Baskin Wealth Management considered an essential business

As most of you are by now aware, the Ontario provincial government announced yesterday that all non-essential businesses must close by the end of the day today. We have, however, received confirmation from both our principal regulator and the Ontario Ministry of Finance that we are considered an essential business so will continue to operate.

As the safety or our clients and employees is a top priority, the Baskin Wealth Management team is mostly working from home and, with a robust business continuity plan, all of our key functions continue. We can trade on your account, answer your phone calls and emails, and process your deposits and withdrawals. We are working hard to get our March 31st reports out on time (warning: They will be ugly!) and this will be easier for those of you who have indicated a preference for electronic communication over normal mail.

The one area that may cause us some difficulty in the future is dealing with physical cheques. For most of us cheques have become much less important in our lives as electronic forms of payment have largely made them unnecessary. However, we know that some of our clients still prefer to receive payment by way of cheque and prefer to write cheques for deposits.

Depending on how the current health crisis unfolds, we are concerned that use of cheques will become difficult or impossible due to a combination of the following factors:

  • We expect some impact to service provided by Canada Post;
  • Similarly, courier services could be curtailed or halted;
  • Many bank branches are curtailing or limiting retail service, including cheque deposits.

Under these new and difficult circumstances, and in order to ensure that your withdrawals and payments are processed in a timely fashion, we would ask all clients to do the following:

  • If you wish to make a withdrawal of funds, please contact your portfolio manager. We will discuss ways to do this electronically rather than by cheque.
  • If you wish to make a deposit to any account, please do the same. We can transfer funds to your investment account without the need for a cheque.

Finally, if you are still getting physical quarterly reports from us, we would urge you to switch to email. This will ensure that you will get your report regardless of what happens with mail service. A simple phone call or email to us will suffice to make the change.

Please stay healthy and safe.