What should I look for in a financial advisor?

In our opinion it is important to look for someone who:

  • Understands how to build wealth systematically over time: If the advisor does not have a firm grasp of how to do this, how then can he / she provide this type of advice? We are happy to share with you what we have done in our own financial planning so as to create more predictable future outcomes, pay less tax, take less risk, retain more income and build more wealth.
  • Has access to an unlimited range of product solutions: Some of the greatest concepts and ideas come from the unique implementation of specific wealth management products. Yet, not all advisors are able to recommend all products. In some cases advisors will not have the required licensing while in other situations it may have to do with the environment in which they work. We are licensed to provide you with the widest range of investment and insurance tools available. Nelson Portfolio Management Corp. is a registered portfolio management firm that is able to provide a wide range of investment options. Nelson Insurance Services Corp. has relationships with most of the leading insurance carriers available in Canada. Therefore, when preparing financial planning ideas and recommendations, we are doing so with various investment and insurance tools in mind. These tools are just a means to an end, but with the knowledge that these tools exist, the financial plan can often be greatly enhanced.
  • Has the ability to charge “fees” when appropriate: Charging fees is a very important aspect of the overall financial planning process. In many cases advisors may bundle “financial planning” services as part of the “portfolio management fees” charged to the client. Over time, however, the client may likely pay the same or more portfolio fee each year while receiving the same or less overall service. In our practice, we separate the portfolio management fees (paid to Nelson Portfolio Management Corp.) from the planning fees (paid to Nelson Financial Planning Corp.) so you pay only what you should pay each and every year. We charge for specific financial planning fees when the need arises and only when Nelson Financial Planning Corp. does specific work on your behalf. Nelson Portfolio Management Corp. charges portfolio management fees for managing your portfolio and strives to minimize these fees so as to maximize long term accumulation of wealth.

We meet each of these requirements in the following manner:

  • Our views are widely published as can be seen from the list of publications on Doug’s biography page.
  • By having advanced financial planning credentials (CFP = Certified Financial Planning designation, MFA = Master Financial Advisor designation) we are well educated to provide advanced, integrated and independent advice.
  • Doug is able to provide to you custom portfolio management services through Nelson Portfolio Management Corp. Doug as a registered portfolio manager. Nelson Portfolio Management Corp. is a registered portfolio management firm in Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta and BC and is an Investment Fund Manager in Manitoba and Ontario (this category of registration is not required in Alberta and BC). Lynda Harris is registered as a Portfolio Manager of Nelson Portfolio Management Corp.
  • Doug Nelson, Lynda Harris and Tammy Corrigal are licensed to provide insurance solutions such a life, disability, critical illness and long term care insurance as well as innovative “annuity” solutions.  These solutions are provided through Nelson Insurance Services Corp.
  • As an independent organization the nelson group has the freedom and flexibility to charge financial planning fees while at the same time creating investment solutions designed to reduce long term portfolio management costs. This trade-off can be a significant contributor to long term wealth in our view.

I’m 35 and I have a growing family, how can your process and services help me?

We can help you establish a clear strategy for protecting your family from uncertain risks while helping you set up a clear, longer term wealth accumulation strategy. We will typically review your net worth, income, expenses and tax picture to determine the best game plan going forward. We will discuss your risk profile and determine the best investment strategy going forward. The objective is to make sure we meet all of your goals, by deploying your hard earned income as efficiently as possible today, and over time.

I’m 50 and I have X, how can your process and services help me?

As you approach your 50’s, where you save and invest is often more important than how much you save and invest. At this stage we will be looking 5 to 15 years into the future to project what your income tax return may look like at that time. By doing so, we can determine where it is best to save and invest from this point forward. We will also be able to determine the ideal order from which you will draw your income in retirement. This will help to determine the best options for your pension plan, the Canada Pension Plan and the level of risk required in your actively managed portfolio.

I’m 65 and I have X, how can your process and services help me?

As you approach your mid 60’s, your attention turns to topics such as your Canada Pension Plan. Due to the recent changes to the Canada Pension Plan, the best approach is often to defer drawing from the CPP until age 65 or later. This may mean that you will need to draw from other sources of income first. At this time we focus more intently on how your income is layered in retirement. This is the “income first” methodology. When we are clear on the amount of income you will draw from each source, as well as when you will draw the income from each source, then we will turn our attention to ensuring the portfolio provides this income with as little risk as possible. This helps to create a more consistent and reliable retirement income, while paying less tax and taking less portfolio risk.

I’m 75 and I have X, how can your process and services help me?

As you reach your mid 70’s, your attention may begin to shift towards other issues. You may not be too concerned about running out of money at this point in time, but rather you may be more concerned about the income your spouse will have in the event you become ill and pass away pre-maturely. You may also be more concerned about updating your Will so that your children receive any inheritance in the most tax-efficient manner. We can help you sort out these issues so that your lifetime of hard work is transitioned to those people and community organizations you most wish to receive these benefits.

I want to hire an advisor on a fee for service basis to provide to me a financial analysis of my current and future situation. However, I don’t want to feel that this advisor is trying to sell to me other products or services. Do you provide independent, fee for service, financial advice?

Yes, through Nelson Financial Planning Corp. we provide to you independent, fee for service financial advice. At the completion of our analysis, you will receive a written report designed to address all of your questions. If you would like to continue our conversations and discuss specific investment or insurance products, we will only do so on your request. This is part of the reason why we have chosen to create three different corporate entities: Nelson Financial Planning Corp. provides the fee for service financial planning analysis; Nelson Portfolio Management Corp. provides custom portfolio management while Nelson Insurance Services Corp. recommends specific insurance products. This helps us create different, unique services for clients of differing needs and circumstances.

Next: Getting Started »