- Suzen Fromstein
RUTH ASHTON, CFP® Polson Bourbonniere Derby Wealth Management Investment Advisor HollisWealth®
RUTH ASHTON, CFP
“The Art & Science Of Financial Planning”
When she was a young girl, Ruth Ashton never dreamed of having a financial services career. She was creative, fascinated by people and what made them tick, and thought she might have an interesting career in advertising and marketing. When she was in her early twenties, Ruth moved from Trenton, Ontario to Toronto. Her first job was as a client service representative with National Trust.
“That first job with the bank paved the way for who I am today. Even if I didn’t start out choosing a financial services career, I’m so grateful that this wonderful career chose me. Helping people plan their financial future and creating a worry-free retirement for clients is my priority, my life purpose ” the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and Investment and Insurance Advisor says.
For the last 22 years, Ruth has worked with Polson Bourbonniere Derby Wealth Management, a retirement planning boutique affiliated with HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. and Hollis Insurance. Based on reviews, ratings, reputation, history, complaints, satisfaction, trust, and cost, Three Best Rated® (https://threebestrated.ca/financial-services-in-markham-on) selected Polson Bourbonniere Derby as one of the three best Financial Services organizations in Markham, ON. Ruth is also proud of the firm’s nomination for a number of Wealth Professional Awards (Finalist in 2016, Winner in 2017, Finalist in 2018) including the most recent Finalist Award for 2019 Advisory Team of the Year.
“I work with such a great team of people, including Paul Bourbonniere, Investment Advisor, HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. and Insurance Advisor, Hollis Insurance, one of the founders of Polson Bourbonniere Derby. As independent advisors affiliated with a non-bank wealth management advisory firm, we at Polson Bourbonniere Derby have access to a wide array of financial solutions. One of the reasons we are so successful is that we focus on client relationships as opposed to pushing products. I couldn’t ask for a better work family.
“Our team includes five CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) professionals. The CFP® designation formally recognizes expertise in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement. Individuals who are awarded the designation must meet requirements in four areas: formal education, performance on the CFP® exam, relevant work experience, and demonstrated professional ethics. To sustain their skills and certification, designation holders are also required to continue ongoing annual education programs. Clients appreciate this.”
As noted earlier, Ruth, prides herself on helping clients create a comprehensive, holistic, and “worry-free retirement experience™.” “My ideal client is someone who takes an interest in their finances and overall well-being. Close to three-quarters of the people with whom I work are either retired or 5-10 years away from that happy life event.” Her proven process is detailed in the graphic below.
According to Client Kathy St. Denis, “For years I heard Ruth Ashton's name mentioned by my parents, and although they were private and didn’t give details to their finances I got the distinct impression that Ruth was doing very well for them. Four years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth, under unfortunate circumstances, as my mother’s dementia was worsening and my father was unable to hear or communicate with her, so I was signed on as POA. I was so impressed at seeing the growth Ruth had achieved for them over the years that I transferred all my own investments to her.”
“Performing magic is the only words that can describe what happened next. I actually started making money! Big eye-opener for someone who dealt mostly with banks prior to this. Through my many conversations with Ruth she helped me understand about market growth and how different funds worked and took the time to personalize an investment plan that worked best for me. Thanks to Ruth my future is now very bright and secure in knowing I will never outlive my finances.”
Financial Planning: art, science or both?
Pablo Picasso, often described as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, once said , “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” A Financial Plan is the roadmap to grow, protect and manage wealth and that reflects what’s important to you.
Your assets, cash flow, liabilities, and risk, provide the foundational “depth” of your Financial Plan. To reflect the opportunities and challenges of your unique situation, your plan must go beyond the scientific application of asset allocation, retirement and estate planning, and tax minimization strategies and address the “texture” of your life. This includes what you value and what you want your money to do. This customization ensures the information in your plan is not only practical, it fits you and yours, like a glove.
“The customization piece is critical. Let’s say we both collect art. I may like Pablo Picasso; you may like Johannes Vermeer. The same is true of music and literature. I may enjoy hard rock and you may like ballads. Or, I may adore literary classics like Don Quioxte and you may only enjoy reading more contemporary novelists like James Patterson. It is therefore safe to assume that my Financial Plan would not look, sound or feel the same as yours.”
“The “art” of financial planning comes into play through the process of customization when it addresses what’s important to you as a person – your values, your interests, your hopes, your dreams, and equally as important, your roadblocks. To create a Financial Plan that suits you, we have to get the “texture” piece right.”
Ruth believes that it’s impossible to explore the texture of your life with a robo-advisor which is really nothing more than an automated, algorithm-driven computer program. An algorithm will never dance at your wedding, congratulate you on your grandchild’s graduation, attend your parent’s funeral, or share your excitement when a new baby is born into your family.
“As we work together to discover answers to some difficult and often highly emotional questions, clients have an opportunity to get a handle on what’s really important to them. This is why every CFP® professional at Polson Bourbonniere Derby Wealth Management believes that financial planning is both an art and a science.”
Ruth’s approach works. According to Client Stuart Palace, “Ruth started out being entrusted with my Mother’s investment portfolio and over time as she couldn’t manage things on her own, I got involved to help her and that’s when I was first introduced to Ruth probably going back 20 plus years.
She is unlike any other Financial Advisor I have dealt with and I have dealt with many. Ruth truly cares about her clients and makes a point to converse on a personal level to get to know each of us and I feel this is an important trait as it will help to ensure the appropriate investment strategies are being implemented. Ruth is responsive, always available and her office runs like a well-oiled machine. There’s not been a question I’ve asked that her or her team couldn’t answer in a timely way.”
“Through the 1999-2000 tech crash and the 2008-2009 worldwide financial crash, I was absolutely amazed to see that my Mother’s investments that Ruth managed were hit way less than my investments and the overall market in general and yet Ruth was providing my Mother with excellent yearly returns prior to and after the crashes. My Mother completely recovered any losses and was in the Black again in not much longer than 12 months after these horrific events. This amazed me so slowly over time I have been moving all of my investment dollars over to Ruth and now I entrust Ruth with the majority of my holdings. I can say with certainty that Ruth stands out as the best investment mind I’ve ever dealt with over the 40+ years I’ve been investing money.”
Up Close & Personal
Ruth is passionate about empowering her female clients and often is called upon to improve the financial literacy of their children and grandchildren. “Financial planning is a relationship-driven business. The Bryan Adams song, “Everything I do, I do it for you,” captures how I feel about the work I do.”
In addition to being committed to lifelong learning, Ruth makes time for regular exercise, whether it be cycling, or taking in a class, which has now expanded to include recreational boxing. She also paints, draws and loves interior design. Ruth is very close to her elderly mother, her two brothers and one sister, nephew and nieces, and also her loving friend-family.
Like her mother, Ruth has a wonderful singing voice, and often entertains at charitable events like the annual “Above and Beyond: Rock for SickKids”. Polson Bourbonniere Derby has been incredibly supportive of Ruth’s hobby and has helped to raise funds by sponsoring various events and charities with which Ruth has been involved.
Over the years, Ruth has enjoyed sharing the stage with several well known Canadian musicians and singers. She credits her significant other, Terence Gowan, an incredible musical talent and a member of the band Gowan, with facilitating many of these opportunities. In 2020, Ruth will be singing at a “Tour for Kids” evening event to raise additional funds for children's cancer camps (https://www.tourforkids.com/ontario/). The event will be held at the Crooked Cue, Mississauga, on Saturday February 29th, 2020. Admission is $50 per person. There is also a silent auction.
There are many things in life that we will never know until they actually happen, like the date of our death, if we will become disabled or lose our jobs, or who will win the next election. Planning for and around unknown events such as these, is essential. “When we follow the advice of American investor, mutual fund manager, and philanthropist, Peter Lynch, we “Know what you own and why you own it,” we get in touch with both the depth and texture of our lives. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to continue to live my life purpose - helping people plan their financial future and creating a worry-free retirement for clients.”
HollisWealth® is a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Insurance products provided through Hollis Insurance.
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Cate
7050 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 100 Markham, Ontario L3R 4G8
416.498.6181 or 905.413.7700
Ruth Ashton , CFP®
Investment & Insurance Advisor