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Questions For Your Advisor

Here are some questions we believe you should ask your current or prospective financial advisor — please click on the questions to see answers for Chalten!

What do you do?

At Chalten we help people take control of all financial aspects of their lives. Financial planning is about helping people get and stay organized to meet short and long term goals in life. In the near term that means current cash flow meeting current needs, managing debt, having the right insurance in place, and thinking about tax. Longer term that means savings and investment, taking advantage of registered savings accounts like TFSAs, RRSPs, education savings accounts, and planning for retirement and other life goals. Chalten's investment management offering gives clients a better investment experience. Chalten provides a disciplined approach at a reasonable and transparent cost that reduces clients' stress and increases their confidence.

How do you help people?

A good financial advisor gives clients confidence, sets them on the right path to affording the lifestyle they want today and in the future, and then keeps them on that path without stressing them out. Chalten provides clients with a sensible financial plan and manages their savings and investments. Investing takes time, discipline and confidence and we think a genuine interest in investing – most people don’t want to do it themselves. We do the investing for our clients so they can spend more of their time the way they want.

Who would benefit from your services and what types of clients do you have?

Many different types of people have financial advisors. A good advisor will help you think about your goals and gear your financial plan towards meeting those goals. Your goals may need to be flexible. Things change. Having a child, a change in marital status, switching jobs, inheriting wealth and looking to retire are all big life changes and require a re-examination of your financial strategy.

At Chalten, we have experience working with many different types of clients in different situations. When we think about the financial challenges people face, it’s probably easiest for us to think about people like us - professionals who are fairly well established in their careers, perhaps own their own home and want to protect and grow the wealth they’ve worked hard for. They may need some help getting their finances organized because they’re just so busy. They may want to learn about and understand their investments but don’t have the time, desire or confidence to manage them on an ongoing basis. They might not have had experience with a financial advisor or maybe they’ve had a bad (or expensive!) experience and are looking for a change. They have dreams and goals. We believe that by working with Chalten, most people will feel confident that they’re in control of their financial lives and therefore on the right path to achieving their dreams and goals.

What is the benefit of working with a fee-only advisor?

Fee-only advisors like Chalten are paid only by their clients. There is no conflict of interest. That means there is no incentive for a fee-only advisor to recommend anything that isn’t in your best interest. Some advisors are salespeople paid commissions for selling you funds and they are paid by the provider of the funds they’re recommending to you. Other advisors are paid commissions from buying and selling stocks for you – the way they get paid more is to buy and sell more stocks. With a fee-only advisor you get someone in your corner who works for you. You pay them a fee, either hourly or based on the level of assets they manage for you. Their advice will be independent and objective. You’ll also save money as they should keep you away from high fee investment products that will detract from rather than improve your investment experience.

How do you charge - what are your fees?

Chalten charges you directly for the work we do for you. To manage your investments and work with you on your ongoing financial planning needs we charge an ongoing fee based on your level of assets under management. We also do financial planning projects for clients who do not use our investment management service where we charge a one-off fee based on the complexity of the project. For more information on our fees please click here.

What makes you different from other financial advisors?

At Chalten our focus is helping clients achieve their goals and aspirations. While many advisors may also make this claim, some may in fact be hindering clients from achieving their goals by charging high commissions or by investing their assets inappropriately.

  • Chalten works directly for and is paid directly by our clients.
  • Chalten is registered as a Portfolio Manager so we can provide clients with integrated financial planning and investment management advice which is in their best interest.

Finally, we believe we bring a unique and comprehensive perspective. We have worked all over the world in the finance and investment industry for many years, serving both institutional clients (institutions/companies/governments) and retail clients (individuals/families). More importantly, we recently took a year out from work and travelled around the world with our two children, therefore fulfilling one of our long-term aspirations. We feel well placed to help clients achieve their goals too!

When it comes to investing, what value do you add?

Investing takes discipline and emotional fortitude. To benefit from long term investing requires that you are always invested, through the good times and the bad – most people can’t stomach the lows. When the market is dropping like a stone, most people’s reaction is to sell out, which is usually the worst time to sell because prices have already fallen and they miss the rebound. People also tend to chase performance. They buy the hot stock or invest with the star fund manager and are often overly influenced by the financial media. The pressure for most people is too much. Chalten will take away that burden and remove that stress from your life.

Furthermore, the evidence shows that trying to beat the market by picking better stocks or by timing the market’s ups and downs doesn't work over the long run. The investment industry tries to convince you that they can beat the market and they charge you high fees in their effort to do it. Those fees over time have a massive impact on how much your investments earn. Chalten keeps you invested in the market in a better way without high or hidden fees.

What is your investment philosophy?

Chalten's investment philosophy is based on evidence and the science of investing. What is the evidence? Firstly, investment returns are related to how much and what type of risk you take. Secondly, you don’t get higher returns from trying to pick better stocks or time the market’s ups and downs – buying and holding the market (passive investing) beats stock-picking and market-timing (active investing). Next, you need to have a well diversified portfolio. Different investments zig when others are zagging – by combining them in a portfolio you can achieve better returns for lower risk. Furthermore, the make-up of your portfolio should be driven by your tolerance and capacity for risk. And lastly, you should try to minimize costs and taxes.

Chalten creates and manages sensible investment portfolios that are tailored to your risk tolerance using low cost but best in class mutual funds and ETFs. For more information on our evidence based approach to investing please click here.

What values do you stand for?

At Chalten, we stand for the principles of honesty, fairness and integrity. We believe advice should empower people and give them confidence and control, not scare or confuse them and certainly not be misaligned with their best interests.

What is your experience?

Chalten's advisors have worked in the finance and investment industry for many years living and working in Europe, Asia and North America. We have served institutional clients (institutions/companies/governments) and retail clients (individuals/families) and believe we bring a unique and comprehensive perspective. For more specific information on our experience please click here.

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We employ an evidence based approach to investing.

Our approach contrasts that of many advisor services.

We help you feel empowered, confident and in control.

We provide independent and fairly priced advice.

Our only source of compensation is directly from you.

A good financial plan will increase your confidence.

Chalten Fee-Only Advisors Ltd.

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