2022 August Update
Summer season is coming to a close, and like most people, the Spring Plans team has spent at least some of our holiday time allowing our minds to roam. We’ve been thinking about where we came from: various parts of the financial services industry, then solo practices focused on advice, then combining forces as a team.
We’ve also been thinking about where we’re going in the future. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the same design thinking work we are constantly harping on you to do is work that we weave into our own planning, as a company, and as individual team members.
We’ve been checking in with ourselves and with each other about the type of work where each of us shines, the structures and approaches that work best for us, and what we can tweak and adjust to create the professional tracks for each of us to be really impactful and engaged.
When we started, we envisioned a larger team, with junior and senior team members providing financial planning services to Canadians from all walks of life. If you’ve done any business planning work yourself, you probably recognize that this is an incredibly big, and in no way niche, market. We figured that out after a while, and instead of trying to be all things to all people, we took the peer mentoring Advice Only Planners group we founded and expanded on it by founding the Financial Planning Association of Canada, where Sandi and Julia are on the board. Through this non profit organization, we realized that we could make good on the dream to improve financial planning for all Canadians, and that we didn’t have to do it all ourselves.
After securing this new pathway to achieving our vision, we reduced the size of our team, focusing on what our smaller team does best: provide detailed, complex and comprehensive planning services to families and individuals who have businesses, own corporations, and often have ties in countries outside of Canada.
As we’ve been feeling out this vision, each member of our team is constantly testing and considering the fit, and the ability for each planner to grow in the way that makes the most sense for them. At the same time, along with the rest of the world, we experienced incredible upheaval in the form of the pandemic that really changed the way people think and approach their lives – which again influenced how we provide services in response.
We found that while the work that Sandi and Julia do together has thrived through these changes, the same clients weren’t resonating with Kathryn and Darryl. Their unique planning and advisory services have been underutilized, so we’ve been examining, testing, and determining what we can do to ensure that everyone – our planners and our clients – ends up in the most fulfilling place for each of them.
After a lot of contemplation, discussion, and even more design thinking, we’ve arrived at a small change that we all think will help all of us live and work in our best places. Kathryn and Darryl have decided to leave the Spring Plans structure, instead branching out in their own individual practices of money coaching and portfolio strategies so that they can design their lives around their best work and the clients who resonate the most with them.
We’ll still be working together, of course, but this change will provide them with the ability to grow their practices in directions that make the best sense for each of them. You’ll see over the next few weeks and months that Kathryn and Darryl will be moving off the Spring Plans website, on to their own.
If you work with them directly, you’ll receive a direct message about next steps. If you work with all of us together, not to worry, we’re still going to work together, like we do with your accountants, lawyers, investment counselors, facilitators, business consultants, and more.
Your Spring Plans team remains committed to providing you with expert planning advice and support. What we do isn’t changing much at all; we’re just restructuring a bit to make sure that everyone keeps on working together from their best possible place.
If you have questions, of course, reach out to us directly. We’re not going anywhere.
Julia will be in Toronto during the week of September 12th for several board meetings and speaking engagements. Sandi will be fully engaged in her Family Enterprise Advisor program on September 12 and 13. Kathryn has holiday plans from September 1 through September 7.
Julia will be chatting with Steadyhand Funds about Estate Planning on October 12, and leading an Ethics discussion with FP Canada during Financial Planning Week in November. We’ll share links and registration opportunities as soon as we have these.
“Free” Fridays remain booked permanently in our calendars. These days are free to us at Spring in the sense that they are our opportunity to work on becoming better planners, whether through collaboration and discussion, education, research, or even a little down time. It’s been a regular practice since the summer of 2017, and we will continue to set aside the time to become better versions of ourselves every week. Even 1% better is solidly worth it, because we know that will be reflected in the work we do for you.
Spring in the News:
Julia spoke with the Director Journal about remote and hybrid work, and her experiences both as a business leader and board member. It requires special access to read the whole journal, but the author posted pages on her LinkedIn profile are right here.
Planning News Digest:
Integrating new family members is an art, and when the family also has shared wealth or shared businesses, it’s important to think the process through carefully.
This 20 minute Planet Money (NPR) podcast discusses – in normal human language – how inflation works, our perceptions of inflation and where they come from. On top of that, they explain the metric used in determining whether or not a recession is on, since there’s a lot of argument, and the potentially better metric that might be useful.
Feature from the Archives:
We want to face a scary topic with you: Estate Planning. The way your estate is planned often ends up being the last thing people remember about you. How do you want to be remembered? Read more.
Never miss an update from Spring by signing up for our monthly newsletter here.