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Solutions designed to meet your needs

Our expertise is second to none. We will give you peace of mind with our comprehensive financial planning platform, personalized solutions and exceptional service.

Investor profile

At a first meeting, we will discuss how we can determine your investor profile. The different profiles are: income, conservative, balanced, growth and maximum growth. Various factors such as your age, your investment horizon, your income needs, your previous experience as an investor, and your tolerance for volatility will be evaluated in establishing your profile. You will then be given a written investment policy that will detail the parameters we will respect in managing your investments.

Portfolio managment

When building a diversified portfolio, it's important to choose investments that are not likely to move in the same direction at the same time. Spreading your money across a variety of asset classes reduces overall portfolio risk. According to a landmark study of pension plan returns, asset allocation is the principal driver of long term portfolio performance. Our goal is to build a portfolio that offers the greatest potential return for the least amount of risk. Your portfolio may be managed internally or with external managers (institutional or mutual fund managers). Here are the key characteristics of the two methods

The principal advantage of internal management is that the management fees are lower than those charged by external managers. The management fees vary between 0.50% and 1.50%, depending on the investor profile and the amount invested. The higher the amount invested, the lower the fee. Members of the same family can be grouped together to get a lower fee. These fees may be tax deductible in taxable accounts. For internal management, we use mostly low cost ETF (Index Shares).

While internal management is less expensive, it may also be advantageous to diversify your portfolio with some external managers to manage risk (not putting everything with just one manager). External managers are usually managers specialists in one asset class. We have access to a global network of investment professionals and some of the best asset managers from around the world. Some professional managers stand out: the best have to be identified and monitored closely. An external manager is also easier to replace than an internal manager in the case of under-performance. From a taxation point of view, some corporate class mutual funds are available, to maximize tax effectiveness in taxable accounts. We use only the best external managers who have demonstrated an outstanding history of soundness and stability. Most external managers with whom we collaborate are supported by complete teams of financial analysts, often CFAs or MBAs.

Some investment advisors will manage all asset classes in a portfolio themselves (portfolio manager) but, we do not believe that having one portfolio manager managing all asset classes is beneficial for clients. An investment advisor that is also a portfolio manager can't be a specialist of twelve different asset classes.

Usually, the most advantageous option is to combine internal and external approaches. One part of the portfolio is thus managed internally to reduce fees, while the other part is managed by external managers (specialists) to reduce risks. Most of the large pension funds (Caisse de Dépôt, Canada Pension Plan, etc.) are managed in this way.

Management Fees/ Compensation

There are typically three parts to management fees or to a Management Expense Ratio (MER): the administrative fee, the service/advice fee and the funds management fee.

For example, with a management fee for a mutual fund (external manager) of 1.90%, taxes included, typically 0.50% goes to National Bank Financial for administrative and compliance services, 0.50% goes to the investment advisor for the advice provided to clients and monitoring their portfolios, and the balanced, 0.75% in this example (that fee varies between 0.50% and 1.25% depending on the mandate) goes to the external manager for managing the fund, plus taxes (0.15%).

In the case of internal management, since there is no external manager to be paid, all the management fees go in compensation to the broker. For example, given internal management fees of 1.00%, about half (0.50%) will be paid to National Bank Financial and the other half (0.50%) will be paid to the investment advisor.

When we use mutual funds (external managers), purchases are made with no front end or deferred sales charge. Also, when possible, we use managers that minimize or avoid investments that increase fossil-fuel pollution. 

Periodic reviews

We will communicate with you periodically to review your portfolio and to verify any change in your situation. Face-to-face meetings may also be held in one of our offices, in Montréal (Marché Central), in the West Island (Kirkland), downtown (Place Ville Marie), North Shore (Laval), in the East (Saint-Léonard), or on the South Shore (Quartier Dix30).

You can also see your portfolio on the Web at any time, using a confidential password.

Retirement planning

We can help you plan well so you can enjoy a comfortable retirement. You can obtain a financial plan of your retirement income free of charge. Depending on the hypotheses chosen, this detailed plan will help you develop a retirement action plan. We will evaluate your current savings, annual savings available, your life expectancy, taxes, inflation, employer and government pensions and other sources of income, such as real estate or the sale of a company. The plan can be updated periodically.

Retirement research has shown that an individual who wants to have a retirement lifestyle similar to that during his/her active life should save at least 15% of his/her gross income each year. The easiest way to save is with a systematic savings plan. You can choose the amount and frequency of the deductions that fit your budget. According to the same research, to achieve a retirement that will enable you to enjoy a lifestyle similar to that during your active life, you should have saved : 1x your salary at age 35; 3x your salary at age 45; 5x your salary at age 55; and 8x your salary at age 67.

Tax optimization

We will maximize tax efficiency when building your portfolio. As far as possible, it is preferable to generate capital gains in taxable accounts and interest income in deferred tax accounts (RRSPs). Also available are some corporate class mutual funds, which are fiscally advantageous.

We will also evaluate the appropriateness of using certain tax shelters, such as the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP,) Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), the QSSP II Investment Fund, as well as flow-through shares.

succession planning analysis can be done. Some insurance strategies may be used in order to minimize taxes in case of death. An update of your Will or Mandate in Case of Incapacity may also be appropriate. Various tax strategies, including the use of trusts, will also be evaluated.

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