At the end of September 2018, RT Mosaic was fortunate enough to spend the week in Gatineau, Quebec with some of the top Financial Planners in the country. Over four intensive days of speakers, workshops and networking events, here are four invaluable things we learned:
1.) Blockchain is the Future
Watching the panel of fintech experts, including Jason Pereira R.F.P., David Hayes (Ultrapreneur International) and Kyle JJ Kemper (Blockchain Association of Canada), give their opinions on the future of Bitcoins and Blockchain, made us realize that whether you believe in the future of Bitcoins or not, the real story is the way the internet of things is connected and changing via Blockchain technology. Digital information and data will be transferred faster and safer than ever before and this will fundamentally change the way we live our lives and we may not even notice it. Bitcoin and other digital currencies may yet come out on top, but they are just one of the many incredibly important uses of Blockchain.
2.) Small Business Tax Changes Increases the Need for Planning
The Federal Government is committed to removing some of the perceived advantages that small business owners with corporations may use including income splitting and corporate investment tax deferral opportunities. The R.F.P. group reviewed all the potential planning strategies to help guard against some incredibly punitive taxes.
For example, there may be a need to have a renewed emphasis on taking salary to generate RRSP room to eventually import to an Individual Pension Plan (IPP). IPPs, along with RCAs (Retirement Compensation Arrangements), are two of the important planning options that need to be reviewed in more detail with corporate owners and executives. The IPP is basically a super sized RRSP for small business owners, partners or executives. See below for how an IPP contributions compare to a regular RRSP as a percent of their income.
RCA’s are not as well known but have some unique qualities that may benefit some high-income earners expecting large bonuses and want to defer their tax bill to future years. The trick with the RCA is that the plan must be worked out with the employer prior to the bonus being paid out. These are both complex strategies that work and working with a financial planner and an actuary on either strategy is a must.
3.) The R.F.P. Difference
There is no better way to understand professional Financial Planners and Financial Planning entrepreneurs than to be part of the IAFP’s Annual Symposium. The level of knowledge and passion shown for the financial planning profession in that room was second to none. As an independent business we recognize that to stand apart in a competitive
marketplace, we need to collaborate with other independent financial planning firms. It’s up to us, the R.F.P. (Registered Financial Planner) members, to spread the word that being an R.F.P. is the highest financial planning achievement in the country. A “Real Financial Plan”, provided by an R.F.P., is a way for a client to know that their entire situation is being considered, that there will be financial education provided, that the client’s interests are being put first and that they aren’t just being sold another product. Everyone can benefit from a “Real Financial Plan” and the services of a financial planning professional.
4.) Financial Transition
Susan Bradley, founder of the Sudden Money Institute, brought all our attention towards the importance of client relationships, especially in moments of transition. A Transition event is defined as “Life Pivot Points” and usually happen when money is in movement. This could be a lottery win, a large inheritance, a sale of a business, a serious illness, divorce or a major career change. These moments can bring on a lot of challenging situations and conversations. Not only can there be a lot of money involved, but these situations bring out strong human emotions such as grief, anxiety, and confusion, among others. As Financial Planning professionals, we often dive deep into a client’s situation and can have some frank conversations about life, death and everything in-between. We are often used as mediators, psychologists, and mentors, so Susan’s presentation really hit home. We are so often looked at as providers of solutions, but it’s clear that sometimes it’s best to just listen and be supportive. The message was clear; moments of transition take time, patience and understanding.
In summary, the week was long and intense, but the feeling among the group here was that it was time well spent. The four themes of technology, small business tax planning, the need for financial planning and high-level relationship management are clear to be the drivers for our business into 2019.
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