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FAQ


Question: Do I buy RRSPs RESPs, TFSA, or pay down my mortgage?

Answer: A thorough financial analysis of your current circumstances versus your long term goals will help you to make the best decision. Working with one of our Certified Financial Planners, will provide you with the information you need to make the right choice, while taking into account the tax implications of each option.


Question: Which of these (RRSPs RESPs, TFSA) do I do first?

Answer: Generally, if your income is at a higher tax rate, RRSP contributions provide the best return on your saving dollar, since CRA will provide you with tax relief for every dollar contributed. Talk with one of our Wealth Strategists, who will walk through our Private Wealth Continuum ™ process designed specifically for executives and professionals to come up with the best solution for you.


Question: Is it possible to have too much in my RRSP?

Answer: Yes. While you are retired, you will want access to funds at the lowest tax rate, which means having money saved in RRSPs, TFSAs, non-registered accounts, and other tax sheltered vehicles.


Question: How much is too much?

Answer: When it comes to RRSPs, we suggest a thorough plan of your retirement income needs to remain within your desired tax bracket. By completing our Private Wealth continuum ™ process we will help you decide the optimal mix of registered to non-registered investments.


Question: I am thinking of a career change. What is the value of my company’s pension plan and other benefits?

Answer: Working with one of our Wealth Strategists we will be able to assess the value of your company benefits, including severance and pension options.  A rule of thumb is your benefits package represents 20 – 30 % of your current compensation. Careful consideration should be given before making a career move. We are here to assist you during the decision process.


Question: How as my advisor do you get paid?

Answer: at Continuum II we can be compensated on a fee for service basis, or commission basis, depending on your needs and preference.


Question: How does financial planning work?

Answer: Financial planning is a process that determines how you can best meet your life goals through the proper management of your financial affairs.

Key to effective financial planning is the ability to take into account all relevant aspects of your financial situation, and to identify and analyze the interrelationships among sometimes conflicting objectives. It is this unique integration of knowledge and skills across a broad range of topics that distinguishes professional financial planning from other related financial advice.


Question: How did the financial services industry in Canada develop to where it is today?

Answer: Historically, there were distinct divisions in the services offered by the various industry players. You saved your money or got a loan from a bank. You purchased stocks and bonds from a broker. You bought insurance from an insurance agent. And you bought mutual funds from a mutual funds sale rep. But the traditional "4 pillars" of the financial services industry have blurred, and what we are seeing is the one-stop shop - a convergence where most of your financial services and products can be obtained through most financial institutions.


Question: How did the profession of financial planning develop?

Answer: Financial planning as a distinct profession began to take shape in the late 1970s. While giving financial advice was not a new thing, it had become synonymous with the sale of products. As the general public began to show a lack of faith in public pension funds and baby boomers got older and had more disposable income, financial planning-type advice was increasingly sought. Boomers began to ask financial planning type questions of their "product" advisors - questions few "advisors" were capable of answering. The traditional pillars dictated the services provided were done piecemeal. Financial planning (using all financial factors like insurance, retirement planning, estate planning, education planning) was not available, but is available through Continuum II.


Question: Why is it important to deal with a CFP professional?

Answer: Most provinces (exceptions: BC and QC) do not regulate the use of the term “financial planner.” CFP certification is your assurance that your planner has completed a rigorous course of study approved by FPSC, passed the only independently developed national comprehensive examination for financial planning (the pass rate is approximately 40%), and is committed to ongoing professional development and adherence to the professional CFP Code of Ethics and CFP Financial Planning Practice Standards developed and enforced by FPSC.


Question: What do the letters “CFP” mean?

Answer: The letters “CFP” stand for Certified Financial Planner®. The CFP marks identify individuals who are dedicated to the highest level of professionalism in providing financial planning advice. CFP certification is a way for you to know that the planner adheres to internationally recognized professional standards of competence and ethical practice as set in Canada by the not-for-profit Financial Planners Standards Council (FPSC). CFP professional standards include requirements in education, examination, experience and ethics.


Question: What standards guide the professional conduct of a CFP professional?

Answer: The CFP Code of Ethics requires each CFP professional to adhere to ethical and behavioural principles that ensure that your best interests are always placed first.

The CFP Financial Planning Practice Standards describe what should happen during the financial planning process, providing guidance on how the CFP Code of Ethics is practically applied in every financial planning situation each step of the way.


Question: How can I be certain my financial planner is a CFP professional?

Answer: Look for the distinctive CFP certification marks: CFP flame logo, and acronym “CFP” or the words “Certified Financial Planner”. Only FPSC can authorize an individual to use these marks in Canada. You can also check the CFP Professionals in Good Standing directory at www.fpsc.ca, or call FPSC at 416.593.8587 or 1.800.305.9886 to verify a planner’s status.


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