D Smith: Farewell to my loyal readers

Many Capital News readers have cut out my newspaper articles and brought them to my office for discussion.

After 13 years of contributing bi-weekly financial and consumer columns to the Capital News, the time has come for me to say adieu.

I have truly enjoyed my time spent on research on investment trends and timely topics, presenting to readers my common sense theme, and the positive response from my clients and the readers of the Capital News.

Writing a column involves hours spent researching and preparing each column along with the mandated regulatory approval from my head office before it is sent to print.

Journalists who write for newspapers do not hold licences to sell investments; they do not need regulatory approval for their columns.  Journalists write their articles without any compliance approval.

I have been fortunate to have met so many wonderful people during this time.  Being an advocate for both the financial industry and the consumer has allowed me to focus on both sides of the industry. I have learned so much from my readers.

Investing is a complex and confusing industry for many people.  Many investors lose money by jumping in and out of the market.  “Buy high and sell low” is common sense, however during market ups and downs, common sense is often not followed.  Before you sell or purchase investments, you should follow the advice of or at least ask for a second opinion of a CFP.

It is confusing for investors as they struggle to understand the multitude of options available to choose from.  There are many types of investments with constant marketing from the investment industry and also commentary from journalists to confuse investors.  What does the investment consumer do?  Some investors become paralyzed by fear and do nothing.

Some investors buy on a market high and sell on a market low when pessimism is maximized.  It helps to understand what type of investor you are. Are you an investor who listens to the news and is convinced the sky is falling when markets decline or are you a steady as you go investor not easily swayed by the media?

I encourage all people to work with an advisor with a professional designation such as the Certified Financial Planner designation  The designation means your advisor has taken years of courses and has written multiple exams to gain the industry designation.  There are also annual mandatory educational requirements required to keep the CFP designation. There are many advisors without a financial designation who pass one exam and sell investment and insurance products.  What type of advisor do you want to offer you investment advice?

I encourage people to find an advisor who they can talk to and ask questions of.  A Certified Financial Planner has the expertise to discuss your retirement, estate and tax planning questions in regards to your investments.

A bank or credit union or independent financial advisor receives compensation on the assets held under management.  Since all advisors are paid from client assets, you should maximize your relationship with a trusted CFP to benefit from the additional professional advice.  If you are not receiving professional advice, it relates to being sold a product without any additional benefit.

Establish a relationship with a Certified Financial Planner who you are comfortable with who will help you build your wealth one day at a time.

Thank you to all the people who have read my column. Many Capital News readers have cut out my newspaper articles and brought them to my office for discussion.  I will remain in the investment industry and I will continue to enjoy my career choice and helping people.