- SUZEN FROMSTEIN
MICHAEL WEBB, CFP®, The Award-Winning Team at Webb & Associates Financial Solutions, IPC Securities
MICHAEL WEBB, CFP®
The Award-Winning Team at Webb & Associates Financial Solutions, IPC Securities Corporation, Midland, ON
"Big City Financial Advice With Family-Style Service"
"Many clients and their financial advisors only look at fees and returns to determine success. This is short-sighted because risk and return are linked. Furthermore, failing to consider the impact of factors like taxation, inflation, current market cycles, and ability to take on risk, is like an art dealer failing to consider contrast, colour, composition and the artist’s reputation when establishing the dollar value of a piece of art. We need to accurately assess the whole picture, not just one or two isolated factors,” says Certified Financial Planning Professional®, Michael Webb.
Michael focuses his efforts on doing a good job rather than on driving sales. “I’m not interested in being the next ‘Wolf on Wallstreet.’ The only thing I’m interested in is doing a good job for good people. We’re located where our clients live and retire and are proud of the fact that we deliver big city financial advice with family style service,” he says.
This includes encouraging clients to get serious about achieving their financial goals. “I don’t know how to be more clear. We have to do a far better job on financial literacy. It is also important to work with and to understand the differences between a professionally credentialed professional, like a CFP® and a sales person,” Michael adds.
Generally speaking, financial advisors build their practices through direct outreach, referrals from other clients, and acquisition. Michael, who was introduced to the financial services industry by his parents – he purchased both of their practices when they retired. In the last quarter century, he has continued to build his book by acquiring other practices from retiring advisors.
Philosophy & Approach
It all starts with caring. Before joining IPC, Michael worked as a volunteer firefighter with the Township of Tiny Fire & Emergency Services. He retired as Lieutenant after 14 years.
When there is a fire, there is not a lot of time to make a life-saving decision. Action taken after one minute, is often less deadly than action taken after twenty. He has been trained to continually assess and analyze the situation. Michael uses these same skills in his wealth advisory practice. “Today, instead of running into burning buildings, I keep people safe by helping them build, manage, protect, and pass on their wealth. Bottom line, I worry more about losses than I do gains,” he explains.
When he first entered the financial services industry Michael worked in his mother’s practice. “Mom always wanted to take care of people and passed these values onto me. ‘Caring for Clients Like Family’ was her original tagline. I’ve kept it because it also encapsulates how I feel,” he adds with a smile.
“I encourage clients to ignore the news media which only provides generic information and rarely applies to someone’s specific situation. I spend a lot of time understanding each client’s story, needs, wants and desires, financial goals, and anything that may be getting in the way of achieving them. That way I can completely customize my approach.”
Michael also believes everyone deserves to receive high quality financial advice. Unlike many of his colleagues that only focus on HNW individuals, he is happy to work with clients with modest portfolios. “That is where I can make the biggest difference. I’ve changed my pricing so that there is no impediment to smaller accounts benefitting from my experience and advice. When certain asset levels are reached, I adjust my fees accordingly.”
Michael currently works with about 400 families and is proud that he has built a multi-generational practice. He adds, “One of the biggest perks of my job is providing financial education to the younger generation. Clients need to understand what they are investing in and why. That helps them to make informed choices and increases confidence levels. If there are two balanced funds and only one has built in risk-minimization tools it is important to know that. Nothing makes me happier than sharing my knowledge and experience.”
Michael believes that there is no such thing as a perfect investment - different investments function differently at different times. “We focus on the most important aspects of your Personal Financial Strategy and employ a process that takes care of the day-to-day management of that strategy. Whether clients are building, maintaining or protecting wealth, my methodology allows them to enjoy what’s important – their friends, families and loved ones,” he adds.
Clients Gary and Brigitte agree. “Thank you, Michael for all the information you send us. You always have good advice for our transactions. We are aware of the turbulence in the markets, your company has always provided good advice.”
In terms of approach, Michael believes that diversification should go beyond Canadian borders and that everyone, including retirees, ought to be invested in both growth and value. “I look for smart money managers who consistently provide a reasonable rate of return rather than the money manager that hits it out of the park every three to four years. In this respect, I follow Aesop’s philosophy – “slow and steady wins the race.” And, he never recommends anything to clients that he doesn’t already do himself.
Says client Hal, “My father started working with Webb & Associates years ago…while I was young at the time, I always noticed that he always came home from his meetings “with his financial people” with a big smile on his face. After my father’s passing, Michael diligently met with my mother and I to help arrange her finances for stability, as well as ease of management for her estate planning. Now after my mother’s recent passing, Webb & Associates not only provided all the information related to the investments to make working with the lawyer very easy, they were there to answer all my questions. That level of service and support is why I have chosen to continue the family tradition and invest with Webb & Associates.
Michael is supported by a knowledgeable professional team including Executive Assistant, Christine Belmontes and Administrative Assistants Danielle Nimeth and Sherri Bailey.
Up Close & Personal
Michael believes in giving back to the community that has given him and his family so much. He has hosted many client appreciation events that have included barbeques, boat cruises, and special dinners. His year-end parties are always well-attended. Among other things he has sponsored St. Marie Among the Hurons, Wendat Community Services and Brookside Music.
He is member of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons and Scottish Rite Masonry. He is also a member of Shriners International, and has fundraised a variety of different projects including for medical equipment and children’s hospitals. As a member of the Board of Directors of Wendat Community Services and President for the last five years, he donates money and time to mental health and addiction services and a senior’s residence. As well, Michael is the current Parade Marshall for Rameses Shrine Center and a member of The Red Knights Motorcycle Club, a social club for firefighters who enjoy riding motorcycles.
Michael is married to Leslie, an elementary school teacher for the Muskoka Catholic School Board. The couple is breaking ground on their retirement home in Toanche Settlement and plan to move there at the end of summer. They have a blended family and are blessed with four adult children. Daughter, Taylor (21), is wrapping up a four year honours program and plans to continue her studies with a Masters in Social Work. Daughter, Jessica (21) is a movie and TV makeup artist. Son, Spencer (18) is an aspiring musician. He plays guitar and piano and composes music. Son, Nicholas (17) is finishing high school this year and plans on pursuing a degree in Forest and Wildlife Management.
When he is not working with clients or hanging out with family, you can find Michael fishing, boating, riding his motorcycle (whenever Mother Nature allows) or snowmobiling in the winter months.
As a last word Michael says, “I live and work where my clients live/retire. Life is too short to stress about things outside of our control. I have a network of professionals that allows me to provide the personal family touch without sacrificing access to the best minds in the financial industry. Our clients have one thing in common - they all want to maximize their lifestyle while minimizing the time and resources required to supervise their financial strategy. I come in as a professional partner to accomplish and take care of the strategy that provides comfort and stability to their milestones.
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 Catagory.
Michael Webb CFP - Financial Consultant
Webb & Associates Financial Solutions
IPC Securities Corporation
IPC Estate Services
338 King Street
Midland, ON L4R 3M8