Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Wealth managers versus brokers

Typically, wealth managers, also known as financial planners, earn their living either from commissions or by charging hourly or flat rates for their services. A commission is a fee paid whenever someone buys or sells a stock or other investment. You may want to avoid financial planners who rely on commissions for their income. These advisers may not be the most unbiased source of advice if they profit from steering you into particular products.
A growing number of financial planners make money only when you pay them a fee for their counsel. These financial planners don’t get a cut from life insurers or fund companies. You might pay them a flat fee, such as $1,500, for a financial plan. Or you could pay an annual fee, often 1% to 2% of all the assets—investment, retirement,  university savings and other accounts—they’re minding for you. Others charge by the hour, like lawyers.
You might also encounter financial planners who cater exclusively to the rich and refuse clients with less than $2 million to invest. Don’t take it personally—hugely successful planners in this range of wealth are called wealth managers and would just prefer to deal with big accounts rather than beginner clients. 
You want a planner who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is interested in growing with you.
If you have more than $2 Million to invest, look for the wealth managers usually found in the global banks.

How do you select a financial planner when you sell your business?

When you sell your company and all of a sudden, you have millions to invest, it can make you quite giddy. All of a sudden, your long last relatives will appear on your doorstep asking for a loan or an investment. Your niece will want you invest in her new app which is "brilliant".  Suddenly, you can access wealth manages who need you to have more than $2million to open an account. These wealth managers are the elite of financial planners.
Financial planners advise clients on how best to save, invest, and grow their money. They can help you tackle a specific financial goal—such as giving you a macro view of your money and the interplay of your various assets. Some specialize in retirement or estate planning, while some others consult on a range of financial matters. At the very least, they should find out about your family.
Don’t confuse planners with stockbrokers — the market mavens people call to trade stocks. 
Financial planners also differ from accountants who can help you lower your tax bill, insurance agents who might lure you in with complicated life insurance policies, or the person at your local bank urging you to buy their off the shelf mutual funds.

Anyone can hang out a shingle as a financial planner, but that doesn’t make that person an expert. They may tack on an alphabet soup of letters after their names, but CFA (short for certified financial planner) is the most significant credential. A CFA has passed a rigorous test on the specifics of personal finance. CFAs must also commit to continuing education on financial matters and ethics classes to maintain their designation. The CFP credential is a good sign that a prospective planner will give sound financial advice. Still, even those who pass the exam may come up short on skills and credibility. As with all things pertaining to your money, be meticulous in choosing the right planner.
Their firm is important. Some small planner make you pay dearly. They are smart but you end up paying more as they still have to place orders for your portfolio and they will have to pay a fee and pass that along to you. 

What to do a few years before selling your business

When his father was 67 years old, an unforeseen financial crisis forced the succession. Patrick Bermingham, Bermingham Construction, knew his father did not have the appetite to fight for the company’s survival; in one moment, his father shook his hand and Patrick was put in charge.
“My father was the supreme leader, but after that handshake, he never questioned my decision making.” Stepping into a precarious financial situation meant that Patrick had to make rapid decisions and get a plan for survival.
“I needed money. I bought a new suit from Harry Rosen. I got on a plane to Japan. I sold a patent. It enabled me to stabilize the business,” he says.
Then he set his long-term plan which meant looking at the hard truths.
Patrick needed a family succession plan, but knew that his children were much too young to take over. He could also see the valuation was too low to sell the business. He eventually decided to transition the business to outside owners by allowing the employees to buy shares , and not to do succession planning for the next generation of the Bermingham family.
When it comes to the family finances, structuring existing money can be done several years before a sale of a business or any other significant liquidity event. Trusts can be structured more favourably in times of low interest rates and low valuations for company stock.
At the time of Bermingham’s low valuation, when a sale is not possible, it may be suitable to transfer ownership in the family business to a trust at favourable terms. You can allow for a more tax effective transfer of ownership than during times of high interest rates or high stock valuation.
Patrick decided to do an estate freeze for his family. Then Patrick began the transition process by allowing employees to buy shares in the company. The company’s debt-equity ratio was still too high though, and the company needed more investment capital. Again, Patrick brought in experts to help organize and manage a partnership with private equity.
Eventually, after four years, the company was bought back from the private equity firm. When it came time to sell to a world class, strategic corporation, a few years later, Mr. Bermingham said the company was polished from all the steps taken along the way. “The secret of transitioning your business is that it is a long term process. You hedge your bets and maximize your value by buying and selling and then buying back parts of the company. It is not something you do suddenly.”
By, Jacoline Loewen, column
special to the Globe and Mail.

Build a more diverse client list, add value to your company's sale price

A business owner’s greatest worry when trying to sell the company is the prospect of receiving an inadequate price by the acquirer or being undervalued.
One of the drags on the value of a business is customer concentration. For owners planning to sell in the next five to 10 years, exporting is one way to diversify a customer base. “It’s too risky to export,” entrepreneurs often say when they’re asked about taking their brands beyond the Canadian market. “It would be a financial drain and a time suck.”
By building a more diverse client list you can eliminate the drag that is customer concentration
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