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  • Simple and effective – Plan for life™, the new face of retirement planning. | Small Biz Advisor
    taken care of and will have the tools and information they need to make the right choices Regardless of the size of the program Plan for life is designed to provide members with the confidence they need to make these important decisions For instance members learn about the advantages of a group plan payroll deductions investment selection and more We help them understand that information and then they have the decision making tools to make appropriate investment and contribution choices Plan sponsors like it because members end up making appropriate choices and appreciate the value of their program What investment choices are available to members The plan sponsor is responsible for choosing the investment roster in their program this is usually done with the assistance of their advisor One of the most popular options is our Avenue Portfolios which is a 15 box matrix based on five time horizons and three investor profiles The individual portfolios are comprised of the funds that have been pre selected for the plan so communication is simplified Once members determine their investor profile which they get from completing the questionnaire and they know their retirement age it s just a matter of ticking the right box From a member perspective they like the Avenue Portfolios because the whole process is transparent they see what the underlying funds are and can easily associate a cost with the investments Plan members who prefer to choose their own funds can build their own diversified portfolios from a selection of à la carte funds How are you using technology to get your message across Technology is a great driver in motivating members but it must not be seen as the only solution We believe in a high tech high touch approach that marries technology to personal contact A

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/group-retirement/simple-and-effective-%e2%80%93-plan-for-life%e2%84%a2-the-new-face-of-retirement-planning-762 (2016-04-26)
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  • “OK PAL TELL ME SOMETHING I DON’T ALREADY KNOW!” | Small Biz Advisor
    retirement planning And it s a win for advisors as well Retirement is front and centre today in light of the baby boomer bubble moving forward It s also a largely untapped market for small and medium sized businesses And about 98 of Canadian businesses are considered small to medium sized having fewer than 100 employees1 Small companies are very approachable and yet only a small percentage of advisors sell group retirement plans there So what s that magical value proposition that earns you the right to play in this space After more than 30 years in this business I can say it all goes back to basics I m probably telling you something you already know but it still rings true In all honesty the biggest win or door opener is having a relationship with a business owner That relationship gives you an opportunity to do your 3 minute elevator speech What to say to help this owner and or management team decide to implement a group retirement plan The cost of a group life and health plan is sky rocketing and at times seems out of control A solution could be to review the monies allocated to health benefits and direct them to a more stable group retirement plan What do you bring to the table as an advisor Think like a business owner It may be a cliche to mention walking in another person s shoes but itâ s a cliche for a reason it works Try to see the needs of their business as if they were your own Small and medium sized businesses face challenges unlike big corporations do There s less money to go around but there s more closeness There are fewer people employed but the job still needs to get done The

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/partner-education/ok-pal-tell-me-something-i-dont-already-know-694 (2016-04-26)
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  • “A.S.A.P.” | Small Biz Advisor
    S A P A is for Administration This is the number one thing that will make or break any existing or newly implemented plan How many times have you lost a plan because of administrative issues Zero in on the number one challenge for any plan sponsor the day to day administration of a group retirement plan this can help you improve your relationship with the plan sponsor Get to know the account manager and use their expertise toward your business partnership Once you have the administration figured out you have to review the Service S on a go forward basis What are the expectations of the plan sponsor and plan administrator Confirm what your overall service offering is and make sure you are on the same page As advisors and brokers you face multiple challenges in maintaining Active Communication stands for the second A in A S A P The alternative to active communication is passive communication Posters web tools financial newsletters etc are all examples of the passive communication They are not very successful in generating large plan participation You have to entice encourage and engage plan participants not only during the enrolment sessions but before and after There are also increasing multi generational challenges as well as language challenges in providing ongoing active communication At the end of the day you are dealing with a mass audience of one The 30 year old is looking at withdrawing for home ownership while the 60 year old wants RRIF calculations It pays to customize your active communication to suit the demographics of the company The last letter in our acronym P stands for Performance Performance will be a major issue for a small number of plan participants the investment savvy types We ve all have been preached to It

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/partner-education/a-s-a-p-696 (2016-04-26)
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  • Employ your spouse to save tax | Small Biz Advisor
    18 She was paid by cash or set off Before bringing on family Some advisors include family in succession plans while others rely on relatives for administrative help when work piles up But mixing blood with money can be disastrous if not managed properly While hiring family usually means having staff committed to seeing you succeed you can t always be objective about their performance To see if adding another dimension to your relationship will work implement a firm trial period You ll want to draw up a written contract specifying roles responsibilities and pay And make sure to ask How will we objectively measure your performance after you ve completed your trial period Why are you fully qualified for the position Will you book meeting time with me when you need to go over something He explained to the judge that since he and his wife had only one bank account and it was a joint account there was no sense of paying her by cheque which she would deposit in their joint account Instead any amounts that she withdrew from the bank account or purchased with the debit card or credit card were set off against the wages she earned His wife testified it was her job to call people who had recently immigrated to Canada to see if they were looking for a vehicle She also checked Craigslist and would refer potential purchasers to the dealership where her husband worked She estimated that some days she made four to six calls while other days she made no calls She also sent birthday cards to her husband s customers The judge found the testimony self serving and unbelievable especially since it contradicted earlier evidence about what her duties were Further the judge found the lack of any documentary

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/advisor-for-business/employ-your-spouse-to-save-tax-3182 (2016-04-26)
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  • Modular flex or Flex Choice: good options | Small Biz Advisor
    be able to consider a flexible benefits structure Enter Modular Flex or Flex Choice A modular flex plan will provide employees with an option to choose between a few benefit options referred to as gold top of the line plan silver middle of the road and bronze basic package plans Typically the plan coverage in the gold option contains almost all of the top tier components of the plan sponsor s benefits plan and plan sponsor will usually require employees to optionally buy up to this plan through monthly payroll deductions Employees sleep better a night knowing their gold medal plan will look after almost all of their benefits requirements A silver medal plan would compare to a typical plan or standard program and would cover the basic needs of an organization s average employee There could be an employee contribution to this program but it would be nominal in comparison to the gold plan The bronze medal plan would just cover the major or catastrophic items and employees would be subject to higher coinsurance or deductibles Because this plan would typically come at a lower cost an employer may free up some benefit dollars to contribute to other areas

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/advisor-for-business/modular-flex-or-flex-choice-good-options-3070 (2016-04-26)
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  • Deal breakers | Small Biz Advisor
    may not have an HR manager but realize you have a bunch of personnel headaches you have yet to deal with While you may not be able to correct the issue before the sale letting the prospective owner know the problem in advance can turn it into an opportunity perhaps the acquirer has a fully integrated HR department that could pick up the slack Regardless trying to hide the issue raises suspicions 5 Litigation If your company s being sued or you are pursuing a suit against another entity and either lawsuit could materially impact your business there isn t much chance you ll be able to sell until everything s sorted 6 Environmental Red Flags If there s any environmental contamination on your business property the chance of selling is greatly diminished You must complete environmental testing and if necessary remediation before a deal can be done For minor cleanup issues a Phase 1 environmental audit which inspects and reviews past uses of the land and disclosure of the problem is probably enough However many deals have broken down over these concerns 7 Personal Expenses Normalizations is the polite term used to reference expenses that won t recur under new ownership It s often a euphemism for personal expenses put through a business to minimize taxes such as salaried spouses and children who provide little or no services to the company Normalizations come in many forms I once asked an owner of a consumer products business about the marine equipment item on the income statement Turns out it was expenses related to a yacht he used for corporate entertaining not something that generally passes muster with Revenue Canada as an eligible business expense Someone who plans to sell a company in the next year or two should eliminate or

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/advisor-for-business/deal-breakers-3063 (2016-04-26)
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  • Learn from the best: Mentees and mentors benefit from successful relationships | Small Biz Advisor
    to raise issues We can be blunt and straight with each other and there are no hurt feelings she says It s just This is what happened this is how I feel this is how I want it solved It may take a while but the right mentor is worth their weight in gold As Williams says about Dupuis She has absolutely changed my life Mentoring takes many forms John Nicola the founder of Vancouver based Nicola Wealth Management prefers an ad hoc approach in which aspiring advisors and business owners meet him for coffee to discuss their ideas and business models He s happy to serve as a sounding board Sometimes they re trying to build an organization like we have and I m always happy to chat about what we ve done and how to run a company he says While he s often asked to be a mentor he says at this stage of his career it would be hard for him to commit the time to a more formal process mentees need to articulate their objectives then discuss and gree on parameters Nicola also brings a coaching element to his advice something that is becoming more popular Coaching involves tapping into the hidden talents of the mentee so they can come up with their own solutions to certain situations While a mentor brings specific knowledge and experience coaching considers what the mentee brings to the table says Eileen Chadnick the principal of Toronto based Big Cheese Coaching Rather than telling the mentee what to do and how it s done coaching mentors ask What are your ideas They get the mentee to access his or her own resourcefulness The mentee may not know the answers but the mentor will encourage them to find their way through Others like Dupuis and TRG Group Benefits Greg Pallone prefer to focus their energies on mentoring their own staff Besides paying it forward they believe it s an investment in grooming their firm s future generation of leaders It s about building a company that will sustain me leaving it says Dupuis While retirement is not in my vocabulary right now it is nice to know that the company I ve built will continue to grow Pallone s Vancouver based firm had five advisors when it started in 1997 Today it has expanded to 14 benefits and pension advisors all of whom were mentored through the same organic growth process It works like this First before new people are hired at TRG an organizational psychologist interviews them to ensure that they ll fit into the company culture In essence everyone at TRG must fully embrace the idea of being interdependent while developing their practice within TRG We look for an entrepreneurial spirit someone who wants to develop an autonomous business within our brand and will take that risk says Pallone who is TRG s managing director Not everyone is inclined to be that independent Once the candidates get through the

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/learn-from-the-best-mentees-and-mentors-benefit-from-successful-relationships-2642 (2016-04-26)
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  • FIVE best practices for building a platform: Help your clients choose and manage their ideal investment lineup | Small Biz Advisor
    plan up to 75 of the members will choose to invest in the low touch option A successful à la carte approach makes sure each asset class is represented by investments that provide a diversity of investment styles without overwhelming employees with too much choice On the managed side Sands says the choice is often between target date lifecycle funds and asset allocation funds and one may be preferred over the other based on all of the above know your client factors 3 Review demographics regularly Providers offer reports that allow advisors to analyze age and asset distribution Sands suggests reviewing these at least once a year to better target education and communication to specific employee groups Typically you would have a different strategy for generation Y than the baby boomers she says For demographer David Foot s take on this refer to Age matters 4 Leverage your provider s governance process Providers often follow a rigorous governance process that helps make sure fund managers do what they say they re going to do Standard Life for example has a three step governance process for all plan sponsors regardless of size Nick Iarocci who heads the investment program team at Standard Life in Montreal and his team manage the Quality Choice Investment Program At the fund level their focus is on understanding exactly what the fund managers do and how they do it then monitoring to ensure that they stay true to their process and philosophy At the portfolio construction level they develop and back test investment solutions that are well built and optimized for efficiency striving to achieve the maximum amount of return per unit of risk At the overall platform level governance is about making sure plan lineups always have the best ingredients Here s how Iarocci describes

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/group-retirement/five-best-practices-for-building-a-platform-2643 (2016-04-26)
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