"Peace of Mind is for Everyone"
Danni Richardson, CFP, Senior Financial Consultant, IG Wealth Management recognizes peace of mind’s importance. The stability it provides is incalculable, for financial, physical, and mental health. But it isn’t just for the super-rich. With discipline, hard work, and the right partners, peace of mind is available to everyone.
Knowledge is power
Danni grew up in a single-parent household; it was just her, her brother, and her mom. She always hoped she’d do well financially, but she knew that nothing comes easily, and that hard work and discipline are the bedrock of success.
Danni’s career inspiration, however, came not from her mom but from an unlikely place: the television. She grew up watching a TV program called Til Debt Do Us Part, a Canadian reality show that focused on money, debt, and the stress that comes with them.
She was transfixed.
The concepts of money, saving, and borrowing fascinated her. The show broke down exactly how, and why, the host was making her recommendations. In fact, it went through the strategies in detail.
Even in the show, those with only a little money were able to better themselves financially by being smart, disciplined, and more than anything else having a plan. It provided a roadmap on how to use a plan to improve one’s financial outlook.
With that unlikely origin, Danni knew where she wanted her career to go. She wanted to work with people and help them with their finances. She was just 14.
And there was nothing else in the world she wanted to do with her life.
Danni went to university and got her BBA with a specialty in Financial Services. While still in school, she started working in the banks, putting her learning into practice. Throughout her internship, she began learning about financial planning and fell deeper in love with her career path. The opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in the business, at such a formative time in her young career, was beyond description.
Now, with IG Wealth Management, she gets to help clients from all social classes build a more stable financial future and there’s no other place Danni would rather be.
It’s never too late
Some clients worry that they don’t have enough to start, or the sum they do have won’t make a difference, but for Danni, “It’s never too late. There’s no such thing as being too old, or not having enough money to start a financial plan. It doesn’t matter. Building a financial plan just requires that you make the effort. Starting today is better than starting six months from now and starting with 50 dollars is better than not starting at all. We can develop effective plans for everyone regardless of their financial situation; they just need to come in and talk to us.”
The first step for Danni is simple: listen.
Listen to what the client wants and understand their goals. No two clients are the same and they can’t be painted with the same brush. Danni makes sure she is clear on their goals before moving forward.
It could even take more than one meeting, but Danni is thorough and knows that by doing the extra work up front, she’s better able to provide a robust holistic plan.
Danni is a huge supporter of the holistic approach to financial planning because she believes that taking a comprehensive approach is the best way to achieve positive results.
“I had a client who didn’t have much money but really wanted help planning his future. He had undergone a recent job change from a salaried position to a private contractor, and he was worried he’d never be able to retire. We had multiple meetings to go through his finances and outline his goals. After I prepared his plan, I presented it to him. I could see his face brighten. He saw what could be achieved if he committed to a plan. He wasn’t just going to be a millionaire, but a multi-millionaire. He would have insurance and benefits to protect himself should anything happen. He could hardly believe it. He was going to be okay.”
And all he needed to do was start.
The Holistic Plan
The holistic approach looks at all aspects of a client’s finances: cash flow, existing investments, retirement, risk management, estate planning, wealth transfer, business ownership and investment, business transitions, family status, tax planning, and more.
A holistic plan doesn’t see these elements as single items but instead sees them as an interconnected framework that represents a client’s financial life.
A holistic plan needs to take everything into consideration.
“There’s so much that goes into developing a complete holistic plan. We take everything into account. Businesses, family life, existing investments – we must consider all the angles otherwise the plan may fall short of a client’s goals. Will it still be effective if a few elements are missed? Possibly, but the plan is unlikely to provide a maximum return. That’s what I want for clients. A plan that allows them to achieve their goals.”
There are also subtle nuances that will affect a client’s plan, which aren’t related specifically to their financial life, but to their desired outcomes.
How tolerant are they to risk?
What is their time horizon?
The two questions go hand in hand with the development of the plan because Danni will make recommendations within it that are aligned to a client’s financial framework, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
To understand these details, Danni works to dig deep with a client to make sure she’s providing the best possible advice.
Danni recognizes that sometimes dreams don’t always match a person’s financial situation. That’s okay. It’s her job to make sure that she works with clients to ensure their goals are attainable. Their goals and financial realities do need to be aligned.
It’s a difficult conversation.
Sometimes client goals are just not realistic, but Danni is grounded by her training and her upbringing. She sees it as her job to share the hard truth with clients. Without aligned expectations, it’s likely clients may only find disappointment at the end of their planning journey. Danni’s forthrightness is one of the things that sets her apart from other advisors.
She knows that it’s better for both her, and the client, to have similar expectations. It means a better client relationship overall.
After all, that’s what drives her: providing the best possible service.
Many of the lessons Danni learned from watching her mom, and her TV program still resonate with her today.
Spend less than you earn; try to be disciplined; fail to plan and you plan to fail.
Danni’s dream was to help people achieve their financial goals and she’s doing it.
"I achieved my goal and I’m always so excited to help clients achieve theirs."
Gary Milakovic is a veteran writer with more than a decade in the public sector and corporate communications. He has covered a wide spectrum of topics and his work has been featured by large and small organizations across Canada. Gary is passionate about communication, his writing often focuses on uncovering the “story behind the story.”
Danni Richardson, QAFP, BBA, CFP®
Senior Financial Consultant
Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
#308 - 108 Riverstone Ridge
Fort McMurray, AB T9K 1S6
780 - 312 - 6759