Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What do we do?

Our role as a financial planner is to help clients make intelligent, forward-thinking decisions with their money – decisions that will give them peace of mind and improve their ability to reach the goals they set for themselves and their family. 

We listen carefully and patiently to clients’ concerns, design customized long-term strategies that address those concerns and then coach clients in developing the perseverance and discipline to see the results come to fruition over time.

We act as our clients’ personal Chief Financial Officer (CFO).  our responsibility is to understand the big picture by evaluating the entirety of a client’s financial health:  retirement planning, tax planning, portfolio construction and monitoring, risk tolerance assessment, multi-generational estate planning, education funding, insurance needs, and cash flow management.  Our role is to co-ordinate all activities to ensure they are working in harmony towards a common goal:  Our client’s financial progress.

 

  1. What are Chris' qualifications and experience?

Chris holds the designation of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and has 30 years of experience advising individuals and families on their finances and investments.  Chris is an international member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and holds a B.A. with Honours from McGill University and a B.Sc.F. from the University of New Brunswick.  Chris can advise in both English and French and, on occasion, in passable German.

 

  1. How does Chris' team work together?

When advising a client Chris, Roger, and Naomi collaborate closely with  each other to maximize each person’s strength for the benefit of each client.  This “three heads are better than one” team approach provides greater value due to the mix of perspectives, experience, and areas of expertise brought to bear in any client situation.  Chris has over 30 years of experience advising individuals and families in their finances and investments.  Roger has over 30 years of experience in a variety of senior roles in the financial industry, including portfolio management, estate planning, and cross border planning.  Naomi entered the financial industry in 2013 in an administrative role and in 2018 graduated to associate advisor and specializes in cash flow planning.  Last, but not least, Michelle Drummond is the team’s administrator who keeps everything humming smoothly in the background.  Please see the tabs for Roger, Naomi, and Michelle for further detail on their backgrounds and areas of focus.

 

  1. Who are our clients?

We seek long-term relationships with those who are serious about achieving and maintaining financial security for themselves and their families.  Within this context, potential clients should be focused on preserving or improving the long-term value of their assets, should be moderate in their tolerance of risk, and should have at least $250,000 in family assets available for investment.

Potential clients must be willing to work honestly and openly over the long term with an experienced financial professional and be willing to value and pay for the ongoing advice and guidance provided.  They should also be willing to follow and implement financial advice, keep an open mind to new ideas, be patient by nature and stay focused on long-term progress rather than short-term market ups and downs.  New clients are accepted by referral only.

 

  1. What is in a financial plan?

A financial plan is an overall view of an individual or family financial situation that takes their goals and objectives into account.  It focuses on areas such as:  income tax planning, wealth management, estate planning, risk management, charitable gifting, education funding, and retirement funding.  The plan includes an analysis of the client’s current financial status as well as an outline of recommended strategies that are designed to improve the probability of achieving the client’s financial goals and objectives.  Depending on the client’s priorities, some or all of these areas may be addressed in the financial plan.

 

  1. How are we compensated?
  • Buys and sells of mutual funds and similar pooled investments occur on a purely “no-load” basis:  no fee to buy, no fee to sell, regardless of holding period.  GICs and other deposit products are also commission-free.  For individual securities (e.g. stocks) buy/sell commissions follow Assante’s standard guidelines.
  • All mutual and pooled funds charge an embedded management fee for the ongoing management of the fund.  A portion of the management fee is paid to Assante, which then flows a sub-portion to us to cover ongoing advice and service to clients.  The Assante portion is commonly known as the service or trailer fee and ranges, depending on the fund, from 0.5% to 1.0% annually on the fund’s value.  It applies to all forms of “managed money” – mutual funds, pooled funds, segregated funds, and investment counseling arrangements (e.g. Assante Private Client program).  The service fee ties Chris’ ongoing compensation to the value of the client’s portfolio -- one cannot do well without the other.
  • In some cases the service fee portion may be stripped out and charged to the client directly (“fee-based” account), but either way the client’s all-in total cost for fund management plus advisory service will be the same.
  • Alternatively, a flat or hourly fee can be charged for one-off services such as provision of a comprehensive financial plan, components thereof, or any other consultation (after the initial meeting).  Generally, such a fee-for-service arrangement is used only in circumstances where a client’s investment portfolio is not going to be overseen by Chris Heinrich & Associates.

 

  1. What is our investment philosophy?

We are patient investors who follows proven long-term investment strategies that do not change with short-term swings in the financial markets.  Years of experience in advising real clients has proven the need for consistency and perseverance in one's investment strategy. 

We do not chase "hot stocks" or fad investments.  We prefer to rely on diversified portfolios that employ carefully vetted professional money managers (mutual funds, etc.) who have proven historical track records spanning good and bad market periods.

We are on this journey together.  Chris, Roger, and Naomi all invest their own family money in the same funds held by our his clients. 

 

  1. Do we prepare tax returns, provide accounting services, or advise on the drafting of wills and powers-of-attorney?

No.  When such needs are identified, we have an informal network of experienced accountants and lawyers we can refer the client to without conflict of interest (i.e. no compensation to Chris Heinrich & Associates).

 

  1. Is client data and information kept confidential?

Of course.  It's the law.

 

  1. Once a plan and investment accounts are set, what happens next?

We work with people who are interested in a long-term relationship with a trusted financial planner.  Being advised by Chris Heinrich & Associates is a process and not a one-time event.  We provide ongoing service and advice on all subjects financial, periodic face-to-face reviews, and impromptu consultations as required.

 

  1.   How are we different from other financial advisors?             

Many of today's financial advisors are bound or incented by their firms to sell a minimum quota of the firm’s own products to generate higher revenue for the firm.  This may hinder the “captive” advisor’s ability to provide objective, unbiased advice to the client. 

As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chris has a responsibility to ensure the team puts client needs first and to adhere to the financial planning process.

 

  1.   What can one expect at the first meeting?

The first meeting is designed to simply "get acquainted", and for both parties to assess if a long-term advisory relationship will be worthwhile.  We will ask a lot of questions about the client’s current situation, as wells as needs and goals, in an effort to understand exactly what needs to be accomplished.  Of course, any and all questions about Assante, our professional background, and experience are welcomed and encouraged. 

If all are in agreement and we feel our expertise will be beneficial, a follow-up appointment will be booked to either present a proposal or dive deeper into the next stage of the planning process: gathering all financial data and pertinent documentation (investment & debt statements, tax returns, pay stubs, pension details, etc.).

 

How do I contact Chris Heinrich & Associates?

E-mail Chris at cheinrich@assante.com or call him at 613-729-3222 x.224.  

E-mail Roger at roger.piche@assante.com or call him at 613-260-7880

E-mail Naomi at nklassen@assante.com or call her at 613-729-3222 x.223