This text is part of the special Personal Finance section
Dominic Paquette, founder of the firm Partenaire-Conseils Financial Group and Private Management, sheds light on the role of this professional who is underutilized by Quebecers.
How do you become a financial planner?
You must first have a university education. This can be directly in the field of financial planning, such as a baccalaureate in financial planning, or in another field, for example, accounting. But in the latter case, the person will have to undergo additional training in financial planning. Next, the candidate must pass the Financial Planning Institute comprehensive exam. Once successful, it must apply for accreditation from the Financial Markets Authority (AMF). Only once accreditation has been obtained can he legally practice the profession.
How can a consumer protect themselves since financial planning is not governed by a professional order?
The consumer can easily check with the AMF whether the professional has his accreditation and whether complaints have been made against him. Once this assurance is received, the consumer must turn their attention to the financial planner’s methodology. Does he ask a lot of questions, take a lot of notes? A good financial planner will first seek to know and understand his client well before even thinking about proposing a solution. Next, is there chemistry between the consumer and the planner? Because when it comes to planning, trust is everything.
When should you consult a financial planner? When you have a sum to invest and want to get advice?
This is obviously the most common reason why someone seeks the advice of a financial planner, but it is far from the only one. I’ll give you the example of the birth of a child, which has little to do with stock market returns. But the birth of a child has financial implications and raises many questions. Should we improve our insurance? Should we invest to prepare for a child’s post-secondary education? Will we have to move to a more spacious home? Any major change in life, such as a new job, a separation, the purchase of an asset, has financial consequences and the financial planner can support a person and help them make the right decisions and, above all, make the right choices. which suit him.
So the scope of a financial planner is not limited to planning and managing an asset portfolio?
This represents a large part of our work, as does retirement planning, but these are not our only areas of action. A financial planner is trained to be able to give legal and tax advice on an individual’s current and future financial situation. For example, a financial planner can support an entrepreneur who either wants to sell his business or, on the contrary, make a new acquisition. We can advise people regarding insurance. We can help them prepare for an inheritance. In short, the financial planner is able to advise a person or a company on all aspects of a financial situation.
How is the financial planner paid?
As a general rule, the financial planner is paid based on the transactions he carries out, by commission in the case of insurance and by fees, in the form of a percentage, in the case of investments. In all cases, the question of remuneration is discussed from the start with the client so that they have the correct information. Transparency, here, is essential.
Does the financial planner work solo?
Although some financial planners hold the necessary licenses to carry out all transactions, most planners can count on a network of experts who will support them when necessary. For example, when a situation presents significant tax repercussions, he will then call on the services of a tax professional. Basically, the financial planner is a kind of quarterback, to borrow a sports analogy. He has an overview, decides what play to make according to the situation of the game, but once the decision is made, he is not the only player on the field to make the play. There is also the ball carrier. ball, the receiver as well as the offensive line. And in the case of financial planning, there is the client, because it is always up to him to make the final decision.
This content was produced by the Special Publications team at Duty, relating to marketing. The writing of the Duty did not take part.