- SUZEN FROMSTEIN
MICHAEL CHERSEY, Wealth Management Advisor at Assante Financial Management Ltd. Integrity Financial
“Tell It Like It Is”
Nike’s successful “Just Do It” campaign emphasizes a personal commitment to do the right thing. Michael Chersey Wealth Management Advisor at Assante Financial Management Ltd. embodies the Nike spirit. “I was raised to do what is right so doing what is in clients’ best interests, is a natural extension,” Michael Chersey says.
Michael has been helping individuals and families achieve their financial and lifestyle goals for almost two decades. “Among the greatest strengths I bring to client relationships are knowledge, integrity, a commitment to exceptional service, the ability to help clients see the big picture, and being able to explain financial concepts in easy-to-understand language,” he adds.
A client who has worked with Michael for almost twenty years says, “Michael has always made me feel that I was his only client. He explains concepts and ideas in terms that anyone can understand. He cares about his clients and makes sure they receive the highest professional conduct and personal ethics…”
The Wealth Advisor often works with multiple generations from the same family. “It is not necessary to understand stock options, or how to price a bond, or even dividends for the family to be financially successful. However, as I tell clients, if you don’t have a basic understanding of what you have or why you have it, how do you know your plan is specific to or working for you? What would happen if you suddenly had to take care of things?”
Regardless of the size of the initial portfolio Michael is committed to helping clients grow. He only asks that clients commit to do the same. “We believe that anyone that wants or needs to work with a professional should be able to do so.” That is why he also volunteers his time through Assante’s “Be Well Advised” program which began during the pandemic as an opportunity for Canadians who do not typically have access to a financial advisor or advice about wealth planning are able to access financial advice.
Michael switched to a fee-based practice in 2019 because he believed it was in clients’ best interests to do so. Clients told him that they were tired of getting advice from people with personal agendas. He adds, “I’ve heard stories about advisors that work for firms with sales quotas and who placed clients into funds that pay the ADVISOR the highest commission – likely without even checking for more cost-effective alternatives,” Michael says.
“In fact, I’ve taken over files for elderly clients who were put into funds that paid the advisor an inordinately high and hidden (DSC funds) commission that limited the client’s access to their funds without penalty. What if the client wanted to take a trip, needed a new roof or had to replace the tires on their car? No one wants to waste money, especially if there is a more cost-effective and transparent alternative,” the Wealth Management Advisor adds.
Clients describe Michael as transparent, honest, forthright, and someone who takes a client-centric approach to a new level. ‘Why should any client, who has worked themselves to the bone, not get the chance to retire in a way they hope they can?”
A 15+ year client agrees. “…I trust his advice implicitly. He has helped secure and grow my retirement funds. He helped me structure my investments while I was working and now during my retirement. His advice is always personalized to what I need - and now my family's as well. I would recommend him to anyone that wants to work with a professional."
Philosophy & Approach
Michael always encourages clients to ask questions. “We spend the lion’s share of our meetings catching up on what’s happening in their world, and with their family, their work and what they would like to talk about – items like these create the fabric of our lives. Only after we have caught up on these important things do we start talking about finances, estate and tax planning concepts.”
Clients attest to the veracity of his philosophy and approach to building, managing, protecting and passing on their wealth. “Michael is well organized, pro-active, client centric and always makes complicated financial information easy to understand. He takes the time to get to know you and your financial goals...He truly cares for your well-being and will always take the time to explain things and provide options to ensure you feel comfortable with your financial future…”
An integral part of Michael’s client-centric approach is the ability to modify the level of information preferred by an individual client. Some professional clients want lots of data and others don’t want or need as much detail. “I give every client the level of detail they want so they can make informed financial decisions.”
Another satisfied client says, "Michael has always been professional, honest, and caring. He is always patient and re-explains everything when I need him to - which is invaluable to me. He encourages me to ask questions so I can make informed decisions. I trust him and look forward to continuing working together in the years to come. I'd happily recommend him to anyone wanting a personal touch to their planning needs."
Michael has created a number of complimentary resources including an Estate Directory. This document captures, summarizes and itemizes everything estate related, including bank account information, passwords, and professional service providers such as lawyers and accountants. It is hard enough to deal with the passing of a loved one, without having to search for things like documents and account numbers, which is why Michael gives the Directory away. If you would like to receive your complimentary copy, simply email MChersey@assante.com.
Michael is certified as both a High Performance Coach and as a Skills Instructor by Hockey Canada. “Much like the work I do helping clients, I try and develop “complete” athletes. Naturally we work with them on the ice, but off the ice we try to teach them lessons that go “beyond the boards.” We want our athletes to be equipped with concepts like accountability, discipline, responsibility and teamwork. If all of this sounds familiar, that is because it is - I follow this same client-centric approach in my career.”
“All of these skills and techniques are necessary building blocks for personal and professional success. If everyone is working on improving their knowledge and experience, and we are all committed to positive change, eventually, we will achieve the results we want and need.”
Having honest crucial conversations about emotional topics is also an important part of Michael’s client-centric approach. “Let’s say grandpa has a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) in place. It’s important that all family members know and honour his wishes. Part of my role is bridging the information/communication gap and facilitating these types of crucial conversations.”
Michael is ably assisted by Deborah Leduc, who makes sure his practice operates smoothly and efficiently. In addition to her administrative duties, she is very active in coordinating meetings, interacting with clients, associates, and other professionals. “Clients love talking to Deborah. Even during the pandemic many told us not to stress out over their account. We’re happy to report that most of their portfolios have returned to prepandemic levels,” he says.
Up Close & Personal
Although he devotes much of his day to work and clients Michael also finds time to coach minor sports and to mentor aspiring coaches. He is also an avid golfer, and enjoys cooking and outdoor activities. As a last word Michael says, “Knowing the right thing to do is not the hard part; putting it into practice is where people have difficulty. Heavy weight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, once said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. The pandemic has shown us the truth of Tyson’s words. This has nothing to do with quotas or grid reports. The best action plans reflect reality.”
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 Career Guides Category.
Michael Chersey, WEALTH MANAGEMENT ADVISOR
ASSANTE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT LTD.
110 – 600 Cochrane Drive,
Markham, ON L3R 5K3
905 - 415 - 0455