Friday, Nov. 7, 2014
A Good Game Plan
Advisors help investors avoid common mistakes
Submitted by Jason Brown, Envision CU/Photo of Tanya Wilson, investment and financial planning expert with Envision Financial
ovember is Financial Literacy Month in Canada and it comes at a time when Canadians’ saving habits are in the spotlight again—and not in a good way.
A new Conference Board of Canada study reveals that Canadians aren’t feeling so confident about their retirement.
Sixty per cent of Canadians feel they do not have enough saved for retirement, while 40 per cent said they don’t know how much they will need to save for retirement.
The numbers reveal Canadian’s lack of money know-how. Five-in-ten Canadians surveyed said their financial literacy was “average” while almost 18 per cent said their knowledge was “below average.” That works out to more than two-thirds of Canadians lacking the knowledge to make solid personal finance decisions. Investment expert Tanya Wilson isn’t surprised by the findings.
“There’s a broad spectrum of financial understanding and knowledge in the people I help on a daily basis,” says Wilson, an investment advisor and certified financial planner at Envision Financial. “Even those who consider themselves quite savvy still recognize that they need help with their investments.”
Wilson notes there are common investment mistakes that are often made by uninformed and knowledgeable investors alike. Among them are making emotional investing decisions, focusing on the short-term when objectives are long-range, under-diversifying your investment mix, and not aligning your investments with your risk tolerance and time horizon. But none of these missteps are as critical as the lack of an investment plan.
“Not having a personal investment plan with clear objectives is a sure way to start off on the wrong foot,” says Wilson. “The plan is the foundation upon which all other investing decisions are made. People plan for lots of things, like vacations or education, but don’t realize they need to plan their investing too. Too often I see people investing just because they think they should be doing it—they haven’t really thought about what they’re attempting to accomplish or realized that investing is a means to an end.”
The opportunity to help people increase their financial savvy goes well beyond the personal investment plan.
“As an advisor, I’m not there to simply carry out investment transactions,” Wilson says. “An important part of my job is to help build my clients’ investing and financial knowledge at every opportunity, whether it’s face-to-face or email. I want them to understand what I’m helping them achieve, the actions we’re taking and how it affects their investment objectives. Getting clients actively involved in their investment plans naturally increases their financial literacy.”
About Envision Financial
Envision Financial is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union, with 38 branches and 29 insurance offices throughout the province operating under the Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial brands. Led by Launi Skinner, First West has $7.7 billion in assets under administration, more than 177,000 members and close to 1,300 employees. For its extensive community involvement, Envision Financial is designated a Caring Company by Imagine Canada. For more information, visit envisionfinancial.ca.
Follow us on Twitter: @EnvisionFin
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