Maria Mateyk & Dolores Hallett
Maria Mateyk and Dolores Hallett met at a tax seminar,more than three decades ago. After working for another advisor for 5 years and loving the financial industry and clients, they decided to go into business together. It was an important and fruitful decision - March 1, 2019 was their 25th business-partnership anniversary!
When Maria and Dolores first launched their financial advisory practice,there were not many women offering financial advice or that had team-based practices. “We started with seminars for women. The attendees appreciated what they heard, and decided to become our clients. We’re proud to say that most of them are still our clients today. Our practice has blossomed because of their loyalty and referrals,” Senior Advisor, Dolores Hallett says.
From day one, Maria and Dolores committed themselves to a number of client promises that reflected their personal values. Among these include a commitment to always put the client first, and to approach every inquiry, meeting, and consultation as if they were the client. They also promise to spend as much time as required for the client to understand their recommendations.
“We did this because we want our clients to truly know that we have their best interests at heart, and more importantly, are on the same team. It’s worth mentioning that our seven promises have stood the test of time, and continue to inform and inspire all of our client interactions,” Senior Financial Advisor, Maria Mateyk,says.
“Being in a position of trust means our clients share the most intimate details of their financial, family, and personal lives with us. We’re also blessed to have a multi-generational practice; many grandparents, their children, and their children’s children call Maria and I their trusted financial advisors, and their friends,” Dolores adds.
Philosophy & Approach
Each person is different in terms of risk tolerance, age, and goals. Maria and Dolores spend a lot of time discussing cash flow management with their clients, many of whom, were never asked to calculate their monthly income and expenses before. “A wise woman once said, if your output is more than your input, then your upkeep will be your downfall. In other words, if people keep spending more money than they are taking in, then, among other things, they won’t be able to retire when they want or need to,” Dolores says.
Maria and Dolores update their clients’ net worth statements on a regular basis, and track it over time. Client meetings typically include a written agenda that is almost like a mini financial plan. It includes, among other things, any changes in objectives, spending habits, additional risks, tax considerations, estate planning etc. This proactive approach provides a level of comfort to each client.
“We spend a lot of time networking with our investment partners, keeping updated on existing investments and learning new investment solutions that we are able to offer, utilize, and benefit in our client portfolios. For example, the Morningstar program is a valuable tool we consistently utilize,” Dolores says.
Although they are on the same page when it comes to client commitments, Maria and Dolores don’t always see things exactly the same way. “Dolores and I have complimentary skill sets. Clients appreciate these differences. For example, my psychology degree is useful when highly emotional, difficult financial decisions have to be made,” says Maria. Dolores spends a lot of time on strategic tax planning for clients when they are considering retiring or during retirement when minimizing tax is important for programs such as OAS and the claw back.
If Maria and Dolores don’t have resources in house, they direct the question to professionals in their personal networks or find out the information themselves. “While we can’t know everything, we never say, ‘Do your own research’. If we don’t know we will find out and get an answer for you,” Dolores adds.
Dolores and Maria also focus on estate and risk management. For example, many clients don’t realize they can and should consider insuring their income before they have a baby or that they can handle their tax obligations before they die and in doing so, ensure there is actually something to leave their heirs. Pro-active estate planning is essential in ensuring clients’ assets transition from one generation to the next in an efficient and tax effective manner.
One client says, “We came to Maria and Dolores in May of 1997, in debt, and having no knowledge of how to save, and how to make our money work for us…Maria and Dolores have made us realize that anything is possible. It’s a great feeling to know that our family is on its way to being financially secure…”
“We don’t sell products. We offer individual, customized advice and choices that help people achieve their goals. Our client-centric mindset also extends to choices about compensation. Above all, we want to be fair, and transparent,” Maria says.
For more complex clients, comprehensive Wealth Plans are prepared, where in-house legal, insurance, and tax specialists are consulted. “The value of these plans are estimated at $7,000 to $10,000 and we offer them to our higher net worth clients on a complimentary basis. For less complex situations,we offer a Financial Snapshot Report where Estate Planning is not required; however, Retirement Planning is still required," Dolores adds.
From Our Family to Yours
Maria and Dolores’ team is family-run. As a result, staff is dedicated, don’t punch a clock, stay late, and work weekends when needed.
Maria’s daughter, Lisa Sulpher, has a Business and Communications degree from the University of Waterloo, runs the office, and organizes client appreciation events. She updates policies and procedures, and takes on all the internal staff training. She is also responsible for collecting the data needed to complete Financial Snapshots Wealth and Estate Plans.
Lisa’s husband, Adam, is securities licensed, loves analytical work, provides information on stocks, and helps build and maintain portfolios. His goal is to enhance the team’s expertise by becoming an Investment Counsellor.
Dolores and her husband, Barry Witt, complete the majority of clients’ income tax returns. Barry also completes Morningstar reports for each client portfolio. These reports ensure diversification by geography and asset class and aid in fund performance review. The information is needed if re balancing is required.
Life Long Learning
Dolores and Maria make it their business to learn about government programs like the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan. Dolores has filed many Disability Tax Credit claims that have resulted in sizeable tax refunds. One grateful client said, “Thank you for suggesting the Disability Tax Credit for my income tax. No one else had ever mentioned this to me. It is nice to work with someone who has their clients’ best interests in mind.”
Dolores has a B.B.A. from Wilfred Laurier University and just completed an Elder Planning course. Maria has a B.A. in psychology from Brock University and holds the Certified Financial Planning designation.
Generosity becomes more important as client assets grow. Maria is currently enrolled in a “Strategies for Philanthropic Giving” through the Knowledge Bureau. Assante also has a robust implementation program that is designed to minimize the amount of money the government receives and to maximize the amount of money the charity receives. In addition to their own giving, Dolores and Maria contribute, as a team, to the Carmelite Sisters of St. Joseph.
“It takes time to build trusting relationships. As clients see their wealth grow and their taxes diminish or a strategy that we have recommended working, their trust grows. And, last but not least, we will only ever recommend to clients what we would want recommended to ourselves.”
The information contained in this article is based on an interview of Dolores Hallett and Maria Mateyk, Senior Financial Planning Advisors with Assante Capital Management Ltd. Please contact Dolores or Maria directly at 519-884-4048 or visit www.mywealthmanagementteam.ca to discuss your particular circumstances prior to acting on information contained in this article.
Assante Capital Management Ltd. (“Assante”) is a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. D. Hallett and M. Mateyk maintain a relationship with Assante Capital Management Ltd. through which they sell investment products. The relationship that they have with Assante does not include tax preparation services which D. Hallett and M. Mateyk are solely responsible and Assante has no responsibility for these tax preparation services.
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Assante Capital Management Ltd.
Maria Mateyk, BA, CFP
Dolores Hallett, BBA, FMA, FCSI, CIWM, EPC
130 Highland Road East, Unit 3
Kitchener, Ontario, N2M 3V9
130 Highland Road East, Unit 3
Kitchener, Ontario, N2M 3V9
Toll Free: 1-877-510-6209
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com