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A few years ago, former U.S. Olympic track athlete Lauryn Williams traded in her running spikes for financial books.

Ms. Williams, a three-time medallist in the summer and winter Olympic Games is a certified financial planner and owner of Worth Winning LLC in Dallas, which is an advisory practice catered to young professionals. She wanted a unique way to connect with a targeted group of clients better and began organizing a series of exotic retreats.

Ms. Williams spoke with Globe Advisor recently about her getaways for clients.

Why did you become a financial planner?

When I was a young professional athlete in my 20s, I couldn’t figure out my finances and wanted someone to meet me where I was. I had hired what I thought was a professional but the experience didn’t go well. Today, my whole company is built on working with younger people who are nervous about their finances and who just want to be met where they are.

Where did you get the idea to start client retreats?

The clients I work with love to travel, and so do I! I just hit my 50th country last year and decided to take the two things that I love – money and travel – and mix them together.

July’s client retreat is in Colombia and in August, we’re going to Bali. Clients will have an amazing travel experience and work through various financial topics simultaneously. In the mornings, we work on building financial plans. In the afternoons, we do something like paragliding or sightseeing.

Each retreat is capped at just eight people as they are meant to provide time for us, advisors, to really dig in and properly help people with their financial issues.

Are these vacations costly?

So, here’s the thing – people are already booking these sorts of trips. But what did they get for that vacation?

Our retreats are running about US$3,200 right now. That includes the accommodation, two meals [a day], all the excursions and financial planning. It’s not cheap, but it’s also not super expensive when you include all those things that you would also be spending extra money on.

Do you plan trips for different types of clients?

The trips this summer will be specific to single women. I believe people feel different about how they talk about money, depending on what the environment is like.

So, a bunch of women getting together and talking about their finances creates a different environment than if there are men in the room. I don’t want a situation in which there are four women, two single guys and then a couple. That doesn’t create the kind of environment to get really transparent and have the best experience.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

- Deanne Gage, Globe Advisor reporter

Must-reads from Globe Advisor this week

Eight predictions of what could be introduced in the federal budget

Canadian taxpayers are bracing for changes in the upcoming federal budget that the Liberal government vows will focus on fiscal restraint amid an expected economic slowdown. Ottawa will also look for ways to shore up revenue to help pay down debt racked up from pandemic-era incentives, while also addressing the impact of surging inflation on lower- and middle-income Canadians. Advisors say wealthier Canadians will likely be targeted in this year’s budget that will be tabled on March 28. Advisors should talk to clients about what could be in the budget, including some of the seemingly far-fetched proposals that have been rumoured for years. Brenda Bouw looks at measures advisors are flagging for clients.

ChatGPT is fun, but is it useful for financial planning?

When OpenAI’s ChatGPT burst onto the scene in November, it took artificial intelligence (AI) mainstream. All at once, people could chat with AI, asking it questions and challenging its replies. It was an overnight sensation, many years in the making. But what are its practical implications for financial advisors? Some experts say ChatGPT has the potential to speed up aspects of an advisor’s role so they can spend more time interacting with clients. But there are risks such as if you ask it a question and don’t know the answer, ChatGPT could provide incorrect information with complete confidence. That’s a warning advisors should pass along to clients who have started playing around with the tool. Alison MacAlpine looks at the pros and cons of using the chatbot.

How three portfolio managers are investing in emerging markets this year

With financial markets currently dealing with so much uncertainty, it may not seem like the ideal time to consider investing in emerging markets. After all, these smaller, developing markets are generally considered the riskiest and most volatile with the greatest potential for unexpected negative surprises. Despite these factors, there are good reasons for investors to consider devoting some of their portfolios to emerging markets, experts say. Headwinds for emerging markets in 2022 look primed to become tailwinds this year, one portfolio manager notes. Terry Cain gives an outlook for the sector and where the opportunities exist.

What to consider when assets in joint accounts are meant for multiple beneficiaries

People fixated on not paying probate fees one day will typically hold some of their assets, like a bank account, jointly with another family member. While doing so may save on fees, what often follows is confusion and likely animosity among family members because it triggers questions on who was really meant to end up owning the asset when a joint accountholder dies. Was the asset truly intended as a gift to the surviving heir listed on the joint account or was it meant to form part of the overall estate with multiple beneficiaries? Deanne Gage looks at when it’s necessary for clients to write out their intentions in a separate statement apart from their will.

Also see:

Why this portfolio manager is buying Meta Platforms and Salesforce but selling IBM

How to talk to parents about their estate plan

How to establish an effective strategy to buy a book of business

Commodity markets likely to escape banking crisis fallout, traders say

Sustainable investors don’t need ‘green bleaching’

What you and your clients need to know

Parents scramble to make ends meet as CRA restarts child benefit clawback

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has resumed collecting debts tied to overpayments of the Canada Child Benefit, a move that some parents say resulted in drastic reductions of their benefit payments for March. The tax agency normally reduces or withholds tax refunds and benefit payments to offset a taxpayer’s debt but temporarily stopped doing so in May 2020, in an effort to provide financial relief during the COVID-19 health emergency. And while the CRA resumed offsets in October for most types of government debt, it wasn’t until this month that it began also withholding the child benefit payments for taxpayers who have a balance owing because of past overpayments. Erica Alini reports on what the clawback means.

U.S. banking crisis plunges TD’s First Horizon deal into uncertainty

Toronto-Dominion Bank TD-T faces further uncertainty with its US$13.4-billion takeover of First Horizon Corp. FHN-N as the U.S. banking crisis creates new regulatory concerns and the Tennessee-based bank’s shares tumble. Shares of First Horizon have been plummeting, sinking more than 20 per cent since Silicon Valley Bank’s demise almost two weeks ago, sending U.S. regional banks stocks tumbling. Early last year, TD agreed to buy First Horizon for US$25 a share, higher than the US$15.58 that the U.S. bank’s share price closed at on Wednesday. Stefanie Marotta looks at the latest developments in the deal.

Pretend that words are money: To be more powerful, curb your overtalking habits

The world is filled with overtalkers, says journalist Daniel Lyons. They tend to overshare on a particular point of their interest, interrupt others and talk more than they should in conversations. You run into them all the time at work. But he suggests you look in the mirror because you might be an overtalker – most of us are. “It’s not entirely our fault. We live in a world that doesn’t just encourage overtalking but practically demands it, where success is measured by how much attention we can attract,” he writes in STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World. Harvey Schachter breaks down the art of not interrupting others.

– Globe Advisor Staff

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