I tell my clients to always think of me first when they think about money. To remind my clients of my special role, I have a list of “Wealth Management Discussions” that I go through when I do my formal portfolio reviews. This list includes other services that my firm provides through our in-house partners. These services include: (1) Comprehensive Financial Planning, (2) Comprehensive Insurance Planning, (3) Estate Planning, (4) High Net-Worth Planning, (5) Premier Banking Services, and (6) Trust Services. My role is to act as a liaison, connecting my clients to these specialists so I can help my clients achieve their financial needs and goals. Beyond these formal planning discussions, there are other items that I believe clients should pay more attention to. At the top of this list is to “Educate Your Children about Investing”.
Why should clients educate their children about investments? For obvious reasons, their children will also need to take care of their own investments one day. More importantly, they might eventually be called to help take care of their parents’ investments as their parents grow older. Some clients and parents may initially have some reservations about introducing us to their children. We have often heard, “My children have not saved enough money” or “My children are not interested in investments”, or “My children have their own investment advisors”. We respect the merits of each response, however, we want to ensure that clients do not avoid seeking our advice simply because they are afraid to take up our time. For this reason, I intentionally offer meetings that I call the “Ask Elaine Sessions”. These are set times in my schedule that I have dedicated to being a financial resource to my community regardless of their investable asset size or affiliation with RBC. To my surprise, many young people have taken the opportunity to book an “Ask Elaine Session” and have opened up to ask many interesting and important questions. These questions include, “Is there an ideal time or income level to start an RSP?”, “Should I first invest in an RSP or TFSA?”, and “Should I buy a house or invest in the market?”. Some individuals are also already near retirement age themselves, and we have discussed themes such as “Is the 60/40 portfolio dead?”, “Should I still be investing in technology stocks?” and “How will my children’s inheritance be affected if I pre-decease my spouse and he/she remarries?”.
I have come to realize that many children are interested in money when they are talking about their own money. They also tend to have their own questions to ask when their parents are not in the same meeting. They feel more relaxed and their financial curiosity blossoms. Further, regardless of whether the children have their own investment advisors, there may still be good reason to have them speak with me since I also serve as a liaison to different specialists. For example, I have met with children who were named as the executors of their parents’ wills. I was able to help connect them with Trust Advisors and Estate Lawyers so that they could learn the responsibilities of being an executor.
Recently, I have started seeing the children and even grandchildren of my clients with virtual meetings. I have been able to see them at mutually convenient times, regardless of which country or time zone they reside in. This would have been very difficult in the pre-pandemic era, where we were mostly accustomed to face-to-face meetings. Incorporating these communication technologies has enabled us to dive deeper into our planning and investment discussions. If your children are interested in an “Ask Elaine Session”, please reach out to me.