Our approach to financial planning is different too. The financial industry has created all of the terms for returns you could imagine: return-on-assets, return-on-equity, return-on-income, return-on-capital. All of the measurements have been covered except the most important of all, return-on-life. When people tell us their story we don’t believe it should be based solely on mathematics. We try to get them to make a more meaningful connection between their money and their lives. We want their wealth planning to be a circle of ‘grow-live-share’.
With this Return-on-Life mindset we have come to observe that there seems to be three distinct stages in the financial planning process of most people. In the first stage the focus of the early years is on investing in growth. Here they are seeking to establish their independence, which will lead to feelings of control and confidence.
The next stage is one where they realize that they have attained a measure of success and turn to investing in themselves. It is a time when they can sense abundance. New priorities emerge. Family, healthcare, leisure, and personal growth are suddenly more important. They wonder why they didn’t do more of these things earlier and if it’s too late to catch up.
And finally they get to a place where they question their purpose. They ask themselves if they have been making a difference. Will they be remembered? In this third stage they turn their attention to investing in other people. They get much more involved with a personal cause, their community, a favourite institution, or a meaningful global effort.
Sadly these stages tend to be segregated from each other. It is common to believe that each phase must be completed before advancing to the next. But because we are big believers in balance we don’t think this has to be the case. Surely life does not have to be lived on a ‘red light – green light’ basis. Our planning model is designed to incorporate facets of all three at all times. We want to truly add value to your financial plan. We want to invest in you.
We are especially proud of our clients who are being introduced to our program. We want to help them to understand how investing/donating a portion of their returns can make an impact. Just giving to people is linear help but investing in people can be exponential. Wealth is not measured in dollars alone.
Since we call ourselves ‘financial entrepreneurs’ we seem to attract a certain type of clientele. They tend to be independent thinkers. They are leaders not followers. They are looking for creativity and passion. They know that small beats big every time, and are looking for diversity from the institutions. They are small business owners, retirees, and forward looking families.
They also seem to get our approach and are able to tell us their stories, because at Salute we look at people as people, not dollars. You see the banks actually have three unspoken rules. First, they want all of your money. Second, they want any new money that comes your way. Third, they never want to give any of it back. That is not a formula that produces Return-on-Life.
Here are a few quick quotes from clients. They come from ‘life’ stories that we can only hear now. You won’t find them in the obituaries. These are the things that make our team glad to be in this business.
I was able to give our daughter the wedding of her dreams.
We helped our son get his first home.
I took 24 family members on a Dominican vacation.
We used our investment accounts to help our son open his business.
We took 10 family members to Europe for two weeks.
I support 50 Canadian and 10 African charities.
We continue to give large chunks of our wealth to our family because we are able to.
We have taken 4 month long trips to do charitable work in emerging countries.
I remain very active at 80, with recent trips to Japan, India, China, and Turkey.