JANET DAWES, BSC, Life Insurance Strategist, Founder, JD Wealth Insured
"Abolishing financial hardship and breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck
generational cycle to create financial freedom for every client’s household"
When adversity strikes, some people have an exceptional vision that allows them to quickly see the silver lining and seek out new opportunities. When the pandemic hit, Janet Dawes, BSc., Life Insurance Strategist and Founder of JD Wealth Insured in Guelph, Ont., took the opportunity to reflect, reprioritize and realize her dream of being a business owner.
A first-generation immigrant, Janet grew up in a traditional hard-working middle-class family. Her parents instilled a strong work ethic where the message was clear – in order to get ahead, it was necessary to work hard. Convinced otherwise, Janet insisted there had to be a better way, stating, “It’s not just about working hard, it’s about working smart. The middle class work hard, the wealthy think.”
Working smart, along with that visionary knack Janet has for identifying opportunity is exactly the blend newly launched JD Wealth Insured is all about. Janet brings her experience as a Life Insurance Strategist and a Fiduciary Trusted Advisor, plus experience in Private Lending, Power-of- Sale, Real Estate Investing and Options Trading. “I focus on leveraging insurance as a financial tool to assist my clients on their path to financial freedom,” says Janet. “One differentiating factor for me is to rise above conventional wisdom.”
Contrary to industry common practice, Janet doesn’t start her process with creating a financial plan because in most cases there are bigger issues that block a clear view of the best path forward. Instead, the early stages that energize her involve strategizing to fix these problems, relieve stress and steer clients towards financial freedom.
“For me, risk management comes first and foremost,” says Janet. “You cannot think about moving forward if you’re in trouble right now. It’s like thinking about where you should go on vacation when you’re gasping for air, drowning in the middle of the ocean. Thoughts of a vacation are futile if you can’t breathe. Instead, you need to begin by protecting those areas where you’re most vulnerable. Until we take care of these vulnerabilities, you cannot move forward. So, like a boat full of holes, let’s get that water out. This is the risk management piece of my process.”
With all immediate threats removed, Janet then focuses on identifying the causes behind the holes in the boat. Typically, a financial restructure that efficiently reorganizes the client’s finances for optimal cash-flow is needed. Financial leakage is common in most households through poor tax strategy and wasteful interest payments. As Janet states, “It’s time to recoup a portion of your hard-earned money with strategies that put it back into your pocket.”
Throughout this process, Janet also prides herself on equipping her clients with financial knowledge, often using analogies to increase the client’s financial acumen.
So, once the boat is repaired, Janet helps her clients set sails with a personalized and properly balanced budget, the cornerstone of building wealth. She explains that consistent, positive monthly cash-flow is equivalent to smooth sailing. “It takes a commitment to forming new habits, doing things differently to achieve different results to implement wealth building strategies,” says Janet. “It’s about having the optimal products and strategies for your unique circumstances that will get you to your destination with the greatest ease. Wealth comes from working with the tide not against it.”
As she guides clients through the wealth building stage of the process, Janet finds limiting beliefs often present the biggest obstacle. “Many of us have been taught poor money management skills, making it difficult to identify and then accept change,” she says. “We’re programmed to see things in a linear way, often thinking, ‘this is too good to be true.’ Such a thought exists only when we don’t thoroughly understand something. Can you imagine how a caveman would react to the light switch? Would the power of electricity be familiar? Would it be too good to be true?”
It’s in a similar light that Janet consistently sees clients struggle in her practice. “Most of us have not been taught the mechanics of the financial instruments available to us, let alone how to implement them to our advantage,” she says.
This is the stage where each of Janet’s client’s efforts will determine the impact of their overall financial success, and also where they lean on her the most.
Once clear skies, in the form of assets, begin to outweigh the clouds, or living expenses, financial freedom has been achieved. The last step is to organize the client’s legacy. “This is where the consideration around who will benefit from your years of hard work is determined,” says Janet. “If it’s not structured properly, the sad reality is the majority of your estate will most likely go to taxes. Instead, at this stage, I’ll encourage you to focus on those who are dearest to you – your family, friends and/or charities – to ensure your wealth carries on.”
It’s a unique approach to wealth management in a business where so many turn to cookie cutter processes. So, how did Janet gain her innovative view? By changing her perspective. “You need to do things differently if you want to secure different results,” says Janet. “One of my favorite stories is the fly on the window trying to escape outside. It keeps working against the glass, increasingly exerting effort to get through until the force kills it. This is akin to the rat race in life. Had that fly made a slight turn and looked in a different direction, it might’ve noticed freedom was actually achievable and nearby through an open back door. The smallest change or pivot can be monumental. My promise to my clients is to help them make that one degree change today that becomes monumental over time.”
When it comes down to business, Janet takes a coach-like approach in providing support, guidance, and financial discipline to get clients to their end goals. “I spent a lot of time studying psychology and consumer behaviour,” says Janet. “I truly believe that has served me well in that I can really quickly nail down peoples’ motivators and zone into a deeper level with them in terms of what they really want to get out of life so we can start to restructure their finances accordingly.”
With that desire to dive deep, Janet’s ideal client has the attitude and motivation to do what it takes to move forward towards financial freedom. It’s a partnership where both parties are working together and rowing in the same direction. “There’s always an initial two-way discussion about what the bigger picture looks like for both of us,” says Janet. “I want to bring as many people along with me on this ride as I can, but we must be aiming for the same destination and work towards it in ways we both understand and value.”
JD Wealth Insured is built upon the foundational belief that good advisement can abolish financial hardship, break the paycheck-to-paycheck generational cycle through financial literacy and create financial freedom for every client’s household.
Underlying it all remains Janet’s insistence that an incremental change in trajectory can become monumental over time. “The value of life is in living it, not slaving away at a job you tolerate at best,” says Janet. “It’s about balance. I don’t believe in this current standard of glamorizing over-working; I think it’s completely backwards. At the end of the day, what’s most important to you?”
Natalie Noble’s love of writing stems from her passion for hearing and sharing people’s stories. Over the years she has written for various business, real estate, and agriculture publications. At the heart of her work is a desire to continuously learn and connect.
Janet Dawes, BSc.
JD Wealth Insured
Servicing all of Ontario, Canada