Ben Franklin said, "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." When I found that quote I realized something: it sums up PenFinancial’s wealth advising nicely, especially for young investors. We offer a personalized education to empower you and help you achieve your dreams.

Our highly trained wealth advisors include you in the development and maintenance of individualized financial and investment plans. We teach you and include you so that we can make educated choices that help you live the life you want. You may want to live in your parent’s basement on mac n’ cheese, but I doubt it.

Did you think you were done with school?

If you’re in your 20s (or even your early 30s), you’re probably happy to be done with school. Maybe you’re enjoying the freedom of earning an income and being able to afford more than mac n’ cheese for dinner. Now that you’re not living on such a restricted budget, you’re probably feeling pretty good.

Here at PenFi, we get it. There are way more fun things to think about than finances, saving and investing (unless you’re a financial geek like me). These topics can be overwhelming and so we tend to put them off. There are many considerations when you are just starting out with your financial future:

  • Should I aggressively pay off my student loans or start saving and investing?
  • How many times a week do I need to eat mac n’ cheese to save costs?
  • Is mac n’ cheese that expired in June 2017 still good?
  • Do you think this mac n’ cheese is ok for my upcoming family potluck?
  • Will I be able to retire at 65? Is there a pension plan for big box store greeters?
  • Should I continue to live at home and drive my parents crazy well into my 30s?
  • Why is no one talking about Bitcoin anymore?

Since most of our schools do not teach financial literacy, I find that the young people I speak to have a base of financial knowledge that comes mostly from the negative media doom and gloom headlines, and through observing their family’s behaviour. Sure, you can find solid information online, but it is not enough. And your family may have even less financial knowledge.

Many of the conversations I have with young investors are really about teaching. Most of these investors did not receive a financial education. More of them are not sure if they should follow their parents’ advice or hide their heads between their parents’ couch cushions. At PenFi, our wealth advisors offer you options. We include you in creating a solid plan with financial solutions that generate prosperity for you and your community. We teach you about your options and then pick the ones that work for the life you want to lead.

But, you’re an adult now…

Maybe at this stage in your life, as you buy your own couch, you’re thinking, “I’m an adult now. I can figure out this financial stuff on my own. I can handle investing by myself.”

I’m all for self-empowerment, but I don’t advise going it alone in the investing world. It may be tempting to go with a self-directed investing platform. Sure, some online brokerages promise investing with low fees to help you keep more of your money. But there is no free lunch out there. Not even a mac n’ cheese lunch. Everything has a cost. Let me explain.

Instead of paying professional money managers who do and study finance for a living, and an advisor to keep you on the right path, online brokerages encourage you to go online and build your own portfolio of stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Because it’s cheaper. Sure, ETFs are cheaper but they still have fees associated with them. Many of these so-called “cheaper options” have regular admin and trading fees as well. There are fees associated with any type of investing you do.

It boils down to this question: would you rather have a qualified person to discuss an important financial decision with, or be able to derail your retirement savings with the click of a button? How many stories have you heard from people who “made a ton of money” when you know there are countless others who lost money…yet, for some odd reason, you don’t hear those stories as much. I’ve met people who think the cost savings is worth it, but then find out later it was not. They learned the hard way that you can get many things in life at a cheaper cost, but what you get is not always better.

Just like the reason you don’t fix your car yourself is because you don’t want it to blow up when you drive it, the same premise holds true with financial advice. Going it alone may seem good, until you make the wrong move at the wrong time, or realize there was something important you could have been doing all that time. Instead, you want a qualified professional to support you on a positive financial path. Investors who partner with a financial advisor accumulate a whopping 3.9 times more over a 15 year period (Source: To put this in a plain numbers example: someone that earned a return of $100,000 on their own would have achieved $390,000 with an advisor over a 15 year period.

That is why here at PenFi, we advocate partnering with an advisor. We know the value of good advice and a solid relationship. We’ll teach you and we’ll support you as you work toward achieving wealth as you define it.

Who do you trust?

You want to trust your family’s advice (and avoid their side eye stares every time you emerge from their basement). You want to trust your online education. But you can actually trust the wealth advisors at PenFinancial. The wealth advisors you work with are highly educated professionals.

It isn’t fun or entertaining, but it is a fact. We are highly trained. Our Certified Financial Planner or Personal Financial Planner designations are subject to strict rules. We must adhere to codes of conduct and amass continuing education hours.

These designations and education requirements are certainly not cheap to provide and maintain…just ask our Finance department. But they ensure that the people who are handling your financial affairs have a healthy understanding of the investment landscape. PenFi believes that this minimum standard is vital to providing our members with good advice.

Are these designations the only determining factor of a good advisor? Of course not. A good advisor also needs to be a die-hard Leafs fan. Or an interior decorator able to help you pick the right couch. Okay…we may not offer those services, but we can offer a solid base of knowledge, a good laugh, and an understanding approach as you learn about finances and work out a solid investment plan.

Moving forward with a solid financial plan

Think back to when you started your secondary or post-secondary education. Did you feel like a number? One of many fish swimming up a stream, without a clear idea of where you wanted to go or what you needed to know to get you there?

At PenFi, you’re more than a number. You’re more than the amount in your bank account. You’re more than your investment returns. You’re a person. Your situation and needs are unique. We’ll work with you to educate you. We’ll develop a relationship that guides and empowers you in your finances and your life.

Let's go!

Reach out today to define and build your wealth with PenFinancial.

Mutual funds and related financial planning services are offered through Credential Asset Management Inc. The information contained in this article was obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, we cannot guarantee that it is accurate or complete. This article is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal advice. Please speak to your personal financial representative before making any financial planning decision or implementing any strategy..

Trevor Lagerwerf

Written by Trevor Lagerwerf

Trevor is a Wealth Advisor serving the St. Catharines and Pelham communities. Trevor loves reading daily about all things financial and his passion is to help improve members’ lives by listening and providing solid, free advice. As a family Trevor and his wife and two young children, love to give back to the community that they’re so proud to call home.