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Posted on April 27, 2020 at 10:39 AM Comments comments (46)
I've noticed the many advertisements on investment fees over the last couple of years.  I've seen the co-relation with clients asking more about such.  I've had the conversation of bargain basement type pricing vs what I think the real question is----value. What do you get for what you pay for?

Do you have a starter home in the cheapest part of town?  Why not?  It's shelter that is required so why pay more than you have to.  Where's the sense in paying more?  What about if you want to live in a certain neighborhood and have your kids attend a certain school?  What if it's closer to activities that are important to your family?  Nonesense!  Just stay in the cheapest neighborhood because you will save more money.  Is it possible that the house in the desired area (more costly) could fit your family's needs better?  Is it possible that in 20 years, it would have gained a higher value than the cheaper neighborhood?  

Do you have the manual shift car with no air conditioning and wind up windows?  Why not?  Why pay more for something that gets you from point A to point B?  It is cheaper, therefore you should be able to save more money.  Do you value the automatic transmission?  What about air conditioning, heated seats, stereo system, GPS etc?  Why pay more?  Let's talk value instead of price.  Sometimes they are the same, most times no.

Is all your money in taxable or hard to reach instruments?  During covid 19 is it a good time to withdraw funds from taxable instruments....RRSP?  Not only have your funds dropped, you would pay a penalty for access?  But I need it, I don't have a choice.  Quite possible.  What if it's your TFSA?  Better, but once you use those funds, you won't be able to participate in any recovery.  Emergency funds cash savings?....Better, you will need to replenish it after to be ready for the next emergency.  Line of credit....Beats the RRSP but you will have to pay it down as well as the interest on a schedule.
What if you had an instrument with accessible cash that didn't reduce the funds but let you have access?  What if you had control over when you pay it back, how much you pay and when you pay it back?  What if like a line of credit, the amount you pay back becomes accessible as soon as you pay it back?  What if you could access it without having to qualify with a credit check or debt ratio?  What if the access could be non taxable?  Proper planning with the right advisor is worth so much more to you than not.
This is what I help my clients with.  This can be their most important asset at this time.  Let's get you ready for the next crisis. When is it?  How long will it be?  Who knows?  Let get prepared....peace of mind is priceless.

Navigating Uncertain Times with The Right Product Choices

Posted on December 19, 2019 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (19)
As we come to the end of another year and another decade, we can look back and see some good things we've done and some things we can improve on.
With the uncertainty, we can no longer afford to not plan properly for our current situations and desired outcomes. It becomes more important to dedicate time to figuring out a customized solution for each situation instead of quickly setting up a product and moving on to the next thing.
It is very important what insurance products you, critical illness and disability.
Unlike a car, a new outfit, shoes etc, life insurance should be set up properly for your situation after a well thought out consultation.
Which companies allow you to extend your term without more medical underwriting?  How is that important?  
Let's say you purchase a 10 year term and in a couple of years, you realize time is going fast and you will need it longer than 10 years at an affordable price.  What are your options?  Do you just have to go through the underwriting process again or do some companies offer no medical exchanges for a longer period of time? 
What if you're going along and get a terminal diagnosis?  Can you borrow part of the insurance proceeds to use while you're alive?  Would that option be important to have?  I would say yes.
Working with clients, I take these and many other scenarios into consideration to place the right solutions.  My experience in these and other matters of planning is invaluable and a part of the package of working with me.
My logo shows two roots shaking hands in a tight grip and emphasizes the importance of having the right insurance and investments for a more fruitful future.  The right seeds in the right soil with the right amount of sunlight and water can bear many multiples crops for generations to come.
Let me help you plant the right seeds so your family can enjoy many fruitful and shaded years going forward.

I am Glenval Griffiths.  Let us leverage my experience and build stronger roots for more abundant fruit.


Posted on December 13, 2017 at 2:24 PM Comments comments (21)
As we get into that traditional time of giving, many are wondering what would be an ideal gift.  Will it bring joy or is it better to give something practical?

I have noticed that more parents and especially grandparents are concerned about long term, lasting, impactful gifts.  Why not give the gift of permanent insurance?
That sounds odd.....who would want insurance as a gift?  Chances are no child would and if they do, that would be quite unusual.
Why would I suggest such a thing then?

More parents and grandparents are reflecting on the family going forward, not just for the immediate gift giving season. I'm not suggesting that insurance replace the gifts that would normally be given to children.  I'm saying that while we're thinking about those gifts, it would be a great time to look at your legacy.  

How do you want to be remembered?  Would you like to be responsible for improving the qualify of life for your grand children and great grandchildren that aren't born yet?

I've helped several parents and grandparents insure their young children and grandchildren.
Why would anyone do that?  Let's look at the 2 types i'm referring to......Life Insurance and Critical Illness insurance.


There are several great products out there.  You can get coverage that can be paid for over a 8, 10, 20 year period or even for life.  I generally help my clients purchase one of the limited pay policies as it's more practical.  A policy would be paid off early and the gift would last the lifetime of the grandchild.....that could be 100 years from now.  It is unlikely that a grandparent is going to continue paying for that especially since they're likely to not be around 100 years from now.  They want something manageable and predictable to know that it will be there when needed and long after they're gone.  

For example, i've shown a grandparent where they can spend $360/year on a grandchild for 20 years.  They would spend $7200 over that period of time and have an immediate $50000 benefit if things went wrong early.  If things go as expected, the policy will continue to build on itself long after the payments stop and leave a positive impact on the grandchild's family.  There is even a cash value buildup that offers some other options for loans.

More and more grandparents are loving and signing on for this gift.  As they live longer, they've seen some things and recognize the value of such a product.  This gift makes up part of their legacy for their family.


Thiscoverage is a different animal than life insurance.
More parents purchase this for their children than grandparents do.  I've been asked by a friend recently, "Why would you purchase insurance for your children when they don't earn an income?"  I asked her if her daughter was diagnosed with a critical illness (life threatening cancer, stroke, MS, Bacterial Meningitis, Benign brain tumor, Kidney failure, Major Organ Failure on a waiting list etc, what would she do?  Who would stop working to care for a child?In her case (and most) it would be Mom.  Does Mom have benefits at work?  Does it matter?  It may not as Mom would not be the sick one so she may not be able to make a claim.  A lot of jobs are accommodating and will give time off, but with no income (or limited), that brings it's own headaches.  Do financially stressed out parents from less income and more expenses make for an easier treatment period?  Likely not.  Having a lump sum come into the household to remove or minimize the financial impact allows Mom (or both parents) to take time off and concentrate of taking caring of their child.  This may allow a grandparent to travel and stay if either parent can't take time off. What if the best care available is in another country?  The funds could help pay for trips and treatments.  Options---that's what it's all about.  The lump sum gives the family financial choices that can mean the difference between life and death. If things go the way we expect, then that scenario is avoided.  The coverage could be paid off and sit there until a covered condition diagnosis happens or the return of premium (option) could be triggered.   Choices.  

These gifts (whether alone or in combination) are a wonderful offering to your family.  They create a lifelong positive impact for a family and are a wonderful legacy.  

As we enjoy the holiday season and spend the gift of time with our loved ones, remember there are some gifts that may not be fun to open, but their positive impact can go on for generations.

For more information, please contact me at [email protected]  I look forward to sharing some information and helping you make positive, life-changing gifts to your loved ones. 

ESTATE ASSET TRANSFERS---Insufficient & Ineffective Planning Prolongs the Process

Posted on December 1, 2016 at 8:32 PM Comments comments (328)
It has started to happen more often.  Folks are passing away and increasingly their loved ones are frustrated with the process of taking care of the financial assets left behind. 
The deceased expected and thought one thing, but in reality the survivors are going through a stressful, drawn out process to get things finalized.

Could the process have been made easier? Yes, in most cases. 
Why didn't they plan for this? They may have but not as efficiently as they expected.
Why does the family have this headache compounded with losing a loved one?  Improper use of tools for the job.

I can clear snow with a paintbrush, but a shovel will likely be more efficient.  The paintbrush will still work though.  It will take longer and be more frustrating.

How we structure our assets can make a smoother transition for our loved ones, or a long drawn out affair over several years......Think i'm exaggerating?  Ask around with folks who've lost a loved one in the last few years.  More often than not, they have some headache stories that may have been avoided or at least minimized by better structuring.

Depending on your province of residence, probate fees can be horrendous.  Alberta is one of the fortunate ones where probate is inexpensive, but the time for the process can be quite drawn out sometimes.

Is there a way to structure your affairs so things can be disbursed in a private, efficient and timely way?  Yes.

We can help you with that.

GUARANTEED INCOME NEEDED? Is a GIC your only option?

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (208)
I met with a prospective client recently who had some cash but wanted a guaranteed income stream for the next few years with no market risk.  She was considering a 5 year GIC as it seemed the best option she had seen for her situation.

As a 64 year old, she did not want to risk any dips so she had ruled out investing in the markets. She had specific income needs and the 1.5% rate her bank quoted her for her $100000 was lower than she was expecting.  That would be $125/month in interest payments which is well below the $300/month she had hoped to get.  She would need to wait until the end of the term for access to her principal.  She was nervous committing to that since she may need some of her lump sum to live on.  We looked at redeemable 5 year GIC and found the rates were lower but she would have access to her principal during the 5 years.  To say she was disappointed is an understatement.

I told her I wanted to introduce to a concept new to her (and many Canadians).  It would fit her requirements for guaranteed principal as well as guaranteed interest over her desired 5 year term.  I ran the quote and showed her that she could get a guaranteed income stream on her $100000 deposit of $1733.69/month over the next 5 years.  At the end of the time period, she would have been paid out $104020.  Since she only needed $300/month, I proposed putting the difference of $1433.69/month in a TFSA account that pays 1%/yr (no minimums). If we did this over the next 60 months, she should have $88213.  If interest rates increase over the next 5 years, she will likely have more since the 1% is not a locked in savings rate.  If she needed more cash along the way, she could simply take it from the TFSA with no penalties. 

She liked the guaranteed income stream, the guaranteed interest rate on it, the higher cash flow and flexibility.  She liked the idea of saving the difference in the TFSA and her access if needed.  I was able to take 2 separate products put together to form a solution that works for her. Neither product is subject to market fluctuation so she has a guaranteed income stream and rate on the $1733.69/month and a TFSA that is open and pays 1%/yr now and will likely increase if interest rates go up.   
This is the value of working with an advisor. 

I was happy to provide a customized solution for her needs.  This is where we bring value to our clients and come up with solutions for their needs.

If you would like more information, please contact me at 403-861-9041 or [email protected]
I look forward to hearing from and working with you.

Strategic Planning

Posted on March 2, 2016 at 10:12 AM Comments comments (3)
During a progress check meeting in January, a client revealed to me how appreciative he and his wife was of my service.  It was very heartwarming to me and confirmed that I am doing the proper job of planning strategically.

On a previous meeting they had revealed that one of their biggest concerns was paying down their mortgage.  I asked some questions around that and discovered that it was more important to be in control as opposed to just paying down that particular debt.  

I introduced them to the Manulife One product and showed them the flexibility that it presented, while allowing them the opportunity at any time to deposit as much as they would like (no up to 25% cap) in order to achieve that goal. I also explained that if things don't go as planned, they have the option to then lower payments back to just the interest and that this was important as the future was uncertain.

After careful consideration, they decided to go with the Manulife One product.  They continued the payments they were used to and when more was available, they put down additional deposits.  They told me they could see a bigger difference in the overall debt by using this product and loved the control to do it at their convenience.

However, the most important part of this decision showed up when he lost his job.  He told me he was so happy they had implemented this product as his old mortgage would have been tougher to make changes.  While they loved all the flexibility, none became more important than the ability to just pay the interest without calling anyone, making any appointments to change or restructuring at the time.  They simply adjusted their payments to match their new reality. They were so happy they had chosen this product and thanked me continually.  It made me feel very proud of the job I did. 

You see; part of our strategic plan includes flexibility for when things go wrong.  In Alberta, a lot of folks have lost jobs.  How much scrambling have they had to do to meet their obligations?  Have you ever tried to apply for a financial product after losing your job?  Is that the easiest time to get a yes?  Do you get the rates you would prefer in a situation like that?  Do you even get the product you need at the time? Most folks think that it won't happen to me.  Access to products at this time is similar to access for new insurance.  The time you really need the product is not the best time to apply.  It will likely result in a no, cost more or come with conditions.

Situations like this reinforce to me that what I and others like myself do for our clients is so important and critical to their and our communities' financial well being.  I look forward to helping many more families and individuals make better financial choices.

We appreciate this family and others who have placed their confidence in us.  I like to remind prospective clients that while it may be easier to stay as you are, it may not be the best situation for your family.  My value shows up more in situations like this.  We do sales and servicing.  The servicing is so much more important to a family as time goes by.  I believe this is where we shine.  We don't just get you products and disappear.  We're here for continual advice and help when needed.  We proactively contact our clients for progress check meetings.  We welcome the opportunity to make you a part of that too.

Contact us for a no obligation consult. 

Donations and Volunteering

Posted on February 16, 2016 at 10:21 PM Comments comments (639)
We would like to say a very grateful thank you to all our clients.  Your patronage is greatly appreciated.  As a result of your business, we were able to make small donations to a few charities. We did Plan Canada which will provided a few different gifts for those in need. We were able to donate toward a goat for milking, baby chickens for raising, breakfast for hungry kids going to school, school essentials, a quinoa project which gets seeds, helps communities with growing, harvesting and making useful, nutritious meals as well as endless harvest. This provides seeds, tools and knowledge on how to grow crops to help take care of a community and provide a source of food and revenue. 

We donated to the Mustard seed as well which helps out those in need with food, shelter and clothing.  There can be cash donations as well as volunteer opportunities. Every little bit helps and a small donation can make a big difference. Giving of yourselves will do more for you than for those you volunteer to help.

We also made a small donation to Ronald McDonald House.  This wonderful facility helps out families with a close place to stay while their children are being treated across the street at the Children's Hospital.  It is such a big help to those families who use it.  They also have volunteer opportunities and I was fortunate enough to participate last year.

We encourage all to give of your time and resources.  Most folks would like to help out more and sometimes feel what they can give may not make an impact.  To those being helped, every bit counts so get out there and help in whatever way you can to make stronger communities.

We look forward to being able to do more and encourage everyone to help out it whatever way you can. 

For our clients, thank you again for your business.  It made these small gifts possible and we look forward to being able to do more to help our greater community.

Online Insurance Purchases--Convenient, But Not Always as Expected

Posted on November 16, 2015 at 8:19 PM Comments comments (100)
As more things are done online, the convenience is undeniable.  If you don't have to schedule an appointment to make a purchase, take time out, drive to a location and sit (sometimes uncomfortably) with a stranger, why bother?  If you're an early riser or a night owl, why try to fit your needs within certain work hours?

I had a client ask me a couple of months back to quote her some permanent insurance for her and her spouse.  They were just looking for funeral coverage.  I did my research and got back to her with some quotes.  She thanked me and said she would discuss with her husband, then let me know. 

After 3 weeks had passed, I contacted her and was told they would leave it for now as the cost was higher than she anticipated.  I followed up today to discover that she had purchased  online for both of them and the price she told me was shockingly low for a permanent solution.   

I look at some of these for comparison from time to time and in my mind there was just no way.  I went to the company site she purchased from, input their info and got higher rates than I had quoted.  I looked at the product and they got less options than what I offered.  They would be paying premiums for an extra 7 and 12 years longer than what I had quoted.  Confused by this, I called her again to tell her the numbers I got.  She had one of the policies handy and looked at the details.  She had purchased 10yr terms for both of them.  I asked her to look at the renewal rates in 10yrs (something I discuss with each client who purchases from me), and she was shocked at how much the increase would be.  Not only that, but the product would run out 3 yrs after renewal for her husband as it could not be carried on past age 80.  This product was not convertible to a permanent solution either so they would be stuck with no insurance if they had longevity past age 80. 

His renewal would be 10 times the premium he's paying now.  While not unusual, this is not something they looked at with an online purchase.  They had conveniently purchased this product that does not address their needs the way they expect. I could have also sold them a 10yr term, but the renewal rates would be discussed in detail. Also, I would have sold them a policy with the option to convert to a permanent solution before age 70. The exercising of this option would have been discussed so they won't possibly outlive their coverage.

Am I saying that online purchases are a bad thing?  Of course not.  I have bought things online myself....T-shirts, hats, cell phone cases, airline and concert tickets etc.  There are some things that I won't buy least not without an expert with whom I have established some trust. Vehicles, houses and life insurance (not without knowing the products well). 

When purchasing a vehicle, I need to sit in it and see how I fit.  I needs to feel the layout and the convenience of reaching accessories and pedals.  When purchasing a house, I want to walk in it (or the show-home if building).  I want to get a better sense of layout and feel.  When i'm buying home and auto insurance (I won't use life insurance since this is my wheelhouse), I want to speak with a broker who can explain the product to me. I do not buy online without consultation because I recognize that even though convenient, there are times I need things explained with more detail than offered or put in everyday terms.  For such things, I prefer to speak with someone who can answer my questions.  Again, this works quite well for some and that's great. 

I recognize that this is a personal decision and many will disagree.  There are many who make these purchases and are quite happy that way. I have family members who purchase shoes online and it works quite well for them.  My point is that depending on what you need, this can work well for some.  I have an odd fit so everything needs to be tried on.  While the online purchase would be convenient, it would not properly suit my longer term need...pain, possible blisters etc could be some convenience side effects.  

With insurance, I let my clients know what they're purchasing.  Will it do for you what you need now and down the road?  While this may make a sale take longer, I feel educating my clients with this process works out better for them and for me.  Is that as convenient as buying online?  Definitely not.  Is the time worth the process for something so important?
Let me be clear.  I have participated in online sales with my clients.  It can be an awesome tool for the busy or inconveniently located person. I explain options and help in the proper product selection and placement.  An online platform in such a situation works very well for us, be it someone in a remote location, different city or just too busy to physically get together.
I help clients make the proper, customized purchase for their situation.  I will place insurance that covers the needs now and offers viable options in the future.  This may be less convenient, but it is quite likely you will get a better fit.
I look forward to helping you take care of your insurance or in person.


Posted on September 14, 2015 at 9:42 PM Comments comments (123)
It has been an interesting year.  Low oil prices, huge volatility in the markets, massive layoffs etc.  It's not all bad news though.  The sun still comes out and we have another opportunity to forge ahead.
With all the doom and gloom we hear about the economy, our responsibilities still haven't changed much.  Protect our families and provide for them.  There are so many tools out there and so many different opinions on how we should do this. A few times each month i'm asked, RRSP or TFSA?  My answer is it depends.  It depends on your individual circumstances whether it is RRSP, TFSA or some combination of both.  What is the goal? "Begin with the end in mind"......that is a quote I have heard constantly over the last decade.  It is just as true now as it was then.  There is no cookie cutter solution as we have different situations...even between spouses of the same household at times.  When looking at building a financial future, a solid foundation is needed.  Most of us don't have all the assets we need right now, so we need to protect our ability to get there.  It seems to be easier to think of accumulation before protection.  Without proper protection, the wrong occurrence will wipe out your accumulation.  It is during times of volatility like this that we need to make those correct decisions. 

Protect What You Can't Afford To Lose

One of my favourite speakers to listen is Joe Jordan.  He is a giant in the insurance industry and I enjoy learning from him and others.  One quote that stands out is "I speak for the wife, the children, the business partner who has no say in the matter......the innocents, who are afflicted by the decisions or non-decisions that are made"......pretty powerful stuff.
That is part of what drives me.

Over the years, I have approached hundreds of people about life insurance.  Some of those have been friends and family. Some of these folks in particular pulled back and avoided the subject or flat out said no.  In a few of these instances, they passed away.  I get a sinking feeling in my stomach each time this happens.  I wonder, did they know what they were saying no to? 

One was a married father of 2 preteen children with no coverage.  I know the hardships that were about to come for his family....not just for the loss of Dad, but the huge financial impact and the domino effect.  Would the family be able to afford to stay in their home and their neighborhood?  Would the children not only lose him, but also their friends who live close by?  Would they have to move and discontinue activities they are involved in because of a lack of resources?  Would Mom have to work longer hours to provide the necessities?  Dad is gone, and Mom could be around less.  Can Mom afford to take time off to take care of the children?  Work is willing but Mom can't afford to take the time of to grieve properly and take care of the children as well as she would like to. Would they have to change schools if they had to move?  Would they be able to take the trips and vacations they were used to. 
Sometimes you lose a lot more that the lose the things that have become your comfort and lifestyle.  Did Dad sign up for that?  Not on purpose, but by his choice he did.  Did he know the impact of that choice?  Unlikely.  He would never willingly put them through that.  It is already going to be difficult without Dad going forward.  How much more difficult when there are no funds to replace Dad's financial impact?  There have been a couple of others as well.  

I have been to see families who have suffered loss with and without insurance.  Life insurance definitely helps the survivors worry less.  It by no means replaces the loved one, but it makes going forward less stressful when it's there than when it's not. The survivors aren't worrying about how to pay day to day bills or affording the childrens' activities. They get to focus on each other.  I've had survivors go on a trip the whole family had wanted to but couldn't afford to.  They felt tremendous gratitude as survivors that their loved one was able to provide such a powerful gift.  I have delivered a few benefits and have felt tremendous pride in doing so.  Knowing that in their moment of loss, I was there to help them and let them know that financially, they would be okay.

We need to make the choices that will take care of our families whether we're around to see it happen or not.  They aren't the fun choices.  It is the choice to see your family continue financially.  It is a chance for your family's lifestyle continue, improve or suffer.  The choice is made either way. 

I proudly look forward to continuing help folks making the right choices to protect their families and ensure their financial futures.  I am happy to be an advocate and facilitator for the protection of this and future generations. I hope we can help you as well.

Uncertainty....What now?

Posted on April 29, 2015 at 7:43 PM Comments comments (105)
It has been up and down here in our neck of the woods in Alberta.  Low oil prices have had a chain reaction and led to a slowdown.  Projects have been put on hold, or less emphasis to get done soon. This has shown up as loss of bonuses, reduced work and loss of jobs.  Things were humming along so nicely and someone put the brakes on.

Is it time to panic?  I don't think so, but it should be time to reassess.  For those who have felt the sting of layoffs, no or much lower bonuses, there are adjustments that need to be made and some of them are time sensitive. 

Did you have benefits at work?  Did you realize you have a limited time to port these benefits if your current situation leaves you without?  You will not have the exact coverage you were used to but the advantage is you won't have to medically qualify for these continuation programs.  That could mean the difference between having some coverage and not.

Life insurance through your current job can be ported as well (with certain limits).  The plus again is that up to those limits, you don't have to medically qualify and do underwriting which can be huge depending on your health, lifestyle and habits.  This again needs to be done in a timely manner.

Revisiting diversification of investments is also a good idea.  I spoke to some clients last year before lower oil prices and encouraged meeting and setting up a plan including diversification.  This was not just for the investments, but also by asset class.  The general consensus was why waste time doing that when they could just buy company stock and outperform the market.  Having all your eggs in one basket comes to mind.  Lower oil prices have tipped that basket to the side and quite a few eggs have broken. 

While the overall market was positive in 2014, a lot of companies didn't enjoy the same results.  Things do happen in cycles, but better planning can mitigate certain flows. 

Let's say I had all my money invested in my company stock.  I had a few years of great returns.  I was looking forward to my usual sizeable bonus as I had some financial commitments for those funds already earmarked.  Then, oil prices drop, there is no bonus and I get laid off.  Is this a possible scenario?  Now, when I am in need of some funds, my company stock is much lower than I anticipated, I have no bonus and my severance will run out soon.  My likelihood of getting rehired soon is less than a few years ago and if I do get rehired, I probably won't be making the income I was before. I already adjusted my lifestyle to my old income.  I need funds so I may be redeeming investments valued much lower than I would like to but my choices now are limited since the choices I made earlier were not as practical as they should have been.

I think the above scenario comes close to what a few people have experienced.  The good news is that it's not the end of the world.  These situations are where your advisor shows you his/her value. 

Do you have pensions floating around from your last job or even a few jobs ago?  Why not sit down with someone such as myself and get customized advice for your situation.  Let us make a plan of action on how to weather the storm and navigate future waters. 

We offer a no obligation, complimentary assessment of your financial situation.  We look forward to meeting and working with you.  Let us help you navigate the current waters and prepare for the future. 

Will there be uncertain times?  Definitely!  Can you be better prepared?

We can be reached at 587-390-7359 or 403-861-9041. 
Visit our website at  Email us at [email protected]