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For those of you who have followed my blog for a while you’ve had insight into pretty much all aspects of my life. My travels, my weekend adventures, and even important events like my sister getting married or my nieces and nephews being born. One of the biggest things that happened throughout the time that I’ve had my blog is the start of my business. When I started Threads & Blooms I was working full-time as a landscape designer and this blog was merely an evening hobby. Becoming a full-time florist and blogger wasn’t even on my radar (even less so the florist part, believe it or not!). Now, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that that I love all of the creative aspects of my job but what might be unexpected is that I actually enjoy the management side of owning a business just as much. Financial planning – on a personal and business level – are things that I am really interested in and one of the challenges that I embrace with now owning a small business.
Earlier this month, Meridian Credit Union reached out to me to see if I would be interested in learning a bit more about saving, investing and wealth management on a personal level. It seemed like a really good opportunity to get my financial ducks in a row and share about what I learn on here!
Growing up in the Niagara Region, Meridian has always been a community staple. There’s a branch in nearly every small town and Meridian was always involved in the local community activities. Over the last few years Meridian has grown greatly from their Niagara roots and now have over 90 branch locations across Ontario.
My sister and two brothers are small business owners as well and they all have their business accounts with Meridian. So, when it came time for me to officially open a business bank account last year, Meridian felt like the natural choice. Over the past year I have grown my business with the help of Meridian and my account manager has always been available to answer any questions.
So, my business banking gets a big check mark but my personal finances are definitely still lagging behind. After a positive year of business banking with Meridian, I gladly accepted the opportunity to chat personal finances with them too.
I had the opportunity to meet with a wealth advisor at the Danforth Meridian branch in Toronto – Michael Powell. I knew I had a lot to learn so I was a little intimidated but also excited to go into the meeting because having control over my finances is key to achieving my financial goals. Michael asked me a few questions to get an understanding of my personal finances and to get an idea of my situation. He asked about my goals and timelines, my worries and if I had anything holding me back from saving. We talked about my current savings, and my knowledge of the different ways that I could invest.
The meeting was a lot about information gathering on his end so that he could develop a personalized plan for me and a lot about education on my end so that I could feel confident and in control of my finances. Michael explained some of the financial jargon that I have read about over the last few years but never really understood – stocks vs. bonds, what mutual funds are, as well as outlining the differences of a few common types of savings accounts like TFSAs and RRSPs and what makes sense for different situations.
One of the interesting things that I learned during our meeting is that a savings plan should really change continuously as your goals change and your financial situations change (like getting a new job, or finally paying down your student debt) so it’s important to meet with your financial advisor on a regular basis to make sure that your plan is still working for you. Makes total sense, right?
The other ‘a-ha’ moment that I had during my meeting with Michael was that because I am working towards a few very different financial goals all at once it makes sense to diversify my investments – that means having a different plan for each financial goal depending on the desired outcome and timeline. For example, buying a house, saving for retirement, as well as having a security fund are all top of mind for me right now and since they all come with different timelines my ‘one size fits all’ self-guided savings approach doesn’t make a ton of sense (ok, no real surprise there ;)).
So, my final thoughts after the meeting? Not intimidating at all and I should have done it years ago (*insert face palm emoji*). I’m excited to continue my personal finance learning in a follow-up meeting and I’m feeling motivated to set some more financial goals and see how I can successfully work toward them!
Honestly, everyone! Regardless of where you are in your financial journey, a wealth advisor helps tailor a savings plan that makes sense for your current situation and your future goals and can provide you with a huge amount of clarity and direction. To meet with a Meridian wealth advisor visit meridiancu.ca/wealth.
This post was made in partnership with Meridian Credit Union. Stories and opinions are my own.
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