On the Our Solutions page of our website we talk about ‘The Desire for Simplicity’. This represents our recognition of a need, among our existing and prospective clients, to simplify the management of their financial affairs. This trend is gaining momentum, and we have assembled a broad range of integrated services necessary to confront the challenges it presents.
The power of relationships
At The Funke Group we believe in the principle of Integrated Wealth Management, an approach to investments and wealth accumulation that draws its strength from the power of relationships. So while the relationships we build with our clients are vital, so too are our partnerships with other specialized individuals and teams within ScotiaMcLeod, Scotiabank and Scotia Wealth Management. The synergy created by this combination of resources and expertise, when brought to bear on individual client expectations and needs, is extraordinarily effective.
Getting to know you
When a new client approaches our practice, the first thing I do is get to know you and give you the opportunity to get to know me. It’s a relaxed chat, rarely more. What do you want out of life? is a question I might ask. What are your hopes and dreams? might be another. What is your attitude towards risk? might be a third. More specifically, I might throw in some non-technical questions relating to investment expectations. Is it growth you’re looking for? Or income? Or a combination of both?
Discovering the details
Once we’re comfortable with one another, and typically during a follow-up meeting, I’ll probably want to explore your past, present and future financial approach. I examine everything. Goals. Obligations. Time horizon, especially if retirement is approaching. Investable assets. Income, liabilities and tax situation. As I mentioned earlier, ultimately I want to discover what you want out of life. Because unless I know that, I can’t work with you to successfully plan your financial future.
Deploying your team
Based on those initial discussions, I make a determination about which members of my immediate and extended team should be deployed to establish the foundations of a rigorous investment and wealth strategy. The specialists I select will likely include a financial planner, a tax specialist, an insurance advisor, an estate and trust specialist and a private banker. I use as many, or as few, of my team as the personal situation of the individual client (or clients, if I’m working with a couple) dictates.
Internal bench strength
I have access to considerable internal bench strength at Scotia Wealth Management and, depending on the circumstances, I may bring others (a lawyer and/or a credit specialist, for example) into the strategic planning process. I act as investment advisor, point man and project manager, scrutinizing every detail of the work. There is nothing ‘off the rack’ about my approach. It is fully engaged, very comprehensive, and intensely personal. No two clients are the same; no two plans are identical.
An initial financial plan is drafted and tailored to address the goals and concerns that were uncovered during our initial discussions. I will then present the plan to you personally, inviting your commentary. My aim is to provide you with a realistic and actionable roadmap for your financial future. Over time, I work with you to implement strategies to take care of your investment, income and asset protection, will and estate planning, banking, and borrowing needs. But, and I can’t stress this more, it all depends on you.
I review the progress you are making towards your goals and make whatever adjustments are required to your overall plan. In addition to our ongoing monitoring, you will be invited to participate in a detailed annual review — sometimes this review is more frequent; again it’s up to you — where we compare our results to your targets and objectives, making any necessary adjustments in order to ensure your continued success.
I am available to you for ongoing discussions about strategic refinements to your plan, and modifications to your investment strategy, as and when circumstances dictate.
On a regular basis, you receive written statements and tax reports.
Above all, we try to ensure that you receive a comfortable, reassuring and financially productive experience managed by a seasoned, accessible, empathetic team you relate to and can trust.
The word trust is in italics, for a good reason. Without that essential ingredient the client/advisor relationship is unlikely to work.
Geoff Funke, Senior Wealth Advisor, Scotia Wealth Management, 604.535.4721