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Ten Questions

The important questions and answers. 

1. What are your qualifications?

Graduate: Post-secondary education, Business Finance, 1998
Financial Planning Certificate, 2002
CFP designation, 2002
Major designations and certificate programs completed:
Designation, Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
Designation, Chartered Investment Manager (CIM)
Designation, Chartered Strategic Wealth Professional (CSWP)
Certificate, Financial Planning, (CAIFA)
Certificate, Fellowship of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI)
Certificate, Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC)
Certificate, Financial Management Advisor (FMA)
I professionally maintain the CFP and CIM designations
Designations Resigned: FCSI, CSWP | Reason: redundant
Future programs/Educational goals: TEP designation – Trust and Estate Practitioner (STEP)

2. What experience do you have?

Since 1998. 23 years of experience in the financial industry
Career Start: Canada Trust, 1998, Customer service
Investment and wealth management, Canada Trust Investment Services, 1999
Private practice, Independent, Financial Planner, 2005
Today my practice focuses on wealth management, retirement planning, estate, and tax services

3. Will you be the only person working with me?

Yes.  Stratford Financial Planning Inc. is a wholly-owned private practice based in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, with no ties to any financial institutions or other financial service providers. All financial strategies and recommendations are made in lieu of the products they represent, and all services are conducted on-site. We’ll also provide direction with how best to implement your action plans.

4. Are you regulated by any organization?

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, IIROC, Provinces: Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia
Financial Services Commission of Ontario | Nova Scotia Superintendent of Insurance
Financial Planning Standard Council of Canada now know as FP Canada
Canadian Securities Institute

5. What's your approach to financial planning?

For me, preparing a financial plan is a labour of love. It is the process of enhancing awareness, identifying opportunities and by creating easy to understand strategies to help people finds way to better enjoy their lives. To do this, to add actual value to my client’s lives, the designated approach must go well beyond the review of budgets, retirement income strategies and investment management plans.

I believe a true plan is meant to enhances economic awareness and personal well being. It requires discipline, knowledge, and experience to improve an individual’s decision-making processes when serving their own best interests.

Every plan I prepare encompasses an overview of your financial situation, goals, and concerns. An analysis and evaluation are performed while considering life’s generalities and possible deviations, so the recommendations that are made will bring you closer to the planned outcome. Plans only work if the action plan works; therefore, I offer a detailed yet straightforward plan of action with my recommendations with no product or carrier suggestions (mandatory). All plans must remain independent and objective.

For completed plans, your goal should be to implement the recommendations in a timely fashion by the timetable provided either on your own with the help of your advisor.

6. Who, besides me, benefits from your recommendations?

Shaun J Smith and Stratford Financial Planning Inc. have no third-party affiliations

7. What services do you offer?

The services that I provide have evolved over the years. They now primarily fall into five main categories. Some clients come to me to gain insight on concerns they wish to workout one-on-one, while most seek advice, on-going support and a relationship they can depend on.

Wealth management services

Portfolio management, reviews & analysis
Investment asset selection and implementation
Written personal investment goals & guidelines
Seminars – investment products in Canada/World

Wealth management clients are offered financial planning and personal financial administration for free. Here some examples:

Assistance through major financial transitions
Interpreting financial policies and procedures
Resolution of conflicts or clerical inaccuracies
Negotiating/clarifying financial terms before purchases
Executor/Executrix assistance

Fee-only services

Financial planning

Estate organization and set-up
Retirement income planning
Pensions, severances & life transitions
Writing out a timeline for financial products

Tax services

Tax preparation services
Tax planning & projections

Comprehensive financial planning is available by invitation only

8. How will I pay for your services?

We welcome cheque, cash, etransfers

9. How much do you typically charge for planning or advice?

Wealth management, Fee-based accounts – Based on the asset under management – includes financial planning and advice

Financial Services – Financial Advice, $85/half hour

                                   Financial Plans, $85/hour for setup/preparation, $380.00/hour for research and advanced technical planning 

Tax Preparation: 2020 – 2021: Starts at $85 per person | $150 per couple

10. Can I have your responses to the FPSC 10 interview questions in writing?


Our services are designed for people who need answers to their concerns or for those who want to expand on big ideas. We can help you explore a wide range of opportunities and identify the challenges that relate to your financial life.

Every day is an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions regarding your finances, taxes, investments, or any personal financial event.

It is always my pleasure to help. 

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