True North Advisors has named Tara Scottino vice president of financial planning and senior wealth manager. She has joined the firm from Carter Financial Management, where she was senior vice president responsible for financial planning services, as well as oversight of the firms daily office operations. Earlier in her career, she held senior-level financial and wealth planning roles at The Capital Chart Room, LTD, Wells Fargo Private Client Group and Merrill Lynch.
Based in Dallas, Texas, True North Advisors is an independent wealth management firm serving high-net-worth clients and institutions.
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To mark Financial Planning Week (November 16-22), BMO Financial Group reminds Canadians of the importance of financial planning to stay on top of their finances and to help achieve their goals.
"Financial Planning Week is an ideal time for Canadians to take stock of their financial situation and spend some time charting out their objectives," said Caroline Dabu, Vice President and Head, BMO Wealth Planning Group. "Going through the financial planning process can help you identify your short and long term needs, what you need to save and what you need to do to reach your goals. Ultimately, a financial plan should provide you with more security and confidence about your finances."
A financial plan outlines personal and financial goals and the steps needed to achieve them. Goals can include saving and investing, purchasing a home, continued education, leaving a legacy, protection from unexpected events, starting a small business, career change, saving for a child's education and planning and maximizing income in retirement.
The planning process begins with a financial professional understanding a person's short and long term needs and goals, review of their total financial picture, including assets, liabilities, income, spending habits and investments. Then, a personalized plan is built that takes these items and risk tolerance into account and fits them with the rest of the person's life.
Despite the many advantages of having a financial plan, a BMO study found that 40 per cent of Canadians said that they do not have a financial plan in place - potentially putting them at risk of not being able to fund key life events.
The study also found that Canadians who have a financial plan see value in having one in place: 82 per cent said having a financial plan helped them achieve their financial goals and 69 per cent said that they wish they had created one sooner.
The BMO Financial Planning website, at bmo.com/confidence, features a full range of online tools to help Canadians get started, including:
BMO offers the following tips on how to get started with financial planning:
Examine your future: Consider the things you want to achieve and your desired financial situation in five, ten or even twenty years. Make a list of these lifestyle goals, objectives and milestones.
Collect the facts: Assess your current financial situation, noting your assets, liabilities, income and spending habits.
Seek expert advice: Consult a financial professional to develop a financial plan based on your short- and long-term goals. A financial professional can help you make the right decisions about managing your finances today to ensure you achieve your financial goals in the future.
For more information on BMO Financial Planning, please visit www.bmo.com/financialplanning.
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The survey was conducted by Pollara between April 25 and April 28, 2014 with an online sample of 501 adult Canadian women with children. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size is ± 4.4%, 19 times out of 20.
About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had more than $586 billion in total assets and approximately 47,000 employees at July 31, 2014.
Six in 10 US financial advisors say the majority of their clients are either in or nearing retirement, according to Russell Investments latest Financial Professional Outlooksurvey. And that number is bound to increase with the aging Baby Boomer generation, yet there isnt a consensus about how advisors should create and manage a retirement plan.
According to Russells survey, advisors are divided when it comes to developing spending plans, allocating resources, and even how to measure whether a client is on track.
For example, 25 percent of advisors said they base a retirement spending plan on pre-retirement spending patterns, the most popular approach. Another 22 percent use simple rules of thumb like the 4 percent rule. Nineteenpercent use bucket strategies and 16 percent estimate spending by creating a ratio of assets to future liabilities.
A rule of thumb is easier, and there is momentum,said Rod Greenshields, the author of the study and consulting director for Russells US advisor-sold business. Its the way its been done in the past.
The study also found that only 38 percent of advisors relied on a risk-profile questionnaire to determine how to allocate a clients assets, while 26 percent rely on an asset-to-liability ratio. Fifteen percent prefer to invest a clients money in equities early before shifting to more conservative asset classes, and just 8 percent approach asset allocation with balanced portfolios.
We believe a better way to approach the development of a retirement spending plan is to apply a little math and science in the form of the funded ratio, Greenshields said in the study. It takes into account an investors actual assets and needs, gives a true running tally of income and expenses, and can help avoid the rude awakenings that come with some other common planning methods.
Other advisors feel that a ratio-based approach doesnt take into account clients other retirement goals or one-time expenses like travel, new cars, new homes, a grandchilds education or weddings.
With these goals in mind, a reasonable expectation of these costs and reasonable inflation rate can help determine when a client can retire with a given rate of return, said Daniel Lash, a partner at VLP Financial Advisors. The return must be reasonable in nature and not above historical averages.
While different advisors will of course have unique strategies, they cant even agree on how to measure whether or not their clients are on track for retirement. The most popular methods were looking at preservation of capital after distributions (34 percent) and whether a portfolio maintained a projected rate of return (20 percent).
Despite the different methods of evaluation, advisors do mostly agree that they are doing a good job, with 74 percent of respondents saying their clients are on track for a sustainable retirement.
Charles Sachs, a principal wealth advisor from Private Wealth Counsel, said that the disagreements in the survey had more to do with who responded.
The survey interviewed lsquo;advisors, which I suspect included a lot of folks in our industry who are more sales people than financial planners, Sachs said. A group of certified financial planners would have rather different results in my opinion, as would those who are fiduciaries.
Running out of money later in life is not pretty and professionals relying on a rule of thumb is dangerous if not incompetent.
Russells quarterly survey, which was fielded from Sept. 24 to Oct. 8, sampled 234 advisors from 145 investment firms around the US The survey also looked at the type of conversations advisors are having with clients and found that market volatility was a chief concern of advisors in the third quarter.
Trenton Morton has joined Raymond James as a managing director, senior vice president in Seattle. Previously with DA Davidson, Morton manages $290 million in client assets and had annual production of almost $2 million. Joining with him is Scott Hitchcock, an investment portfolio specialist with eight years of experience. Together they serve high-net-worth families, professionals and business owners both in the Seattle area and along the West Coast.
Financial advisors Bob Pehl and his sister Lynne Pehl have joined Raymond James as senior vice president, investments, and associate vice president, investments, respectively. Previously with Morgan Stanley, they manage over $265 million in client assets and have $1.4 million in annual fees and commissions. Operating as The Pehl Group of Raymond James, the team also consists of service associate Cheryl Kostick. Located in Chehalis, Wash., the Pehl Group focuses on discretionary asset management and wealth planning.
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