At Polson, Bourbonniere Derby Wealth Management (PBD), financial planning is a family affair. “We utilize a ‘whole family approach’ because we believe it is important for everyone to understand what’s going on. This helps improve the financial literacy of younger family members, reduces anxiety, and creates peace of mind,” says CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional Lydia Bzowej.
Lydia didn’t start out with a burning desire to have a financial services career. Initially, she thought she would become a fashion buyer. With a degree from the University of Toronto she had the business education she needed to tackle the role. “Unfortunately, I was missing the fashion sense I needed to be a good buyer. So, I looked for other ways to use my business training,” the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional adds.
She joined Manulife Financial and found she enjoyed the financial services industry. “Then, I moved to another financial planning firm, while obtaining various industry certifications. I was organized and good with numbers, but did not see myself sitting behind a computer all day. I wanted a role where I could use my business expertise and have a personal connection with people.” In October 1996, 23 years ago, Lydia joined Polson Bourbonniere. If client testimonials are an indicator, Lydia made the right career choice.
Long-term clients, Michael and Fiona say they look for, “…A good work ethic, excellent organizational skills, constantly updated knowledge of the financial industry and its products and a good communicator with the ability to grasp the big picture. Add to this mix, great accessibility, easy availability, quick responsiveness and, perhaps above all, someone who always acts in our best interests – someone you can trust. Lydia Bzowej of Polson Bourbonniere Derby truly embodies all these attributes and has been our Financial Advisor for the past 21 years. She is the consummate professional and has been an unwavering support through good times and bad. Long may she reign!”
Polson Bourbonniere Derby is organized around a number of internal teams. This built-in redundancy/back-up principal approach is unusual in the financial services space where a large number of financial advisors operate as solo practitioners. “This allows us to react quickly while having the benefit of varied perspectives and experience,” Lydia says.
At Polson Bourbonniere Derby, Lydia is part of Investment Advisor Derek Polson’s team. “Derek and I, as well as the rest of our colleagues, share similar investment philosophies. That means any client can go to anyone else in the office and get a consistent answer,” Lydia explains. “All of us are either CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals or Personal Financial Planners®; we also have a Chartered Financial Analyst® on our team. Because we believe that six heads are better than one, we meet as a large group every other Thursday.”
The Polson Bourbonniere Derby Worry-Free Retirement Experience®
At Polson Bourbonniere Derby a successful Worry-Free Retirement Experience® is predicated upon a handful of key principles:
Understanding the client’s personal, financial and lifestyle goals
Developing and adhering to a comprehensive financial plan
Making investment decisions that fulfil the needs of the financial plan
Using investment strategies based on evidence rather than on prediction
Keeping investment costs low and transparent
Polson Bourbonniere Derby will only recommend a particular strategy or investment vehicle when their advisors have a good handle on what the client is trying to accomplish in terms of his or her short, medium and long-term goals. “Our client focus ensures we look at everything on a holistic basis, including, business assets and fixed assets like real estate, the tax implications of various strategies, retirement and estate planning, as well as cash flow and debt planning because all of these things affect the financial health of the family. Clients appreciate our client-first approach and often refer their friends, other family members and business colleagues.”
The firm operates a multi-generational practice. For example, in one family, Lydia worked with the great grandfather, his three children, their children, and their children’s children. Does Lydia’s approach work? Second generation clients, Kathy and Norm, certainly think so. “Since Lydia has been managing our investments, our portfolio has seen significant growth and has been well managed. She has taken the time to get to know us and develop a strong understanding of our financial goals and has been a great assistance in financial planning.”
Polson Bourbonniere Derby puts out a newsletter twice a year. If you are interested in learning more or being put on the distribution list, simply email Lydia (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Up Close & Personal
Lydia has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. She also has three industry designations including CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®), Elder Planning Counselor (EPC) and Certified Executor Advisor (CEA). All three designations were obtained well before it was popular to do so and expand Lydia’s knowledge beyond investments. All three designations also require the designee commit to a rigorous schedule of continuing education.
Lydia who jokingly describes herself as a “part-time Uber driver,” lives with her teenaged daughter, Katya, a competitive equestrian, who also works at the horse barn, and their toy poodle, Lola. Lola is very good-natured and really doesn’t mind sharing her home with a fostered rescue cat. In between travelling to horse shows between March to August, Lydia volunteers with TeamCatRescue.ca. When time and client commitments allow Lydia likes to travel and enjoys live theatre and fine dining.
As a last word Lydia says, “Family is incredibly important to me and I treat clients, many of whom I have known for a very long time, as if they were an extension of my own family. I do everything I can to ensure clients aren’t worried about their financial decisions and can sleep well at night. When clients refer their friends, associates and other family members to me I am deeply honoured by their trust and will always do my utmost to validate their confidence in me.”
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.
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
Lydia Bzowej, BA, CFP®, EPC, CEA
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER
Polson Bourbonniere Derby Wealth Management
HollisWealth ®, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.
7050 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 100
Markham, ON L3R 4G8
416.498.6181 or 905.413.7700 Ext. 223