Jeanette Power, a senior wealth advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy and Private Wealth, understands that a strong relationship with a financial advisor is key to helping women solidify their financial future and navigate the ever-changing challenges that life brings.
One situation illustrates how the strength of Ms. Power’s longstanding relationships can weather curveballs thrown at them. Earlier in her career, she helped a couple create their long-term financial plan to support themselves and their two young children. Then sadly, the husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness and passed away.
“Thankfully, my client and her husband had their financial plan and their affairs in order, so when tragedy hit, I could confidently show her that financially she was going to be ok,” says Ms. Power.
Since then, her client continued to build her career and her wealth, with Ms. Power working beside her to advise her.
“Her life circumstances have continued to change, and during these transitions, we have updated her financial plan to reflect these changes,” explains Ms. Power. This included updating her will, working with her accountant to minimize taxes, creating a fund to handle her charitable goals, and implementing a whole-life insurance policy to help move assets to the next generation and cover potential capital gains on investments and properties.
“This has given her such peace of mind, she has now decided to retire and will live comfortably from the investment income that the portfolio generates,” says Ms. Power, adding she’s also now the financial advisor for the woman’s adult children.
This client’s situation is not unique. Women often face significant challenges when building their financial identity as their circumstances, needs and priorities evolve over their lifetime, says Ms. Power, who heads the six-member Power Investment Team at CIBC Wood Gundy. The group actively manages client portfolios through a range of holistic financial and estate services, including tax, retirement and estate planning.
But the veteran investment advisor says fostering these relationships goes far beyond just finances. “This is such a multi-faceted relationship. Not only do we manage and create wealth for families, but we are also confidants, educators, a shoulder to lean on during difficult times, someone to share your concerns and your dreams with,” she says.
Many of Ms. Power’s women clients are senior executives and business owners working to build their wealth while raising their families. Finding the right advisor helps them gain confidence in their financial knowledge and be certain their financial future is secure, and that of their families.
“Money can be emotional; it’s not about what you can buy, it’s more about what kind of financial security it can provide,” Ms. Power explains, adding she often finds herself engaging clients in “deep, meaningful conversation about what’s important to them.”
When clients are dealing with difficult life transitions such as divorce and death, Ms. Power works in partnership with her clients and their other trusted advisors, including accountants and lawyers, to guide them through these challenging situations.
Ms. Power is astutely aware that the financial clout of women is growing. They control a large chunk of Canadian financial assets – about $2.2-trillion, according to a CIBC study. And with the significant generational transfer of wealth currently taking place from the baby boom generation to their heirs, Canadian women are expected to control nearly $4-trillion by 2028.
Women also often face unique financial hurdles over their lives that they must overcome, Ms. Power explains. They are more likely than men to put careers on pause while they raise children, care for elderly parents, and assist family members with disabilities. As well, women tend to live longer than men, with an average life expectancy of 83.9 years compared to 79.8 years for men.
When young couples are planning for a family while building their careers, Ms. Power’s team reviews how that will affect their finances from a range of angles.
One young couple she is working with has recently purchased a house and plans to start a family. The wife is “a rising star at her organization and has already had two promotions within the last six months,” Ms. Power adds.
“In reviewing and updating their financial plan, we have reviewed the impact of either partner taking time off. We also factor in a projected cost of daycare if required. As her income has been steadily increasing, we have raised the monthly savings amount in the plan, which will lessen the financial burden and create a nest egg for when the child arrives,” she explains.
Ms. Power stresses the importance of women cultivating a strong financial foundation throughout their lifetime, ensuring they understand their finances at all stages of life and create a plan that puts their futures on solid ground.
“Everyone has a unique relationship with money – this can be inherited from parents or through life experiences, both positive and negative. It’s important for women to build their financial identity on a strong foundation for financial success,” she says. “While life events can impact financial decisions, a financial plan can remove emotions and help you make better investment decisions, provide a clearer picture of your goals and lower your stress about money.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with CIBC. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.