Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Do You Have A Financial Guy?

Money

So, remember that time I paid off my student loans? I do, because it was the best day ever in the history of ever. Well, that was back in early April and it means that now, at the end of every month, I am finding myself the proud owner of $1,800 that used to just tragically disappear from my bank account. I actually have my paycheque set up so that a (very large) portion of it goes to a completely separate account (instead of my main chequing account) and from which automatic payments were drawn every month to pay my student loans. It made me feel better to not have to see that money go into my chequing account and then disappear – I was able to pretend that I just made a lot less money than I do. But now that money goes into that separate account, but it doesn’t get taken out!

So now I’m faced with the very First World Problem of what to do with that money. Well, actually, not *now* as I’m also faced with the very, very First World Problem that my scholarship is being doled out to me at a slower rate than my tuition fees are coming due1, so I’m having to front the money to pay tuition (and thus it’s very fortuitous that this money has been liberated right now). But shortly my scholarship income should catch up to my tuition fee output and *then* I’ll really need to figure out something to do with this cash.

Calculator and MoneyWith all this in mind, I decided that it was time to talk to a financial planner. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’m a total delinquent with my money. I’m contributing to pensions and RRSP and TFSA and saving for my 40th birthday trip extravaganza 2. But I think I need to sit down with someone to look at my whole financial picture and do some long-term planning.

My friend Martha recommended her financial guy and I went and met with him this week. He seemed pretty good, but he suggested that I should probably meet with a few financial planners to see who would be the best fit for me3. So I’m wondering if anyone has any recommendations for financial planners?

Image Credit: All the images in this posting were posted on Flickr by 401K with a Creative Commons license. I kind of love this person’s photos!

  1. Which is a subject for a whole other blog posting. []
  2. For which you only have 1,694 days left to save if you are planning to come with me, by the way! []
  3. Which, funnily enough, gives me more confidence in him! []

11 Responses to Do You Have A Financial Guy?

  1. Jen says:

    I do have a guy, though I think he works with people above a certain portfolio threshold.

    That said, he’s our first fee-based advisor (rather than commission-based; we pay him a % of our portfolio value each year and he takes no commissions from the investments he buys on our behalf) and he’s been the most proactive and responsive planner I’ve ever had.

    I know this is just one guy, but I’d absolutely recommend looking at fee-based advisors to see if you feel that’s right for you.

  2. Beth says:

    Yeah, I am looking for a fee-based advisor. The problem seems to be the whole “you need to be above a certain amount” thing. Most of my money is in my pension, which wouldn’t be included in what this person would deal with. The guy I spoke to is willing to deal with people with small portfolios, with the idea that you’ll build yourself up and eventually make some money. So I guess I need to just find more people like that!

  3. Our philosophy is that our house is our retirement plan – we’re paying off the mortgage as fast as we can. We should pay it off just in time to reverse mortgage it and retire.

    That’s Plan A, anyway… it makes us feel better about how huge a percentage of everything we make goes to the mortgage. Still working on Plan B 😉

  4. Beth says:

    Ooooh, I haven’t heard good things about those reverse mortgages. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/mortgages/the-reverse-mortgage-quandary/article1779846/

    But I guess since you guys don’t want kids, it’s not like you need to leave your house to anyone after you go!

  5. I didn’t say it was a good plan… 😉

  6. Michelle says:

    I’m trying to get out of mutual funds now after losing for the last 15 years and paying nebulous fees. I try not to beat myself up because I started pre-Internet and that was the only way you could invest small amounts monthly. Whatever you do, stay away from mutual funds!!! I set myself up with Qtrade for $10 trades and have been buying the dividend paying stocks that the mutual funds buy anyhow. I’d recommend reading David Chilton’s new book as well as Derek Foster. I also read Moneysense and the denser, more technical Moneysaver magazine. ETFs aren’t so bad, but I’m just not keen on funds anymore! I like the boring blue chip dividend stocks that allow you to automatically reinvest the dividends — like banks, consumer staples, the boring ones paying over 3.5% . I can save you my magazines if you’d like and bring them to 8 rinks, it’s a good way to start learning. I’d like to help others learn from my mistakes!

  7. Kalev says:

    I just realized you need to retire the “rampant begging: Donate to the ‘Pay Off Dr. Beth’s Student Loans” fund.

    Also, I think you mean “financial person,” not “guy.” 🙂 You know my story there: don’t go with RBC Dominion Securities because my person there dropped me like a hot potato when I told her I was moving to Toronto and wouldn’t even help me find someone out there to take over my portfolio.

    Yeah I hadn’t really thought about reverse mortgages but it’s kinda like a plot by the rich to stop the middle class from amassing wealth through the generations. Which works really well with their plot to dismantle social security, good pensions, good jobs, universal healthcare, etc.

    Blue chip stocks with dividends are the awesome! It’s like… oh my gosh, these stocks are PAYING ME for owning them!

  8. Beth says:

    @Kalev – I mean “guy” in the unisex sense, obviously. It’s not like I’m the type of person that would assume only men are financial planners.

    @Michelle – Yeah, I have stuff in mutual funds, but I want to get out of them as well. I’ll add those books to my list of things to read once school is over (I think I’m going to have a *really* big reading list come May 2014!)

  9. Kalev says:

    Yes, I don’t generally think of you as sexist LOL but to the best of my knowledge, singular “guy” shouldn’t be used in a unisex way. The only way guy is somewhat acceptable in a gender-neutral way is when referring to a mixed group with at least one guy (very French in that sense). Which I try not to use anyway, because these days you can say “hey people!” or “this is my person.”

    Put it this way: I would never call you my nutrition “guy.” Or my science guy. 🙂

    • Beth says:

      I use “guy” to refer to females, and “guys” to refer to groups made up only of females, all the time. Same with “dude”.

      And I’m totally your “science guy”!