The lawsuit claims Jason Garrison lost money due to Vancouver wealth management company’s negligence

Read more

Canada’s first medical pot coverage plan and savings calculator launched

BuyWell.com, the first fully integrated Health and Wellness Marketplace in Canada, has introduced BuyWell Care. The new program is the country’s first guaranteed issue Medical Cannabis Coverage Plan and Medical Cannabis Savings Calculator.

By inputting the form of cannabis and dosage the calculator recommended to them into the BuyWell Care calculator, patients can determine how much they can save on their medical cannabis while purchasing coverage plans through the online application process. The coverage included in the program includes treatments that use cannabis oils, dried flowers, and gel capsules.

“BuyWell Care’s inclusion of coverage for medical cannabis is a true example of the paradigm shift that’s sweeping through the medical landscape,” said Dr. Ira Price, MD, FRCPC, and medical director of Synergy Health Services. “It’s a breath of fresh air.”

Research and findings from Synergy Health Services suggest that BuyWell Care Consumers may realize savings of up to $5,700 per year on their medical cannabis, depending on their province of residence.

“For hard-working Canadians who rely on medical cannabis as part of their treatment regimen, BuyWell Care’s Medical Cannabis Coverage Plan provides a revolutionary way to save money on their expensive medication,” said Amanda LeBlanc, co-founder of BuyWell.com.

Buyers in Ontario can immediately avail of coverage; for those in other provinces, coverages will be available beginning in Q1 of 2019.

Source: Life | Health Professional

How to find ‘advice only’ financial advisers

By Nerdwallet

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

If you want money advice you can trust, your best bet is to hire a fee-only financial planner . The trick is finding a planner who’s willing to be hired for a reasonable fee.

Fee-only planners don’t accept commissions or kickbacks and are paid solely by client fees. Most use an “assets under management” model where they manage their clients’ investments and charge an annual fee of about 1 per cent. To make the math work, these financial planners usually require people to have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest. Otherwise the advisers would reap too little from their fees to justify the hours spent creating financial plans.

This is obviously a problem for people who don’t have enough assets. It also can be a problem for those who do, since the advisers collect their fees year in and year out, regardless of how much advice they’re actually dispensing. Plus, not everyone wants or needs an adviser to invest their money.

It’s even becoming a problem for the planners themselves. A client with a small portfolio may have more complex needs, and require more time, than one with a larger portfolio, but the fees won’t reflect that.

Plus, what these planners are technically charging for investment management can be had for much less from robo-advisers. These digital investment services use computer algorithms to invest and typically charge one-quarter of one per cent.

Planners are essentially giving away the valuable part of what they do, the financial advice, while charging premium prices for the commodity that a machine can essentially do for much less.

Advisers increasingly are recognizing the flaws in this approach and some are exploring alternatives, such as charging flat monthly or quarterly fees, says financial journalist Bob Veres, owner of Inside Information, a site for advisers.

If you’re looking for financial advice that’s not based on the size of your portfolio, here are a few places to check and what you can expect to pay.

 

_GARRETT PLANNING NETWORK. Planner Sheryl Garrett’s network represents planners willing to charge by the hour, although many also manage assets for a fee. Members are either certified financial planners or they are on track to get the designation, or they’re certified public accountants who have the personal financial specialist credential, which is similar to the CFP. Garrett also requires its planners to be fiduciaries. Hourly fees usually range from $150 to $300. A consultation focused on one subject, such as a portfolio review, may take two or three hours. A comprehensive financial plan that covers taxes, insurance, estate planning, college planning and other relevant topics could require 20 hours or more.

_ADVICE-ONLY FINANCIAL. Financial blogger Harry Sit started his service to connect people with fee-only advisers who just charge for advice and don’t accept asset management fees. Sit’s concern is that advisers who do both will be tempted to push people toward asset management, since it’s more lucrative. Sit charges $200 to help people find fiduciary CFPs who are either local or, if none are available, willing to work remotely. The planners typically charge $100 to $400 an hour.

_ASSOCIATION FOR FINANCIAL Counselling & EDUCATION. Not every tax return requires a CPA and not every financial situation requires a CFP. An accredited financial counsellor or financial fitness coach can be a more affordable alternative. Coaches and counsellors in private practice typically charge $100 to $150 an hour, although many work on a sliding scale, says Rebecca Wiggins, executive director of the association, which grants both credentials. Others are employed by the military, credit unions or other organizations and offer their services for free or at reduced charge, she says. These counsellors or coaches focus on issues relevant to middle- and lower-income Americans, including budgeting, debt management and retirement planning.

“The main thing is that these professionals are affordable, unbiased, and highly trained,” Wiggins says. “Their focus is on the needs of the clients and establishing healthy financial management.”

_______

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet .

Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet

What women want from financial advisors

What women want from financial advisors

By Paul Lucus | WP

Sometimes statistics speak for themselves – 73 per cent of women are ‘unhappy’ with the financial service industry, while 87 per cent of females looking for a financial advisor say they can’t find one they can connect with.

These are the damning results of a survey by StrategyMarketing.ca pointing to a significant disconnect between what women want and what they are actually being offered from the financial services industry. Even though the industry has earmarked women as a valuable demographic, its efforts to actually retain them seem to be falling short.

So what mistakes are they making and what can they do to put them right? Wealth Professional spoke to Paulette Filion and Judy Paradi, the authors of the report and partners at StrategyMarketing.ca, to find out.

One of the biggest issues, it seems, is that financial advisors see women as a niche market and don’t develop a strong female friendly brand. Even though they may design marketing campaigns to appeal to women they aren’t actually doing the things needed to make them happy. Indeed when part of a couple, men are almost two times as likely to be approached by a financial advisor and the male partner is 58 per cent more likely to be seen as the primary contact.

“Male advisors still seem to have the deep down gut feeling that women are a secondary market – not really interested in finances,” commented Paradi.

“Financial advisors consider couples as one client, not two and that’s not true – they are two distinct people,” continued Filion. “With single female clients, advisors think how they’ve approached other clients in the past is the same for these female clients. It may not be. Women face challenges that male clients don’t face and have different communication styles that may appear to indicate hesitation, risk aversion or lack of trust when, actually, nothing could be further from the truth.”

READ MORE HERE:

What to know when shopping for financial advice in a sea of titles and credentials

By David Hodges

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ Choosing a financial adviser is a big decision, yet few investors realize that in most provinces there’s a lack of specific, harmonized regulation of professionals who provide that type of service.

An expert panel set up by the Ontario government has made several recommendations to deal with major concerns, including the myriad of confusing titles and credentials and the lack of an explicit obligation to act in a client’s best interest.

However, that hasn’t stopped investors from increasingly relying on financial advisory services.

A 2016 study by the Canadian Securities Administrators found that 56 per cent of respondents were working with an adviser, up from 43 per cent a decade earlier.

For those considering working with an adviser, experts recommend taking these steps before making a choice:

Check registration

Marian Passmore, director of policy for investor advocacy group FAIR Canada, says securities regulators will only register firms and individuals if they are properly qualified. So check an adviser’s registrations.

“A lot of people don’t do that,” Passmore says. “If they had done so, they may have not lost their money.”

A good place to start, says Passmore, is the CSA’s AreTheyRegistered.ca site, which allows you to search for any licensed investment adviser. Keep in mind, however, that insurance and financial planners won’t be on that site unless they’re also licensed investment advisers.

The CSA website also allows you to see if your licensed adviser has ever been disciplined for misconduct.

___

Ask about products and services offered

Not all advisers offer the same products and services and not all have the same expertise, so it’s important for consumers to understand the differences.

For instance, most investment advisers are licensed by either the Mutual Fund Dealers Association or the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. But while most MFDA-licensed advisers deal only in mutual funds, IIROC advisers can also offer other products including stocks and exchange-traded funds.

In the case of financial planning services whether that’s to reduce taxes, save for a big purchase or to retire in comfort there are dozens of designations and investors will likely have a hard time distinguishing between them.

“IIROC has over 30 credentials that people have but that doesn’t really tell you how difficult or onerous those credentials are,” says Passmore.

The certified planner certification is a reputable designation for those who want a combination of sound investment advice and financial planning know-how, says Ken Kivenko, an investor advocate who is also chairman of the Small Investor Protection Association’s advisory committee.

“They can go beyond the straight investing phase,” Kivenko says. “They do holistic plans.”

___

Assess the cost of advice

Because advisers can be paid by salary, commission, a flat fee or a combination of methods, it’s important to make sure you understand how your adviser is paid, how much their services will cost, and how this may affect the advice you’re given.

For instance, many advisers are paid a commission for every product they sell, which may influence an adviser to recommend one investment over another, according to the CSA.

But keeping fees and other investment-related costs low has been proven to be one of the best and easiest ways to help your savings grow.

A fund with low fees, such as indexed mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, has an automatic head start over higher-cost rivals for returns and compounded over years the advantage can grow even more powerful.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest