Saving for the future is an important part of life, but it can also be a little overwhelming, especially when it comes to investing. It’s not something the schools have prepared you for, yet getting someone else to manage your money can be costly, with advisors or mutual funds often taking 2% or more per year in fees.
Do-it-yourself investing and managing your own money is something that anyone can do with just a little bit of time, dedication, and education. Once you learn the basics, a passive investing strategy requires very little of your ongoing time to maintain. A few hours at tax time perhaps. A few minutes through the rest of the year as you save.
You just need the knowledge and the motivation to get started.
I am offering an investment education service to help with that initial first step. I can help teach you the background knowledge, and guide you through making your first investment.
It sounds kind of oxymoronic at first, hiring someone to help become a do-it-yourselfer, but of the few people I've talked to on matters of investing and the like, they seem ok with the idea of DIY investing in a theoretical sense, but just can't get up and actually start managing their money themselves. It's not even necessarily the high-level stuff, but just the simple things, like "how do I get my money into a self directed account?" and "what button do I press to make stuff happen?" There is definitely a period where some measure of hand-holding and learning is needed for people to go from completely hands off about their money ("I have ‘a guy’, I write him a cheque at RRSP season, and he takes care of it") to completely self-directed.
What the service is:
Precisely what form my services take can depend on your own educational needs and questions. Most often I have spent 2-3 hours in person with a client helping them to understand the basics of investing, covering such topics as: what is a stock/bond/mutual fund? What are mutual fund fees? What is a reasonable assumption for investment returns? How do I estimate how much money I will need? What is passive investing? What mutual funds are low-fee? What is diversification? How do I buy a mutual fund on my own?
I have also had internet-only interactions, being available by instant messaging to answer questions while a client set up a self-directed brokerage account and made his first trade, or to answer a few questions by email from another.
What this service is not:
It’s not financial planning or money management. I will have no access to your accounts, and beyond a bill for my time, you won’t send me any of your money to invest. You will keep control of your assets, investing on your own, according to a plan of your own devising.
I am not a certified financial planner, nor do I have certifications/licenses from any investment organization in Canada or abroad. I cannot sell any securities, nor can I provide specific recommendations to you. I cannot dispense financial or legal advice.
I can help educate you, help you navigate your bank’s or broker’s website, and give you general information. My role would be part educator, technical support, and “money coach.”
Nothing I can give you is exclusive knowledge to me: there are many books and websites that can give you a background in do-it-yourself investing. Many people do not need my services to get started on their own. Others may prefer the services of a qualified advisor or planner, in which case they should seek one out that fits their needs. DIY investing is not for everyone.
However, if you prefer to talk over certain elements of investing with a live person, to be taught the basics rather than having to hunt the information down in the library, and/or to have someone walk you through the scary step of making your first investment on your own, then I am happy to offer my services.
Please email me at [email address] if you are interested.