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Our Mission

We believe that you need the tools to create financial success on your own terms.

Conflict-free financial planning equips you to make educated decisions about your future with the information available to you today.

Our Mission

We believe that you need the tools to create financial success on your own terms.

Conflict-free financial planning equips you to make educated decisions about your future with the information available to you today.

Julia Chung, CFP, CLU, FEA, TEP

Julia Chung, CFP, CLU, FEA, TEP

Partner, Sr. Financial Planner

Areas of Specialty: Retirement Planning, Private/Family Business, Cross-Border Planning
Sandi Martin, CFP

Sandi Martin, CFP

Partner, COO, Financial Planner

Areas of Specialty: Retirement Income Planning, Family Goal Planning
Karen Richardson, FPSC Level 1®

Karen Richardson, FPSC Level 1®

Cash Flow & Associate Financial Planner

Areas of Specialty: Cash Flow Planning, Retirement Planning

Kathryn Mandelcorn, FMA

Kathryn Mandelcorn, FMA

Director, Cash Flow Strategies

Areas of Specialty: Money Coaching, Cash Flow Planning

Darryl Brown, CFA®, BComm

Darryl Brown, CFA®, BComm

Director of Portfolio Strategies

Areas of Specialty: Investment Consulting,
Portfolio Analysis

 

 

 
 

Connect with the team on social media

What We Do at Spring

To treat you as the unique person you are by listening, understanding what’s important, and working together to create your life, well spent. 

We want our recommendations to our clients to be influenced only by what’s in your best interest, and never by the potential for referral fees or third-party compensation.

We don’t sell products , accept commissions, pay or receive referral fees, or earn affiliate income.

We sincerely believe that financial planning – done well – can benefit everyone, and are actively invested in mentoring and developing new financial planners.

We’ve been running a practice management peer-mentoring group since early 2016…it’s how we met, in fact!

  • Comprehensive Financial Planning
  • Retirement Income Planning
  • Cross-Border Planning
  • Family/Private Business Planning
  • Portfolio and Cash Flow Audits

Our Process

What We’re Writing

How Much Is Enough for Your Emergency Fund?

While the basic rule of thumb is to have enough money to cover at least three months of net income, even that may not be enough, says certified financial planner Julia Chung of Spring Financial Planning in B.C.

“Most people severely lowball their expenses; they think they spend way less than they actually do,” Ms. Chung says. “If you spend 100 per cent of your paycheque when it comes in, as many people do, then your expenses equal your net income.

Thoughts on Privilege In Financial Advice

Normally on the first or second Tuesday of the month I'm compiling and sending out a Top Three email to subscribers, highlighting the latest collection of thought-provoking, or informative posts on investing, the finance industry, retirement planning, or budgeting...

The Secret to a Successful Financial Plan

The daily practices of a life with direction can either be onerous, and chafe so much that you give up or grumble your way through a miserable life, or you can settle into them with an attitude of contentment and get happy on the way to your goals, not just when you eventually reach them.

Free Money for School: A Guest Post for Renegade Planner

Julia Chung from Spring Financial Planning is excited to provide a guest post for Renegade Planner, a “Startup Concierge” that helps businesses grow and learn.  Jessica Oman, the founder of Renegade Planner, is providing tips and information to her business owner audience on personal finance, something that really does confuse everyone.

Julia’s article “Free Money For School: Yes, Even Entrepreneurs Can Save for Their Children’s Education” provides a clear outline of how to use the RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) to maximize grants, reduce taxes, and pay for post-secondary school.

Design Thinking: Taxes

Yum... taxes. As Canadians, we may have love-hate relationships with taxes. Or, like many of our cousins to the south, just flat-out hate-hate relationships. Regardless of how we might feel about taxes, they’re a part of our lives. We can choose to ignore them, we...

When You Can’t Afford Your House, Do this

If you’re in a cash flow bind, you don’t want to wait too long before you take action. But you should take some time to calculate the size of the problem. “A lot of times people don’t really look at their expenses,” said Julia Chung, a financial and estate planner with Spring Financial Planning in British Columbia in Canada. “They have a hard time managing the numbers.”

Your Financial Advisor Might Be A Nice Person, But… (Because Money, Ep 13)

Last week's CBC Marketplace episode Show Me The Money took an average investor (with a hidden camera and glowing lights in her pants) into BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, TD, Dundee Securities, Edward Jones, Investor's Group, Money Concepts, and Primerica shopping for...

January’s Great Reads

  Welcome back!!! We hope you made good use of your Free Pass throughout the holiday season, and that when you look back on 2018, you’re feeling really proud of what you accomplished. If that pride has oddly led to stress and anxiety, you’re not alone. We...

Because Money Podcast: An American in Paris (Ontario)

Julia joined the Because Money podcast to talk cross border planning, TFSAs and play silly money games with other money nerds.

Preparing for Retirement: Start Here

When you think of retirement and everything you need to do to prepare for it, I suspect you might think that some of your success hinges on getting the answers to these questions right: When should I apply for Canada Pension Plan benefits to get the most out of them?...

Why You Don’t Want Your Child to Be a Genius

“Find experts in the fields that your child is interested in,” said Julia Chung of Spring Financial Planning. “Talk to them and ask them for help and support. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to help.”

So You Want to Have a Baby in 5 Years?

Before we jump in to helping you prepare your finances for parenthood, we want you to know one truth: you can be a phenomenal parent without being good at money. We didn’t put together this set of tips on how to prepare for a new baby just to add one more item to...

Not A Litre Of Milk: Evaluating The Utility Of Management Expense Ratios, Part One

The point: When you buy mutual funds from the bank, or an advisor, or through your employee plan, how do you know if you're getting what you're paying for? I'm not a fortune teller, but I can probably guess what mutual funds you hold in your RRSPs. You have at least...

Design Thinking: Emergency Preparedness

My partner Julia said something amazing when she wrote about applying design thinking to estate planning last month that I’ve been mulling over ever since: Planning for your eventual departure is truly one of the most loving and thoughtful things you can do for...

Why Budgets Don’t Work (The Real Reason)

Sandi's note: I'm not happy about the introduction to this post anymore. Helaine is right: budgets don't work if there's not enough money go go around and government can do something about it. She's been a pretty vocal advocate for policy change on poverty, and...

The Surprising Downside of a Sunny Retirement

If your residency is changing, it may affect how you’re taxed. Canada, for instance, has many residents that spend half the year in warmer parts of the U.S. “One of the issues there is when you’re considered a resident of most countries in the world, you have to file taxes there,” said Julia Chung. “We have a lot of Canadian residents who are just finding out that they’re supposed to file a tax return with the U.S. every year.”

A Little Discouragement To Start You On Your Way. You’re Welcome.

The point: Learning to live on a budget is hard. Pretending it's not is stupid, and counter-productive, and will eventually end up being the reason you quit. Let’s talk about the most important part of personal finance: debt repayment investing budgeting. I’ll...

How Much Do Mutual Funds Cost, and Relative to What? Part Two

The point: management expense ratios do a poor job of communicating the price you're paying for a mutual fund and the value you're getting in return. This is the second of a two-part rant, and you can find the first part here. If you walked into the grocery store...

November’s Great Reads

Halloween has passed us by, but there are still some slightly daunting things to contemplate throughout the month of November, including talking to your parents about money, what really happens when interest rates rise, and how disclosure isn’t necessarily the...

Avoiding the Useless Retirement Plan, Step One

The point: A realistic retirement plan doesn't start with a number and work backwards; it starts with the question "why?" Quick, go to the personal finance section of you newspaper or feed reader and count how many articles and posts from last week start with the...

Take Their Business… Please

“We’ll be there between 10 and 2 on Tuesday.”

This is not a utility company, which generally has customers at their mercy due to a bureaucratic structure that has legislated monopolies. This is a furniture company – a “high end” one at that. A private business that, just like any other business, needs its customers.

Design Thinking: Retirement Income

Retirement income planning is a H-U-G-E topic, which is why we’re breaking it down in our Design Thinking Meets Financial Planning series over three posts.  First, we want you to actively design answers to the question, who are you, really? What do you need to be...

April 2019 Update

Don’t you just LOVE tax season? No? You’re not alone. Really, Sandi is the only person who loves tax season. It’s one of the many reasons we keep her around. Someone has to like it. In fact, she likes it so much that she’s been volunteering in her community...

The Best In Canadian Personal Finance News

The point: There are all sorts of people online that write all sorts of personal finance advice. I read about sixty posts a day, and share some of the best on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. Jackson Middleton and I are collaborating to put the best Canadian...

September’s Great Reads

Are you worried about your parents’ finances? Your own data privacy? Dating someone in a higher income bracket? This month’s top three might not have everything you need to alleviate your stress through the busy month of September, but they will provide you with...

What I Want for You in 2017

What I dearly want for you this year is structure. (Just what you'd expect from an introverted money nerd who once answered "spreadsheets" when asked to name one thing that made her happy to her son's kindergarten circle, am I right?) Listen, when you hear...

Pension Income Splitting

Yes, you can still split your pension income. The income splitting credit that the new Federal Government vowed to abolish in their 2015 election campaign was the Family Tax Cut. The opportunity for pensioners to split their qualified pension income with their spouses is still alive and well.

Because Money Episode 14

Despite +Robb Engen's absence from this week's podcast, +Jackson Middleton and I had a great time talking with our guests about why regular Canadians should care about the regulation of financial advice. I've written about the incentives that are holding even the...

November’s Great Reads

I noticed when I was reviewing the articles I’d marked for sharing with you lovely people that there’s a pretty heavy behavioural finance theme in this month’s reading list, so if you’re a fan of behavioural finance theory, you’re in for a treat. If you’re not...

June 2019 Update

You made it! You’re halfway through 2019, and by the time this newsletter reaches you, will have already experienced the longest day of the year. Your sunshine time is shrinking now - get out there and take advantage! After all those start-of-summer, Father’s Day,...

Salesman or Advisor?

The point of this post: If your financial advisor is paid a commission based on what products they sell to you, instead of a straight fee for their advice, that advice is compromised by self-interest. What if I told you that your otherwise competent and experienced...

December 2018 Update

  MERRY HAPPY!!! We hope that by the time you’re reading this, you’re feeling well-prepared for the holidays, however you celebrate them. Regardless of whether you partake of religious, non-denominational, or just no activities throughout this season, we hope...

A Week in the Life of Karen

Tuesday, September 3rd 5:50 am I wake up because it is pouring outside and I sleep pretty close to a big window. Even though it is Tuesday, my schedule dictates it is more like a Monday. Labour Day was yesterday, and in the part of Ontario where I live, the first day...

September 2019 Update

Phew! What is with September? All that back to school/back to work/questioning where time even went after much lounging (we hope!) throughout the brief but spectacular Canadian summer can be A LOT. Thankfully, your team at Spring Plans is here to help you wade...

What I Want For You In 2015

My hope for you this year is that – no matter what your circumstances – you take the time to get really, really clear about what those circumstances actually are, and plan to repeat the process when they change.

I For One Welcome Our Robot Overlords: The New World of Investment Advice and Asset Management

Before I let you read the rest of this post, I want us to agree on a set of facts: It is extremely rare (but not impossible) for any one investor, investment professional, or investment management company to consistently and reliably outperform the market for any...

Sorry, Who Is It That’s Suffering? Advocis Doesn’t Want Embedded Commissions Banned, Because Financial Advisors Will Suffer

Sometimes, someone says something that is so egregiously wrong that it can’t be ignored. Take, for example, this piece, published this afternoon on Advisor.ca, an online magazine for financial advisors in the investment and insurance industries, which elicited this...

November 2018 Update

It’s the home stretch, friends. Even though we all know calendar years are arbitrary, that humans celebrate the new year at different times, and that your personal and financial growth can’t possibly be measured in tidy 365 day increments, the end of one year and...

Book Review: Mindset: The New Psychology by Carol S. Dwek

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is the outcome of decades of research by Stanford University psychologist, Carol S. Dwek. Her findings produced the idea of fixed mindsets and growth mindsets. Dwek describes the Fixed Mindset as belonging to those who believe...

Julia Chung Live at PowHerTalks: 4 Fears to Conquer

Julia’s PowHerTalk in November was “Start Ups: 4 Fears to Get Over”.  Julia will be the Host and MC for the upcoming Vancouver PowHerTalks on January 30th. Register here

Dear Big, Enormous Bank With Little Competition, Please Blow My Mind

Hi. You probably don’t remember me. I was one of a series of warm bodies in that cubicle in Newmarket, the office (with a door!) in Huntsville, and the other office (with a window!) in Bracebridge. I mostly didn’t meet my sales targets and never made my cold-call...

Couple Money

The point of this post: if you can't be honest with your partner about money and financial planning, why are you with them? A healthy financial infrastructure is cost-effective, simple, flexible, and intuitive. It keeps you on budget, moves you closer to your goals,...

HST and Small Business: Onus is a Dirty Word

The point: Trusting the government to tell you what you need to give them and when is like asking your three-year-old to make supper: remarkably inefficient. This post ends with an appeal to write your MP begging for a change in the way small businesses are notified...

Book Review: Shannon Lee Simmons

Worry Free Money: The Guilt-Free Approach to Managing Your Money and Your Life by Shannon Lee Simmons isn’t making empty promises in the title. There’s literally no guilt in it. None. The revolutionary thing about Worry Free Money is that it doesn’t start with...

March’s Great Reads

It’s that time of year - at least in the middle of Ontario - where it starts to feel like winter’s this close to ending...and then it snows again. Seriously, the only thing keeping me alive right now is that this late winter garbage weather makes great maple...

Book Review: The Financially Empowered Woman by Tracy Theemes

Working in the financial industry is truly a privilege. Participating in people’s money journey when our clients have the means to pay us and make changes to their financial situation is a great, great job. What isn’t easy is to see people struggling with their...

2019 Federal Budget Summary

Every spring, the Federal Government comes out with their budget for the year - all the ways they’ll be putting our tax dollars to use and running this national operation. They often have a news release in fall that telegraphs some of the things they’re thinking...

In the Trenches: Living With Your Financial Plan and Avoiding Budget Fatigue

The point of this post: living on a budget is (most of the time) tedious and hard. Reward yourself and remember why you're doing it to make it seem less so. If you are in the first, exciting stages of setting up your financial plan, organizing your money, and living...

What I Want For You In 2016

Last year, what I wanted most for you was clarity, remember? How would your life be better if you were absolutely clear about what you want your life to look like, the resources you have or will have at your disposal, and the obstacles that you’ll have to get over,...

April’s Great Reads

What is success? What is best? How do you make the right decision? The intricacies of personal finance require deep dives into countless areas, from investment vehicles, through decision making and your own definitions of success. Jenny Anderson takes a swipe at the...
Working with Sandi was everything I hoped for. I felt like you got to know me well and very quickly. I feel like your recommendations reflected my current reality as well as my personality. That is, you didn’t recommend things that I would never commit to.

After going through this process, I feel like I have a much better understanding of my financial picture. I so wish that I would have done this years ago!! H. Bellerose

Having an impartial 3rd-party review our entire financial situation is one of the best business decisions my wife and I have made. We consider Julia our personal CFO and have incorporated her services into all aspects of our financial lives.

There’s no pressure to purchase any investment or insurance through her or any associate she has introduced us to; but rather an assessment and guidance on plans we have for the future. C. Dewar

Well, it’s been a year since we came to see you last and enacted our plan and we are writing to tell you that we are DEBT FREE on November 1ST ON SCHEDULE!!!

Coming to see you, using your services, was the best decision we ever made as a couple. We can’t thank you enough. We couldn’t have done any of it without you. Thanks, Kathryn.

 

K. & J. Shorrocks

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