Emotions matter when it comes to investing. The world is more volatile than ever, which can test the emotional limits of any investors. More than ever you need a wealth manager that works harder to protect and enhance your financial well-being. Since you’ll have to transcend market turbulence and the occasional bear market, you need smarter strategies that help adapt to ever-changing global opportunities and risks.
We’ll start by understanding what your personal limits are. By understanding your investment comfort zone, we can build a portfolio designed to achieve your Financial Life Plan. Since you don’t live an average life, and neither do the rest of our Clients, we customize each of our strategies based on your unique needs, wants, and circumstances.
When you first come aboard as a client, we’ll go through a process of individualizing your portfolio. Once we’ve established your financial life plan, we’ll further tailor your wealth plan to ensure it supports your bigger picture and aligns with your goals and lifestyle timelines. As time goes on, we’ll continue to revisit your personal strategy to adjust for the inevitable and the unexpected, as you live your best possible life. Financial life planning, as with life, is about successfully navigating your journey – not the final destination.
Your wealth plan will then be actively managed to position your portfolio in undervalued assets when opportunities arise, and conservatively reposition when assets appear expensive. We actively monitor market cycles and trends to identify opportunities and reduce or add exposure when appropriate. Through regular dialogue we will continually refine and optimize your custom wealth and life plan. The benefits of our active wealth management approach are clear: peace of mind and the confidence that comes from knowing you’re in control.
We believe that a successful wealth plan must allow for diversification, preservation of capital, strong return potential and peace of mind during volatile times. In order to achieve this, we utilize a variety of investments and services tailored to meet your individual needs. Our experience has withstood the test of time and the onrush of challenging and turbulent markets. With over 25 years of expertise, we concentrate on the financial and investment needs of affluent individuals, trusts and business owners with investable assets in excess of $1 million dollars. We will help you develop innovative strategies to manage your personal and corporate finances. We’ll explore all appropriate areas of your wealth plan including, but not limited to:
We are discretionary portfolio managers and we use a rigorous strategic and tactical asset allocation process to ensure clients are always properly diversified. The following is a summary of Fabien’s seven core investment planning beliefs & principles, which are expanded on below:
- Every client should have a basic financial plan completed before an investment strategy can effectively be recommended;
- Client’s risk profile must include an analysis of their risk tolerance and risk capacity;
- The initial financial plan and risk profile provides the necessary information needed to create an appropriate Investment Policy Statement (IPS), which clearly explains the client’s customized investment strategy;
- The management of asset allocation forms the basis of each investment plan, including tactical ranges for each asset class, enabling active allocation tilts as required based on market conditions;
- The active use of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) is encouraged, and forms the basis of regional, country and asset class allocations;
- The selection and management of individual stocks should be performed by individuals who are fiduciaries and who have access to advanced tools and processes within a discretionary environment, enabling the quick and efficient adjustments needed in today’s markets;
- We advocate the use of Technical Analysis, which should be used in concert with Fundamental Analysis when managing individual stocks.
Basic Financial Plan
When you hire us, we begin by completing a preliminary financial planning analysis to learn about you, our new client. This helps us determine how your investment portfolio fits with your ultimate goals. We’ll analyze your overall net worth, cash flow, tax position, and liquidity needs. This is not a full Financial Life Plan – that’ll be provided to you after the portfolio is properly invested. This initial analysis is limited in scope – it starts with a basic net worth analysis to understand your overall estate structure, including what the total portfolio value represents in percentage terms to your net worth, which impacts the level of risk you can take. We’ll also draft a cash flow analysis to assess your various income sources, marginal and effective tax rates, income and liquidity needs in the short and medium term, and your overall expenses relative to your net cash flow. The above analysis establishes your risk capacity.
Risk Tolerance and Capacity
We’ll perform a thorough risk tolerance analysis by using psychometric testing. Psychometrics blends psychology and statistics. It is a scientific discipline for testing personal characteristics such as risk tolerance. Psychometrics sets international standards for both the development of tests and for evaluating the qualities of tests. Once your risk tolerance is assessed, we’ll combine it to your risk capacity obtained from your financial planning analysis, to arrive at your overall risk profile.
Investment Policy Statement (IPS)
As fiduciaries and discretionary portfolio managers, we must clearly communicate to you the planned investment strategy we’ve constructed for you by drafting your Investment Policy Statement (IPS). This important document establishes your personal investment portfolio’s blueprint which we’ll continually refer to as we manage your investments in the coming year, or until a new IPS is drafted, whichever comes first. A new IPS is required at least once per year, or sooner if you have a material change in your overall financial situation that warrants an adjustment.
The choice of asset class weightings is based on our strategic asset allocation models which spans 11 risk profiles. Each model has an expected level of risk and return based on historical and statistical analysis. Your risk tolerance and capacity will be matched to the appropriate strategic asset allocation model. This strategic mix represents your neutral allocation. We add to this a minimum and maximum range for each asset class, partly based on your risk profile and the particular asset class. These ranges are used when tactical shifts are needed based on market conditions. For instance, we may temporarily underweight a particular asset class down to its minimum range when it’s overvalued, while at the same time increasing the exposure of an undervalued asset class to its maximum range. As markets adjust, we adjust the tactical tilts as needed, ensuring that we minimize your portfolio’s downside volatility when needed, and maximizing the upside volatility when possible and appropriate. These shifts are not based on a calendar – we don’t re-balance on a quarterly or yearly basis – markets don’t work that way. We re-balance whenever needed, based on the markets. Whether this is happens within in a week, a month, or several months is irrelevant to us; what matters is what the market is telling us.
Exchange Traded Funds
The use of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for various country, sector, asset class, or style allocation allows us to minimize trading costs, which in turn maximizes your portfolio returns. Day to day trading in ETFs is done based on the above re-allocation needs resulting from the active tilts that may be required. We maintain an often-adjusted inventory of ETFs chosen from extensive research and regular monitoring to ensure that we use the best ETF for your particular need.
Stock Portfolio Models
We manage 4 stock portfolio models, made available to high net worth clients. Concentrating on the selection and management of Canadian and U.S. stocks, our model portfolios blend varied investment styles based on a quantitative approach to construct fundamentally distinct, equally weighted equity portfolios.
Our models include a stable Income model, a moderate Predictable Growth model, and a higher volatility Momentum model. We also combine these three styles into a 4th model, selecting only the top 10 stocks from each into a well-balanced multi-style portfolio of 30 holdings, effectively reducing overall risk while maximizing returns.
All our models follow disciplined, clearly established rules, strict buy and sell parameters, and daily review of updated fundamental changes to a corporation’s reported financials. I strongly believe that by maintaining this disciplined approach, we effectively minimize the negative behavioral issues often associated with equity investing. Our specialized quantitative tools enable us to construct filters for a plethora of fundamental variables to extract the best possible basket of stocks based on special blend of criteria. Each model includes High, Moderate and Low impact variables. More weight is placed on High Impact variables, and less weight is placed on Low Impact variables. Once a basket of high-quality stocks has been ranked based on its specific style, we then use technical analysis to further extract the best 30 stocks for each model.
As fiduciaries and portfolio managers, we’re able to quickly adjust our holdings using our advanced tools and methodologies, which automatically flows down to each of our client accounts based on their custom model exposure.
Financial Life Planning
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
– Albert Einstein
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.“
– William Bruce Cameron
The purpose of Financial Life Planning is to help you create a satisfying and fulfilling vision of life and then help you discover how to achieve that vision. Your vision of life is made up of your specific “wants” which are vivid and compelling to you – the ones that get you exited for the future. These include four areas of your life; home, lifestyle, family, and career. Incorporated within all of these are your estate and philanthropic considerations.
All good planning involves imagining the way you want things to be (your vision), confirming where you actually are (your current reality), assessing and acknowledging when there’s a gap between the two, understanding why there’s a gap, and then learning what you can do to close that gap.
WealthLife Capital is one of the rare Canadian companies that uses this proven Financial Life Planning process. Although we also provide regular modular and comprehensive financial planning services, we believe that Financial Life Planning is a better solution for our clients. Financial Planning is about crunching numbers, using financial tactics and products that will meet financial objectives. Life Planning is about your life. It’s about creating a satisfying and fulfilling vision of life, and then discovering how best to achieve that vision.
With Life Planning, you participate in every step of the planning process. You align lifestyle decisions with effective financial-planning tactics that suit you. Life Plans are about your vision, your way.
The main components of a Financial Life Plan are:
Values: What are your most important family values? They largely determine what you want in life. Life plans begin by asking you to prioritize your most important family values.
Vision: What are the things that you have and do now, and would like to have and do in the future? Life plans help you clarify your vision of life in four areas: home, lifestyle, family, and career. Life plans recognize that your immediate wants are just as important to you as your long-term planning needs.
Details: When do you want to have and do things, and what do you think they will cost? Life plans let you attach details to your vision exactly according to what you want. For example, we can model semi-retirement and a less active lifestyle as you age.
Solutions: Will your current actions achieve your wants? Life plans provide a complete financial forecast. To learn what effective actions you could take, we use our advanced life-planning software to model and compare “What if?” scenarios.
Call us for more details or to schedule an introductory meeting.
Financial Life Planning Fees
Our portfolio management clients are automatically provided with all Financial Life Planning advice and services as an included benefit to our discretionary portfolio management services. For clients who have portfolios that are below our account minimum threshold, or for those who wish to hire us exclusively for Financial Life Planning, we offer Fee-For-Service financial planning services.
Our planning fees are $300 per hour. This fee is based on our time and the expertise we’ve built from many years of financial planning experience. Discounts are available for simple modular based needs such as insurance needs analysis, retirement analysis, university funding analysis etc. These individual needs typically cost $500 per analysis.
We guarantee that you’ll always get a completely independent recommendation from us, free from conflicts of interest or hidden purposes. You pay us for our time and expertise, and we’ll give you our honest advice and recommendations, along with appropriate products, if any are needed, to put action to your plan.
If you choose to use products or services available at our firm, such as discretionary portfolio management or insurance products, we can fully discount your planning fees based on fees generated from the products or services you obtain from us.
Cost for Initial Meetings
The purpose of initial meetings and discussions is for each of us to determine whether there is a fit for us to work together. In our 25 + years of experience, we’ve come to understand that this is the foundation of a solid long-term relationship. As such, initial meetings are free of charge or pressure.
If you choose to hire us for services, we will establish an Engagement Agreement with you before any fees start to accrue.
Estate Life Planning
A well-designed estate plan ensures that, in the event of your death or mental incapacity, your affairs are settled in a timely, orderly and tax-effective manner, and according to your wishes. It also helps ensure that your family is looked after and can manage financially. Far too many people dedicate their working lives to building substantial financial wealth, but then fail to consider the available strategies that protect and preserve it. The results can be devastating to your family and your business.
As Financial & Estate Planning Advisor, Fabien offers expertise in financial and intergenerational wealth transfer solutions including estate creation and preservation, business succession funding, estate-friendly investing, and charitable giving. With our help and your legal and tax professionals, we’ll create or review your estate plan and help you navigate a number of planning issues depending on your needs, such as:
- Estate Settlement Cost Analysis
- Probate Reduction Strategies
- Tax Sheltered Investment Strategies
- Planned Giving Strategies
- Family Financial Risk Analysis and Mitigation
- Insurance Analysis and Advice for:
- Critical Illness;
- Long Term Care; and
- Annuities etc.
- Corporate Financial and Insurance Protection such as:
- Group Health Benefits;
- Business continuation;
- Key person protection;
- Funding for buy/sell agreements;
- Creditor life insurance; and
- Corporate Disability Protection (income replacement, overhead costs, lump sum disability buy-out etc.)