Financial plans created by Polaris Wealth follow the practice standards created by FP Canada. The FP Canada Standards Council, a division of FP Canada, establishes and enforces these financial planning standards. These standards can be found in the FP Canada publication Canadian Financial Planning: Definitions, Standards & Competencies and include the following:
A financial plan is a written report that addresses an individual’s personal goals, needs and priorities. It takes into account relevant financial planning areas and the interrelationships among them. The financial planning areas include
- financial management
- investment planning
- insurance and risk management
- retirement planning
- tax planning
- estate planning and legal aspects
Each section of the financial plan covers the individual’s current financial situation, the analysis performed to identify issues and opportunities, the evaluation of relevant financial strategies and recommendations to help meet the individual’s personal goals, needs and priorities.
A plan includes the personal information and financial assumptions on which it is based. It also includes a disclaimer noting its reliance on information provided by the individual and assumptions made. A plan provides a list of action steps, including what needs to be done, by whom and when.
|The Practice Standards|
Explain the Role of the Financial Planner and Value of the Financial Planning Process
Ensure the client understands the role of a financial planner and the value of the process of financial planning in identifying and meeting the client’s personal goals, needs and priorities.
Define the Terms of the Engagement
Work with the client to define and agree on the scope of the financial planning engagement, whether an initial or review engagement.
Identify the Client’s Goals, Needs and Priorities
Discuss the client’s personal goals, needs and priorities before identifying possible strategies or making recommendations.
Gather the Client’s Information
Gather sufficient quantitative and qualitative information relative to the engagement before identifying possible strategies or making and/or implementing any recommendations.
Assess the Client’s Current Situation
Identify and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in the client’s financial situation, perform required calculations, develop needed projections, and analyze and integrate the resulting information relative to the client’s personal goals, needs and priorities.
Identify and Evaluate Appropriate Financial Planning Strategies
Identify and assess the possible financial planning strategies to achieve the client’s personal goals, needs and priorities.
Develop the Financial Planning Recommendations
Develop and prioritize recommendations to help meet the client’s personal goals, needs and priorities and aim to optimize the client’s financial position.
Compile and Present the Financial Planning Recommendations and Supporting Rationale
Present the financial planning recommendations and supporting rationale in a way that allows the client to make an informed decision.
Discuss Implementation Actions, Responsibilities and Time Frames
Gain the client’s agreement regarding implementation actions, responsibilities and time frames. Stress the importance of a review and ongoing monitoring of the client’s situation relative to their personal goals, needs and priorities periodically and as needed based on material changes in personal or external circumstances.
Implement the Financial Planning Recommendations
Complete the implementation actions for which the financial planner has assumed responsibility.
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