment portfolio management. Can you recommend a solution that would fit my needs?

Answer. First of all, good for you in taking the initiative and being proactive to find a solution that fits your investment and financial planning needs. At ModernAdvisor, we have recently launched a new solution that would be ideal for you – ModernAdvisor Personal.

ModernAdvisor Personal is a full-service platform, which allows you to work with a dedicated Portfolio Manager and Certified Financial Planner on all your initial and ongoing investment management and financial planning needs. You will have access to your advisory team at any time for specific advice and questions, while still taking advantage of our low-cost investment portfolio solutions.

New Realities

In Canada, there have been significant changes to the rules regarding the disclosure of mutual fund fees. As a result of the increased transparency, many investors, not unlike yourself, have begun to question what they’re getting in return for what they’re paying. Evidently, many of those very same investors, again not unlike yourself, have decided they haven’t been getting a fair deal, and are looking at more attractive alternatives.

The industry has responded by offering investors a plethora of choices, including do-it-yourself (DIY) online accounts and low-cost online investment management platforms such as ModernAdvisor. Indeed, many investors have decided they would be better off managing their financial affairs on their own, and have done just that. However, many others realize that they lack the skill and temperament required to manage their own investments, and therefore want to work with a finance professional – an investment advisor, portfolio manager, or financial planner.

ModernAdvisor Personal

ModernAdvisor Personal offers you the best of both worlds – low-cost efficient investment portfolios, combined with a dedicated advisory relationship and personal financial advice. The service includes:

Tailored investment portfolios

Your dedicated Portfolio Manager will design a tailored investment portfolio by taking a holistic view of your household assets and goals.

Advanced strategies to reduce your taxes

Your dedicated Portfolio Manager will work with you to make sure your portfolio implementation and transactions are as tax-efficient as possible.

Proactive asset allocation to reduce drawdowns

Our team of experienced and licensed portfolio managers monitor the markets and use a principled and disciplined approach to adjust your portfolio holdings to protect your wealth during a downturn.

An expert in your corner when making important financial decisions

Whether you are renewing a mortgage, planning your retirement and deciding when to take CPP, or planning to help your children with the costs of education, you will have access to a Certified Financial Planner and expert financial advice and guidance.

1/2 the fees of traditional advisors

Smart technology, online meetings, and centralized operations allow you to keep your costs low without sacrificing service or the quality of advice.

Bottom Line

Indeed, sound financial planning is not about finding the fund with the lowest MER. It’s about realizing your goals. It’s about putting your kids through university and enjoying a comfortable retirement. It’s about passing your family business to the next generation. It’s about achieving financial independence.

However, the realization of those goals also depends on avoiding costly mistakes, and costly investments. Price, by itself, is never the whole story. Value is the issue – What are you getting in return for the fees you are paying? And, is it a fair deal?

A properly constructed and low-cost investment portfolio is a key element of any financial plan. However, while it is important to be mindful of fees, it’s not always in your best interest to resort to the cheapest products, or cheapest delivery of those products. That is, it’s important that you focus not solely on cost, but also on what you’re getting in return.

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to choosing the right investment platform. For some, the best solution is a straightforward investment management service. For others, a dedicated advisory relationship with planning and comprehensive advice is preferred. ModernAdvisor offers you the choice of both.

If you have any other questions about the ModernAdvisor Personal service, or about any of our other products and services at ModernAdvisor, just ask us.


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Michael Callahan