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

Julia Chung, CFP, CLU, FEA

Co-Founder, Sr. Financial Planner

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

Sandi Martin

Sandi Martin

Co-Founder, Financial Planner

Areas of Specialty: Retirement Readiness and Income Planning, Portfolio Reviews, and Cash Flow and Goal Planning.

Connect with the team on social media

What We Do at Spring

We believe that you need the tools to create financial success on your own terms…whatever they may be. Although our process is the same with every client, the outcomes are always delightfully different, and as unique as the people we have the privilege to work with every day.

Your values are the driving force behind any recommendations we make.

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

Discovery

More than just document collection, we want to understand your personality, values, and strengths so our work together is productive and valuable.

Analysis

We roll up our sleeves and dig in, putting our expertise to work in testing our assumptions and developing concrete recommendations for you to follow.

Implementation

Your plan is only the beginning. We’re here to help implement your action list and adjust your plan as life unfolds.

What We’re Writing

Violating the Foundational Tenets of Personal Finance for Fun and Profit

The point: There's no universal equation into which you can plug your details and receive a perfectly optimized solution to all your personal finance questions.     I still pay bank fees. (Hear that? That's the sound of ten thousand personal finance bloggers...
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UPDATED: How (and Why) to Choose Between NestWealth, Wealthsimple, WealthBar, ShareOwner, and Steadyhand

Each online investment management company has a slightly different fee structure and value proposition. Calculating their relative cost for your circumstances will let you compare their relative value depending on the kind of service you want to pay for. (Includes a link to the Canadian Online Investment Advisor Fee Calculator.)

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Profiting from Real Estate

Planning on earning a fortune in the real estate market? Read this first. 

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Family Values: How to Pay For a Large Family

Want to have four, five, even six children? Plan ahead and make some smart decisions early to ease the financial burden. Full article on BBC Capital: Family Values: How to Pay For a Large Family...
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Frugality Isn’t A Virtue

The point: being frugal just for the sake of being frugal isn't being virtuous. It's being cheap. Let's pretend this is the first time you've been on the internet, and you feel like you need personal finance advice (one of these scenarios is probably easier to imagine...
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Money 201 with Yours Truly and John Robertson

Once you’ve already mastered the basics of paying off debt and saving, what are the next steps to take in your financial life? We’ll walk through long-term planning to provide the context for how to fit the financial pieces of your life together, that takes into account your individual needs and goals, and will help you make sensible investing decisions.

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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...
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Yearly Maximum Pensionable Earnings Limits Increase in 2016

The YMPE Increases on January 1, 2016. What does that mean to you? Click here to find out.

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Rainbows and Unicorns: What lenders really mean when they say “affordable”)

The point of this post: it's your job as the borrower to figure out if you can actually afford the mortgage the bank says you can. When you think about how much money you make, do you use made up numbers or real ones? If you think that's a strange question, then...
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You’re Just Not That Interested In Cars

The point of this post: It makes sense to hire a professional for an essential job you can't make time to do yourself. Do you take your car to a mechanic? You're smart. Presumably you can read. Why are you paying someone else to do work that you could - with a little...
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Quick Update: Retirement Income Interview

In case you've been missing Because Money (on hiatus as we plan for Season Three), I just did an interview with Kornel Szrejber on retirement income planning, and we managed to squeeze a few laughs out of what is traditionally a less-than-hilarious topic. Some of the...
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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.

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The “Invest Better” Calculator

  Our own Sandi Martin collaborated with John Robertson, author of the Value of Simple, to create this useful calculator to help investors make an educated decision when choosing from the variety of low-fee robo-advisors now open in Canada. You can try it out...
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Announcement: Sandi Martin

Announcement! A new collaboration with Sandi Martin of Spring Personal Finance…

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Incoming: Avoiding The Useless Retirement Plan, Part Three

The point: Retirement planning using general assumptions about your future income is just retirement guessing. And - surprise - it's useless. Seriously? Three posts into a retirement series and we haven't even answered the question "how much do I need to retire?" To...
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Capital Dividend Account: Changes to Note

The March 22, 2016 federal budget has resulted in significant changes to the credit to the capital dividend account arising upon the receipt of life insurance proceeds. While these proposals are not yet final, it is expected they will be enacted before the end of 2016 with certain retroactive effect.

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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...
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Life is a Highway: Sequence of Returns and You

The particular sequence of market returns that you’ll enjoy throughout your lifetime starts when you’re born, ends when you die, is entirely outside of your control, and, if you’re not careful, will heavily influence when you start investing, how you’ll do it, and your outlook on life when you turn those investments into income.

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The Biggest Mistake New Entrepreneurs (Almost Always) Make

The point: have a plan for the money you earn within your business, and be ruthless about it. Otherwise, you'll only succeed through sheer luck. A short meditation, today. Losing power for forty-one hours during the busiest week I've had in my practice has set me back...
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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,...
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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 "structure"...
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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...
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Success = Joy + Freedom

Have you ever set goals and just felt kind of… “meh”? Julia’s latest article for Niche Magazine gets to the heart of why that happens, and how you can change it.

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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...
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On Hiring a Financial Planner

The folks at Mint.com interviewed me a few weeks ago about working with a financial planner, getting started on a financial makeover, and advice for beginners on investing.  When enlisting help to manage your money, what should you look for in a planner? You should...
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I Feel For You, But Busy Isn’t an Excuse to Ignore Your Money

The point of this post: being busy doesn't excuse you from having to pay attention to your money. You know that feeling you get when your to do list is so long that you have to turn pages to see it all? When you're overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work that your...
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Bankosaurus Rex: Finding a Banker Who Cares

The point of this post: there are bankers out there who actually care more about doing a good job for their clients than for the bank, and they're worth finding...and keeping. Today, we're making friends with bankers. Lets pause here for a minute, so you can catch...
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On Bank Hating Skepticism (Stop Shooting Yourself in the Foot)

The point of this post: treat the people you're dealing with like people to reduce the chances of getting screwed by a faceless institution. Also because it's the right thing to do. I'm going to warn you: all this talk about skepticism is going to sound a bit rich...
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VIDEO SERIES: Carrick Talks Money

I had a chance to meet with Rob Carrick at the Globe and Mail in February and record three Carrick Talks Money segments. Our goal was to demystify financial planning for regular people and to demonstrate that it's not an exclusive exercise for the wealthy. Carrick...
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A Spender Marries a Saver – Now What?

You’ve heard that money is the cause of many arguments between partners. But can a spender marry a saver and live happily ever after? BBC Capital interviewed Julia Chung of Spring Financial Planning to find out.

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Three Great Reads You Might Have Missed

It's great to be back in the reading saddle again, and have I got some outstanding pieces for you! For those of you who are new around these parts, I'm a reader. (My friend Noel asked me the other day if I'd gotten to the last page of the internet yet. I haven't, but...
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Cooking At Home To Save Money Will Still Cost You

If you want to get your spending on food or any other category to line up with your income and goals, you’ll have to spend one of your other resources – your time, your capacity, even your social capital – until it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice anymore.

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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.

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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.

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Women & Money ebook

On March 8, 2016, we released the Women & Money ebook in honour of International Women’s Day. It’s still relevant, and still free.

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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

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The Because Money Podcast | Episode 11: Home Buyer’s Plan

In this week's episode of The Because Money Podcast, we finally got to fight a little. Agreeing all the time is so boring, isn't it? What did we cover that was so controversial? Only the Home Buyer's Plan, that allows you to withdraw up to $25,000 tax-free from your...
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How to Get the Best Discount on Your Mortgage

The point of this post: do the work to understand how the mortgage lending system works so you can save the most money. If you want to get the very best interest rate (read: lowest bottom line price) on your mortgage, you need to know how to see yourself the way the...
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The Power of Confusion

The point of this post: the world of personal finance can be as confusing as a room full of five-year-olds playing soccer, and the financial industry needs to stop pretending that it's not. Yesterday was my oldest daughter's first day of soccer.     It...
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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.”

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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...
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Is Private School Worth The Cost?

Sending your children to private school can mean making some big sacrifices.

 

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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.

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Life Insurance as an Investment

We get asked about this every once in a while. Life Insurance and its salespeople get a bad rap. Some of it is incredibly well-deserved, and some of it is just not. Here’s a breakdown of some life insurance basics that you should understand.

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See, Now This Just Makes Me Angry

"If you were to assume that many experts use their information to your detriment, you'd be right. Experts depend on the fact that you don't have the information they do. Or that you are so befuddled by the complexity of their operation that you wouldn't know what to...
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RESP Rules & Tips with Sandi Martin & Julia Chung

Summer is the best time to learn about saving for post-secondary education. Julia Chung and Sandi Martin chatted with Modern Advisor on July 21st. Click here for the recording.

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Practice News: Collaboration with JYC Financial

It's the best time of the year! Summer in Muskoka with three young kids means lots of late afternoons at the beach, so if you happen to be in Gravenhurst on a sunny day right before dinner...you'll know where to find me.Typically, the summer months are when I try to...
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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.

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What do YOU want?

It sounds like an easy question.

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Distressingly Common Investment Advice

I was recently part of a presentation for financial advisors, put on by someone whose work I respect (and who I imagine probably would not have said this if he had had more time to think about it). Just before the end, this came out of his mouth: Words I just heard!...
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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

My fiance is currently in the first two years of business and Julia has been a pillar in ensuring that she invests enough money back in to her business to ensure stable growth, as well as develop a plan to save for long term life goals. This can be near impossible for entrepreneurs to strive for, yet Julia set aside a plan that was clear and achievable.

Julia is a fantastic source of knowledge and support for anyone running a business.

K. Foot

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