Mitchell McLean has figured out that wealthy individuals and organizations invest differently than the average retail investor. Mitch, as most people call him, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and Investment Advisor at Mandeville Private Client’s Ottawa office, believes that it is in the best interests of every investor, to identify a role model for wealth creation, like Warren Buffett, OMERS, or the CPP, and then to duplicate their approach for successful investing.
Philosophy & Approach
Perhaps clients don’t have the same objectives as their chosen role model(s). However, when investment goals are the same, clients would be wise to have the same investments in their portfolios as do their role models. So why don’t they? Mitch believes there is real dysfunction in the financial services industry and is on a personal mission to change how clients think about money and investments.
According to Mitch, three strategies underpin Mandeville’s success:
• Have clear goals and a framework or a roadmap for success.
• Control emotional decision making.
• Unfettered access to private and alternative investments typically reserved for the Accredited or High Net Worth investor. Mitch’s clients gain access to these same investments through Mandeville as Portfolio Managers.
“As a Financial Advisor my role is not to just provide a product, my role is to help clients make the best decisions for themselves and their families. Most of the time, these decisions are based on advanced tax strategies. Although most High Net Worth Families work with an Investment Advisor, many of these individuals only provide portfolio advice. Although it’s great to see investment returns and to obtain access to special deals, if we lose much of the returns to tax, it defeats the purpose,” the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR says.
“I take clients through our ‘3D tax planning process’ to uncover tax saving opportunities. The 3 Ds for tax savings are: Deduct, Defer, and Divide. It is always interesting to see what tax savings opportunities I uncover for clients.”
Mitch and his team have five rules for every client relationship:
1. Every client is an informed client and receives up to date, strategic advice from the team.
2. Every client receives a written financial plan that ties into their goals and maps out their success roadmap.
3. For each client, the team explores all wealth creating opportunities through a 7-step wealth discovery process.
4. Every client deserves to have access to private and alternative investments and have portfolios similar to the ultra-wealthy and pension funds.
5. Fees matter. The team always looks to reduce your cost while maximizing value.
Mitch says, “I’m often asked, ‘Will I have enough money to retire?’ My answer is always the same – do you have a retirement plan in place that forecasts how much money you will need in retirement? What is your Magic Retirement Number and is there a GAP between your needs and what you have saved?”
“Retirement is happening whether it is planned for or not. Everyone envies employees who are fortunate enough to have a government pension plan. But, what if you don’t work for the government? Business Owners and Medical Professionals can set up their own Individual Pension Plans. I share how to do this with clients and hold a number of workshops on the subject throughout the year.”
When it comes to wealth creation, management and protection, Mitch walks his talk. “The strategies I recommend to clients, such as debt swap, private equity, and having a corporation and pension plan are the same strategies I use to create, build and protect wealth for my own family. Perhaps more importantly, I co-invest alongside clients.”
“I love creating wealth for clients and identifying opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise know about. I know people work really hard and make many sacrifices. I don’t want anyone to put money into their retirement fund only to lose out because they weren’t maximizing tax saving opportunities or did not know how to access some investment opportunities,” he explains.
Mitch describes himself as a continuous learner and believes that education is the key to solving many problems. More education means someone can solve more problems.
There is significant impending intergenerational wealth transfer that is said to be the largest in history. Statistics show that 70% of wealth is lost by the second generation and 90% of wealth is lost by the third generation.
“My commitment is to ensure that clients do not become a statistic. I work closely with the next generation to ensure that they are engaged in and understand the wealth creation process and are actively prepared to manage their wealth wisely so it can be sustained for generations.”
In terms of his own education, besides a B.Soc. with a focus on Sociology & Business from the University of Ottawa, and a Computer System Support Diploma from Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, Mitch currently holds his Certified Financial Planner® and Registered Retirement Consultant designations. He is working on a third certification – Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) and is also only a couple of courses away from obtaining the highly coveted Portfolio Manager designation.
“Learning is second nature to me. I work in a complicated, highly regulated, and ever-changing business. I plan to keep on learning and growing.” Clients describe Mitch as knowledgeable, down-to-earth, and someone who explains complicated concepts in everyday language. Mitch is ably supported by a couple of assistants.
“My philosophy is simple, clients have hired me to work for them, that is exactly what I do. We are always looking for ways to show clients how much we appreciate their trust and often host educational seminars on a variety of subjects, including, but not limited to, finance. We mix it up and have hosted talks on garden and travel, have family movie days, and welcome Santa to our annual Christmas party every year."
Up Close & Personal
Mitch has been an investor and a saver since he was a young boy. He has a close relationship with both of his parents. Mom, Rita, and dad, Robin, were both in the service business for 33 years. Mitch learned about the value of hard work and how to run a business and grow wealth from them. He cut grass as a child, saved his money and remembers buying that brand new bicycle the year he turned 12. He worked every summer and was so obsessive about saving that he had enough cash to pay for his own post-secondary education.
In 2011, Mitch was recognized as one of Ottawa’s Top 40 Under 40. He believes in giving back to the community that has been so good to his family and volunteers and financially supports kids and educational charities. He regularly teaches high school kids about finances and, this year, completed the CN ride for CHEO Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
Mitch has been married to his lovely wife, Yvette, for 12 years. Yvette helps in the business, and designed the company web site. The couple has one son, Marlo, (8). Mitch coaches baseball and hockey teams and plays hockey himself with friends that have played together for many years. The McLean’s are a sporty family and play and watch hockey, baseball and golf together as time permits. Their grey/black cat, Nina, likes to join in on the backyard ball game.
As a last word, Mitch says, “The most important step is the first step. Imagine that you are building a snowball that represents your wealth. Any savings and growth you obtain, increase the size of your snowball. Conversely, any extra unnecessary taxes you pay, diminish it. The first step is to get that snowball moving. You keep momentum on your side by working with a professional advisor who understands all aspects. The bigger the snowball, the better the retirement!”
Mandeville Private Client Inc. is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
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 Category
Mitch McLean CFP
1565 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1Z 8R1