Financial planning can seem like a nebulous concept. Because it touches on many aspects of a person’s financial life – investing, retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, and insurance – its holistic nature is in fact one of its key strengths. Sound analysis of a person’s financial situation requires a strong understanding and analysis of each of these areas and the ability to analyze each simultaneously.
We provide free financial planning to clients of Baskin Wealth Management as a value-adding service because we believe it’s important that we not just do our best to manage our clients’ hard-earned funds, but to also help them clearly understand their own financial position and this is accomplished with a well-constructed financial plan.
For some clients, this analysis focuses on how to optimize their savings. For others, it involves projecting their portfolios’ abilities to meet their needs in retirement and beyond. It can also include recommendations on insurance needs, ensuring a person’s estate is properly accounted for and that their heirs will receive the estate’s assets in the most efficient possible way. And of course, for many, a financial plan will include some or all of the above.
Because financial planning so often focuses on risk, it can be seen as a somewhat dismal practice – for example, how much can my portfolio decline in value while still leaving me able to meet my expenses and needs? But one of the most important elements of financial planning in general is that it is a dynamic process. While creating the plan and implementing the plan’s recommendations are certainly important, perhaps even more beneficial is the plan’s ability to change as the person’s circumstances do.
Stock markets across North America have enjoyed a tremendous run over the last 15 months, and even more so over the last 2.5 years since January 2019. Investors who have any reasonable allocation to stocks should have seen their portfolios appreciate significantly over that time. And an investor with a financial plan should see this as an excellent chance to revisit their plan and assess how that’s affected their ability to meet their needs. While no one knows the future – regardless of the robustness of their financial plan – stock market gains have likely made a material impact to their portfolio, and as a result, to their overall financial situation.
If you are interested in discussing financial planning, please reach out to your Portfolio Manager. We are happy to find a time that works for you and to begin the process at your convenience.