Frequently Asked Questions

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How will you help me develop my financial plan?

We’ll start by listening carefully to you to understand your goals, objectives and concerns. Next, we’ll request you provide us with financial information and other pertinent documents so we can begin our analysis and create a customized financial plan. We’ll provide you with strategies and tactics to achieve your goals and an action plan to guide you along the way.

As your needs change over time (e.g., new job, new family, retirement, divorce) we’ll make sure your financial plan evolves with you.

Do you only give advice, or can you help me implement my plan?

At Durham Financial, our success is dependent on our clients reaching their goals and objectives. We’ll provide you with a detailed action plan and will assist you with the implementation, every step of the way. We also have several local accountants and lawyers that we routinely refer clients to for advice on specific issues.

What are your areas of expertise?

At Durham Financial we have two areas of expertise – comprehensive financial planning and divorce financial planning.

In our financial planning practice, we help clients make sound financial decisions through all of life’s important stages. We create a detailed strategy based on your current financial situation and goals. We address all areas of your financial life including: cash flow, debt management, investment, retirement, education, insurance, estate, business and taxation planning. We work with you to implement your plan and follow through; we offer ongoing advice, support and coaching through regular scheduled meetings.

For clients going though divorce, we help them avoid common financial pitfalls, by presenting a clear understanding of their financial affairs and providing insight into the pros and cons of different settlement proposals, to ensure fair and realistic settlements for the family. As financial divorce specialists, we offer support to clients and their lawyers by providing financial analysis of the couple’s assets, liabilities, incomes, and child and spousal support payments, taking into consideration inflation and changing tax consequences. We help clients establish realistic budgets and educate them about the tax implications and other financial consequences of retaining or giving up certain assets. We also provide insight with respect to insurance options. Using specialized software, we analyze various settlement proposals and provide detailed data that show the short-term and long-term impacts of each option.

Will you work together with other professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, and insurance specialists, when required?

We integrate our advice with work done by your existing lawyer and/or accountant. We also have access to many professionals to tackle even the most complex tax, wealth transfer, estate planning and succession issues, should the need arise.

Are you limited to selling products from certain companies?

We are not limited to using products of any one firm. We purchase our investment products through Assante Financial Management Ltd., which means we can hold most investments you may have purchased at other firms (with the exception of individual stocks) within our accounts. Having access to the products of a wide range of investment companies ensures our ability to recommend changes, should a particular investment underperform relative to similar investments. Also, for fixed income investments such as guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), we can search the market and usually secure higher rates than our clients could receive when dealing with their bank.

How are you paid for financial planning work?

Durham Financial provides financial planning as a stand-alone service, or in conjunction with ongoing investment management. Investment management clients benefit from our financial planning services at a reduced or eliminated cost (based on the size of investment portfolio).

When preparing a financial plan for clients on a stand-alone basis, we charge a minimum retainer for financial planning services of $1,500. Depending on the scope of the engagement and the complexity of your plan, this fee may be adjusted.

How do you get paid for divorce financial planning work?

We charge an hourly fee for the time we spend working on your case. All services, including meetings, telephone conferences, document review, preparation and analysis, are charged at $150.00 per hour.

Can I view my accounts online?

We use the investment products and services from a variety of companies for our clients – based on their unique needs. Most of these companies provide online access to their accounts.

Do you carry liability insurance?

Absolutely! We carry the most comprehensive liability insurance available to a financial advisor in Ontario. Often called Errors and Omissions insurance, this insurance protects you were we ever to make an error in our advice. Throughout our careers, and throughout some very difficult bear markets, we have never had a claim against our liability insurance. This reflects the careful planning we do prior to recommendations, and the conservative nature of our approach.

Do you advise women differently than men when developing a financial plan?

Yes we do. Women have unique financial issues that need to be considered in the development and implementation of a financial plan. Helping women take control of their financial well-being is a cornerstone of our business. Learn more about financial planning for women.