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12 September 2016

Setting an Appointment in Canada

Appointments are usually made in advance so that the slot of someone's time is reserved.  The one who made the appointment will cross out the date in his/her calendar.

We know that there are instances such as emergencies or sudden change of schedules may occur and the worst thing is, if it happens on that appointment date.  It can be a valid excuse, but there should be notifications in advance. We are in a society where there are different ways to inform each other, such as text message, email or phone call.

This post is to remind people that time is important to everyone.  The level may be different, but still is precious.  You may take someone's time for granted thinking that it's just his/her time anyway, but that should not be the case.

In Canada, time is important, we are paid by an hour.  Make it a point that when you schedule an appointment with someone whether he/she is a service, delivery guy or a salesman, you must be there at an agreed time and place.  If you can't make it, a simple message to inform the person involve so he/she can adjust accordingly.

On my previous post, Educate Yourself in Financial and Investments in Canada,  where I stated that I had coordinated with the Financial Advisers in Ontario,  I clearly wrote in the appointment form that a Financial Advisor will contact you based on your preferred media. You can see the form here.

If you filled up the form, it only means that you are open for an appointment with an advisor.  If you made one, make sure that the advisor is well informed in advance if something popped up or you had changed your mind.

A simple excuse message will do:
" Sorry Mr. or Ms. Advisor, we can't make it at the agreed time of the appointment because we need to go to a doctor."
 " Hi Mr. or Ms. Advisor, can we reschedule the appointment to this day, because something very important came up?"
If you are no longer interested or something prompt you that changed your mind, an honest message will do:
" Sorry Mr. or Ms. Advisor, I'm no longer interested about your FREE financial literacy.  Please cancel our appointment."
These excuses are no big deal for the advisors.  At least there are feedbacks coming from you.  There are no bad excuses. It's better to have one than no replies or zero messages at all.

Why am I saying this?

Financial Advisors are professional people. They are licensed by the Financial Services Commission in Ontario.  If you feel that there's a fraudulent act from them, you can report them immediately to the government.

You have to understand that they are also busy individuals.  A certain appointment set for them will ignore others that comes in.  They will set that date for you and that makes you a very important person.

You may say that "It's part of their job!".  We all know that, but would it be great to respect their time as well?

Tips for Making an Appointment with an Advisor:
1. Talk to them clearly.
2. If you are not interested, tell them straight to the point.
3. For the Financial Advisors, a date is a date, unless an emergency comes up.
4. If you are no longer available on that date, postpone it.
5. Leave messages.

Everyone has the right to be respected.

31 July 2016

Educate Yourself in Financial and Investments in Canada

Coming from a country where financial education was not the primary concern in the school curriculum, it was the reason why I didn’t learn finances and investment when I was still young.  

Yes, we have investments in class, as far as I can remember, but it’s all about the computation of interest, compounded, yearly, annually, principal, and etc… Those were the terms I learned in that era.  But what exactly was the practical meaning of those words?  How can we apply that in our daily lives?  Teachers should have taught us about stocks and mutual funds and how to apply it once we have the money to invest.

I really felt that I know a lot about investing, mutual funds, stocks and insurance when I was in the Philippines and in Singapore.  I thought that I already learned them all through online research and watching YouTube financial videos.  But I was wrong.

When I Started Investing
The college education plan, which my sister had for me, was a big help in college.  At the age of 18, I got my first insurance from a reputable insurance company and in addition to that, got my pension plan at age 23, which I received the pension lump sum few years of investing.  Then I have a fully paid house, 2 investments with insurance and a small aquaculture business.  I really thought that I know finances and investments.

But, I was mistaken.  I was not aware of how much should I really be spending premiums or benefits for my insurance, where and what to invest in.  Maybe, I’m just like you who don’t bother to read what was inside the insurance and investment contracts.  It turned out that I really need more knowledge on it.

Learning Investments in Canada
Having my existing small portfolios on hand, I made sure that I have my insurance and investment options when I arrive in Canada.  I talked to my sister in Toronto and luckily she arranged a Financial Adviser to discuss Canadian financial education.

Thinking that I knew everything, I was hesitant to hear the options and other investment options in Canada.  As soon as we reached the middle of the discussion, I felt the interest and my eyes go wider, shoulder and head go nearer to the speaker.  I was surprised to hear new information about it.  Although some are familiar to me, but most of it were new.

The discussion taught me these things:
Options on where to invest our Settlement Funds
Where and how to invest to get the higher rate of return
How to protect our current income
Planning for Children's College Education 
How to prepare when we live longer than expected
Financial analysis

These were the lessons that I had put in mind until now.  It changed the way I handle money in Canada and how to have a lifestyle that fits my income.

After the meeting with the Adviser,  I got my first insurance in Canada to protect my family when I die sooner.

After a few months, I started investing in government savings plan, my retirement, and my children’s college education.  I was grateful to learn those things few weeks after arriving in Canada.  It helped me a lot to be a better financial manager to my family.

That is why I like to share this with you.  Open up your options by getting whatever knowledge you need especially when you have just arrived in Canada.

Please be aware that you should only listen to a licensed financial adviser in Canada. When it comes to financing, of course, you can get inputs from your relatives and friends but not rely on them 100%.  It’s similar to going to a doctor when you are sick or seek for health options.  They’re the only one licensed to do that.

Be Financially Educated
Financial Advisers in Canada are highly regulated.  They are regulated by the Financial Services Commission in Ontario. 

I made an arrangement with the Ontario Financial Advisers so they can conduct a financial literacy to you in Toronto.  They will explain and teach you about investments, how to compute for the proper income protection and where to invest for a higher rate of return.

Click this link to reserve a date and time for your financial literacy.

Listen to the Advisers and decide what is the right option for you.  The future of your family is in your hands. Prepare for it. You alone can make a difference.  

If you have questions regarding this post, send me an email at
Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada