Here's Some Advice From A Member of Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT): Meet Iryne Thian, Certified Financial Planner.
Many Canadians struggle with financial planning for their future. But as we must all retire at some point in our lives and slow down, it’s important to have a plan that allows for a comfortable lifestyle at an older age.
As a mortgage professional, I always emphasize the importance of not only becoming mortgage free while leveraging real estate to one's financial advantage but also saving sensibly.
I recently had an opportunity to interview a very well-known financial planner who has worked with insurance companies such as Sun Life Financial and currently Assante Wealth Management, about her take on financial stability.
Meet Iryne Thian.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? When did you start? How long have you been in the business? What associations are you apart of?
A. My name is Iryne Thian, and I am a certified financial planner and wealth advisor. I have been in the financial industry for over 20 years. I manage two things: money and risk. I assist people in making clear financial choices for investments and insurance. My clients don’t hire me to make them rich — they hire me to make sure they are never poor. Most of my clients today come from referrals of satisfied clients. My areas of specialty involve planning for individuals, families and small businesses.
As a member of The Financial Advisor Association of Canada (Advocis) and Financial Planners Standards Council, I have earned several professional designations including Certified Financial Planner (CFP) in 2003, Elder Planning Counselor (EPC) in 2005, Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS) in 2011, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) in 2014 and Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA) in 2018. Since 2005, I have been a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), an international association representing the world’s top sales professionals in the life insurance-based, financial services industry.
Q. Where would you say people go wrong with most with their finances? What are they investing in that they shouldn't be? Where could they be getting more returns?
A. One of the biggest challenges today I find is the lack of financial literacy a and the plethora of options and products out there. People often find it difficult to navigate through all the financial and tax considerations to arrive at what is best for their situation. That’s precisely why it’s important to seek a trusted professional to help assess your current state and needs, along with your future goals, to guide you through this process.
As a financial planner, my practice is to:
1. First Identify my clients goals, dreams and challenges.
2. Help them understand the financial implications of the life decisions that they make.
3. Educate on the products and services needed to achieve their goals.
4. Work out a personalized plan and put them in place.
5. Monitor as time goes by.
No one can promise future investment returns. What I can offer to my clients is the peace of mind in regards to their (and their family's) financial well being.
Q. In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception people have about investing and financial planning?
A. While investing can impact the success of your financial plan, and sometimes dramatically, it is not the sole determinant. Investing is only one of the many key components to a solid financial plan.
Investment planning is about creating an investment plan and sticking to it. An investment advisor will factor in the client’s unique risk profile in recommending a diversified portfolio aimed at maximizing returns given their risk tolerance. An investment advisor can help their client stay the course and/or make necessary adjustments during market volatility.
Financial planning involves a holistic approach that takes into consideration every aspect of a client’s financial life. Other than investments, a comprehensive financial plan also involves budgeting, insurance, taxes, estate and retirement planning etc. By taking all these into account, you will be able to create effective strategies for meeting your short and long-term financial goals.
"I describe myself as a financial pilot. When I first meet clients, I often find that they are at the wrong airport or about to get on the wrong aircraft. My job is to help the financial traveler arrive at their desired destination safely, on time and with everything they could possibly need - including a parachute. After all, there can be turbulence."
Q. Where do you think people struggle in terms of money in the bank/savings...?
A. Revisiting my comment about the general lack of financial education, many risk-averse people believe that “saving” is just regularly setting aside money in their bank’s saving account or spending less money. What they don’t realize is that in our low interest rate environment, the money in our bank accounts are shrinking in value – also known as Inflation risk or purchasing power risk. What you used to buy with $10 you can no longer buy with the same $10 because its shrunk in value or purchasing power. It’s important to be informed of our options based on our unique situations.
Q. What advice would you give to first time home buyers and people who are already homeowners?
A. Be aware of your financial situation and properly assess the impact that a home purchase or any other big purchases would have on you and your family’s financial well-being. Every client and their situation is unique so it is hard for me to give generalized advice.
I consider Iryne to be a trusted source for financial planning and I would not hesitate to refer her to anyone looking to create a successful investment portfolio.
Please call my office for more information.
Sarah A. Colucci
Mortgage Agent Lic. M14000929
Mortgage Edge, Broker 10680
In partnership with Iryne Thian, Certified Financial Planner.