Your family is the most important thing in your life. You want what’s best for them. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your wealth. It’s what you’ve worked for—it’s the key to your family’s security and the lifestyle you desire.

But how do you protect it? How do you grow it without taking too much risk?

It’s hard to cut through all the confusing advice, competing options and marketing hype in today’s investment industry. I know because I’ve spent more than 35 years helping people prepare and execute the best financial plan for their family’s future. I’ve also worked all my career to improve investor protection in Canada and get conflicts of interest out of the investment industry.

The Family Matters series of videos is all about sharing my experience to help you navigate the investment jungle and make the right decisions for your family now and in the future.

Answering important questions

In the coming weeks, I will answer the most pressing questions you have about your family’s finances and investments in a simple, straight-forward way.

I have over 35 years as a registered portfolio manager. Since 1980, I’ve worked closely with families to first understand their needs and then provide them with the advice, planning and investments that are right for them.

  • I’m the past national chairman of the Canadian Association of Financial Planners and a founding director of the Institut québécois de planification financière.
  • I’m also a founding member of the Global Association of Independent Advisors, an association of firms dedicated to fiduciary excellence.
  • And I’ve been interviewed many times in the media on improving investor protection and wealth management in Canada.

Twenty years ago, my partners and I founded PWL with the idea that your financial advisor should always have your best interests at heart. It’s a simple principle—and in countries like the United States, Britain and Australia, it’s the law.

Many advisors have conflicts

But we’re not there yet in Canada. Many advisors working for large financial institutions have conflicts of interest. They push their firm’s financial products on you even though those products might not be the best option.

We think you deserve better and that’s why we’ve build our firm on a commitment to fully transparent relationships and no conflicts of interest. I’ll talk more about what this means for you in the weeks to come.

I’ll also talk about why you need a financial plan and an investment policy statement. You wouldn’t set out on a cross-country trip without a map or GPS, would you? You shouldn’t manage your finances without one either.

Finally, we are strong believers in a passive approach to investing. This means we use funds that passively track market indexes instead of trying to actively beat them.

Most active funds underperform

The problem with actively managed funds is that most fail to beat the index. But you pay much higher fees for all that research and sifting of investments. In fact, Canadians pay some of the highest mutual fund fees in the world.

Do you think that makes sense? We don’t either.

We believe you should focus on what you can control: Selecting an optimal asset mix, managing risk and minimizing fees and taxes. At PWL, we take this approach to create portfolios that are grounded in science, not hype.

We also encourage our clients to stay in the markets through good times and bad—to be patient and disciplined and allow their money to grow over time. That’s the way to achieve good performance and reach your financial goals.