The banking world is full of helpers and specialists. Member Services Representatives. Financial Services Specialists. Wealth Advisors. The list goes on. Who are these people and what do they do? Well, that depends where you go!

At PenFinancial, our Member Services Representatives are great helpers. They will greet you with a smile and help you with your daily transactions. From there, you may move on to our Financial Services Advisors and Specialists. They can help you assess your income, your needs, and your budgets and develop plans that work for you. Financial Advisors can also direct you to a Wealth Advisor.

Why would you need a Wealth Advisor? Because at PenFinancial we know life is about more than just money.  We know you need a specialist and a holistic plan to meet all your life goals. We’re here to offer you that truly local advice and guidance.

An Advisor by any other name…

Wealth Advisors are specialists. They may go by many names: financial planners, investment advisors, retirement specialists, wealth advisors, gurus, etc. That last one may seem like a stretch, but I’ve always wanted to have “guru” on my business card. It seems fitting; a guru is a teacher, guide, or expert. The white robes are optional.

For now, my PenFinancial card lists me as a Wealth Advisor. But I like to see myself as a bit more. I dream big -- just like you. I’m an expert that can guide you to live your best life.

I won’t define that life for you, of course. At PenFinancial, we know life is about more than just money.

I may not look like a guru (I save the long white robes for Saturday mornings), but I am here to listen and offer solid advice.  We’ll build a relationship, figure out how you define wealth, and find the advice you need to succeed.

What is wealth?

I like to define wealth as peace of mind. That peace of mind can certainly come from having lots of money. But, quite frankly, some people with lots of money will never be satisfied; they will always want more and won’t switch off that saver’s mentality. Wealth can also come from having a plan that outlines how you will achieve your goals, and how you will stay on track.

The reality is that wealth is whatever you want it to be! For some people that is material wealth. For others, wealth is family. For others, wealth is maintaining a healthy distance from family. And still for others, wealth is knowing that they will be comfortable for the rest of their lives and won’t have anything to worry about. You define what wealth is to you and Wealth Advisors help you achieve it.

A holistic approach

As a wealth advisor, I combine financial and investment advice, as well as retirement, tax, and estate planning in a holistic approach that considers how each segment impacts the others. This approach allows us to constantly assess your life and goals and make the most of your wealth.

Have you heard other financial planners say they follow a holistic approach? I have. My members have. But the reality of how that approach is delivered is very different from the holistic approach of wealth advising at PenFinancial:

  1. We do not sell “in-house” product solutions.

    At a big bank, you will be offered their big bank mutual fund or other big bank products. It’s like going into a restaurant and having to choose between the house white wine and the house red wine. You know neither will be great, but you hope one of them will be ok. We take a different approach at PenFinancial Inc. Through our dealer, Credential Asset Management, we are able to offer any number of fund companies and solutions that best fit our member’s needs and objectives. We offer a comprehensive wine list to suit your palate, not just the house special.
  1. We are not commissioned salespeople.

    Licensed PenFinancial staff members do not earn commission. This allows us to act impartially in the best interests of our members. We take the time to get to know you personally and develop a sustainable relationship.  We consider your best interests and offer the advice and products that mean the most to you. Whether we get you a mutual fund or a GIC, or just run through some projections with you, we don’t have to push products on you because it doesn’t affect our paycheque. We want the most for you and will work to get it.
  1. We are a truly local credit union committed to the wealth of our communities.

    PenFinancial is committed to giving back to the Niagara Region and we do this in a variety of ways. For example, 10% minimum of our pre-tax profits are donated back to community causes. This includes the trailer portions off our investment products! We also offer socially responsible options for investing, so you can invest and feel good about giving back to your planet and your community. For PenFinancial, the holistic approach includes offering peace of mind to Niagara and all its residents.

As a Wealth Advisor, I commonly hear “I don’t have wealth” or “I wish I had money” or “How can I invest if I don’t have a lot of money?” It’s important to remember that wealth is whatever you want it to be and anyone who enjoys wealth started somewhere. In all the Members I meet, I see a common thread. They feel wealthiest when they know their goals and have a plan that instills confidence; no matter what dollar value is in their account or investments.

Need some one on one advice?

Reach out today. Make an appointment with a PenFinancial Advisor. Define and build your wealth with us. We know its about more than just money.

Mutual Funds and related financial planning services are offered through Credential Asset Management Inc.

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.