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, QAFP™

Karen Richardson, QAFP™

Cash Flow & Associate Financial Planner

Areas of Specialty: Cash Flow Planning, Retirement Planning

Kathryn Mandelcorn, FMA, PFP®,  QAFP ™

Kathryn Mandelcorn, FMA, PFP®, QAFP ™

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

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...

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...

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: Estate Planning

Way back in January, we told you what we wanted for you in 2019: Permission to design your life Since then, we’ve given you so many different ways you can apply the concept of design thinking to your life, including investments, disability, taxes, retirement, and cash...

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...

Book Review: We Need to Talk by Celeste Headlee

Any book that promises to help me get better at something important, and that the work will be hard and take time (possibly even a lifetime), is a book for me. I stumbled across We Need to Talk by Celeste Headlee while I was browsing through my library’s e-book app¹,...

July’s Great Reads

Summer is, as you know, a great time for reading. We hope you’ve been digging into our Summer Reading List and have found some gems. If you’re looking for some smaller bites, then we’ve got just the platter for you in this month’s top reads. We start with some really...

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...

Values

At the end of January, a few members of our team got together in Port Moody, BC (thanks for the hospitality, Kathryn!) and spent several days working with Pam Schmidt, our facilitator, to really dig into our Mission, Vision, Values, and Purpose. Since we live in an...

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 your...

Introducing: Kathryn Mandelcorn

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Kathryn Mandelcorn to our planning team!

Go Ahead, Spend Your Tax Refund

Ah, spring. The time of year when flowers bloom, birds sing, and the entire internet starts yelling at you for getting a tax refund or - even worse - getting a tax refund and then spending it.The horror.The conventional wisdom goes something like this: You shouldn't...

January 2020 Update

Happy 2020! Happy Year of the Rat! Happy EVERYTHING! If you’ve been reading along with us for a few years, you’ll already know that Julia is of the opinion that the time between January 1st and the Lunar New Year (January 25 this year) is our “practice run”.  It can...

October’s Great Reads

Just in time to cozy up in a comfy chair with whatever scalding hot drink you prefer, I present to you a few reads that got me thinking this month. They are loosely grouped around themes of cash flow and money management (like this pair on creating a financial routine...

Effective Retirement Planning is About Spending, Not Saving

The point: planning for your retirement isn't just about your investments, although you can be forgiven for thinking it is. It involves exactly the same activities as planning for tomorrow, next week, and next month: active budgeting, debt elimination, robust savings,...

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...

September 2018 Update

Now that summer is officially over (boo! hisss!) it’s time for one of our all-time favourite activities at Spring: using what we’ve learned about ourselves to make life better - for ourselves, our families, our team, and our clients. (We swear we’re fun at...

A Week in the Life of Kathryn

Monday, May 7th 6:00am I wake up without an alarm (I have been an alarm rebel for 6 years since leaving the investment industry when I had to wake up at 4:45am every day) and today was an hour earlier than usual. Thank goodness, as I have numerous emails to respond to...

RRSPs: Hunting Season

The point: buying an RRSP sometime between January and March doesn't mean you have a retirement plan. Go into any bank between January 2nd and February 28th and you will be haunted by the specter of an underfunded retirement. You will be offered "retirement planning",...

What to do when your parents haven’t planned

Your parents have been adults for as long as you can remember. They always had things in hand. They paid the bills, put a roof over your head, bothered you about cleaning up your room and doing your homework, and cried at your graduation/childbirth/other meaningful...

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...

Price Shock: The Sting of Moving Abroad

Imagine being asked to do your job in an exotic city in a far flung country… Julia gives BBC Capital her planning tips.

Book Review: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

You know the nagging feeling that something - even a lot of somethings - are wrong, but the language to express what that something is and why it’s wrong eludes you? Enter Shoshana Zuboff and The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.  Here’s an example: loyalty rewards....

Book Review: Living Your Dream by Larry Wilson

Until I read Living Your Dream by Larry Wilson, I hadn’t found an all-purpose personal finance 101 book that delivers practical information in enough depth and breadth that I could responsibly recommend it. I’m happy to say that this streak has ended, and would...

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...

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...

How CPP and Social Security Integrate

If you’ve worked in both the USA and Canada, you have likely contributed to both the USA’s Social Security program and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). How will CPP benefits impact your Social Security benefits? How will your US residency impact your CPP and...

OPTIMIZE!

Financial planning is misnamed. It really should be called Figuring Out How Much What You Want Out Of Life Will Cost And How to Pay For It By Finding The Happy Medium Between Doing What You Have To Do And Doing What You Want To Do. I imagine this will never take on....

CERB and COVID-19 Cash Flow Clinic

Note: For more information on the coronavirus and how it relates to your finances, see our dedicated COVID-19 resource page.  Cash Flow Clinic Transcript Kathryn Mandelcorn (KM) 0:16 Good afternoon everybody, everybody’s admitted in, we are recording this call. So...

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 We Want for You in 2019

A wish for our readers for the year ahead is becoming a tradition for us. If you’ve been reading the Spring blog for a while, you may remember that past years included wishes for clarity, ownership, structure, and momentum. If you’re new here: welcome—and buckle up....

Family Values: How to Pay For a Large Family

Jim Hunt and his wife always knew they wanted to have a large family — his wife is one of five brothers and sisters, and today they have five children themselves, ranging in age from four to 10 years old. In retrospect he and his wife — a lawyer and a...

July 2019 Update

We love, love, love summer. It might seem odd, given that our name is “Spring,” but there is a method to the madness. See, we love summer so much that we spend a lot of time planning for it, to get it right and to maximize our enjoyment. It is the same approach we...

March 2019 Update

 Budgets, budgets and more budgets. The Federal Budget was released on March 19, and you can find our summary here. Some provinces have already released their annual budgets and more are rolling in. If you’re reading as many finance newsletters as we are, you’ll have...

Julia Chung at PowHerTalks Victoria June 18th

We’re proud to announce that Julia Chung has been selected to speak at the upcoming PowHerTalks Victoria on June 18th! We invite you to join us at this powerful event.

December’s Top Three Holiday Reads

Happy December, Spring Reader! Apparently, “Nothing says ‘Time for Therapy’ more than the last few months of the year”, and Dr. Moira Somers has some great tips for how you and your family can protect your mental health this holiday season.  If you’re a dedicated...

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 a...

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 can...

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?...

Another List: The Best Personal Finance Posts This Week

The point: Last week, I started adding the best Canadian personal finance posts I read to a weekly list. Great idea, since whether I share something to Google+, Facebook, or Twitter is largely dependent on where I happen to be sitting at the time, and adding posts to...

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

May’s Great Reads

If you like the idea of rental income, you may like the idea of dividend income – but is it really better than taking capital gains? Dirk Cotton takes you through the economic theory, behaviour, and history of these two strategies. In “Get More From Your Financial...

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.

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.)

November’s Top Three Favourite Reads

What is the difference between “automatic” and “automated” finances? How are the retirement planning rules and tools different if you’ve been earning a lower than average income? Why is there all this administration… and all these taxes… when your spouse passes away?...

A Week in the Life of Sandi

Monday, March 26 5:00AM My alarm goes off, and I head downstairs for the best part of the day (the quiet part with hot coffee and no random Marvel movie questions because my son -- and everyone else -- is still asleep). I don’t often get up this early anymore, but I...

Spring’s 2019 Summer Reading List

We love, love, love reading at Spring Plans. Immersing ourselves in data, research, and stories about people is how many of us spend our downtime. We vigorously wave our nerd flags, and each summer build our own individual reading lists to trundle through on our...

Fun With Retirement Calculators

The point: retirement calculators are only as good as the information you put in them and the underlying assumptions of the calculator itself, and are useful only to model the future, not predict it. The lure of the retirement calculator is that it will tell you your...

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 you...

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...
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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