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

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,...

December 2019 Update

Your Spring Plans newsletter arrives a little earlier than usual this month because we are very hopeful that you have the opportunity to walk away from your email and enjoy some relaxation in the last few weeks of the year. Of course, we know you’ll want a few things...

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 your...

May 2020 Update

The Spring team kicks off each calendar year with a post we call What We Want for You in… *current year.* For 2020, we wanted you to have practical examples of design thinking - the implementation of last year’s theme - so that you have some of the tools you need to...

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.

The Screaming Ninjas Are Coming

The point: Learning to live within your means is discipline you have to practice. Financial catastrophe always strikes, and having the necessary skills already mastered will mean the difference between dealing with it and moving on or being overwhelmed and giving up....

UPDATED: Canadian Investment Fee Calculator

NOTE: The calculator has outgrown its old Google sheet and is now at autoinvest.ca. As of 2017, Sandi no longer manages the site, and the new managers have chosen to set up referral fee arrangements with some providers Welcome to the investment fee calculator, built...

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...

August 2018 Update

Just before you slam your nose into the grindstone that September often brings - regardless of whether you have kids in school or work full time, it can still be a thing - let’s stop and consider: What is it you want to achieve in the back half of this year? What is...

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...

November 7th – Open House

Join Julia on Saturday November 7th from 10 AM to 12 PM at Steadyhand Funds in Vancouver, where she’ll be answering all your financial planning questions.

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...

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,...

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.

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.

Women & Money

In honour of International Women’s Day, Julia Chung of JYC Financial collaborated with Sandi Martin of Spring Personal Finance and Krysten Merriman of Modern Advisor to create a free e-book for women (with tips men can use too!).

Why Your Rate of Return Matters (and what to do – and not do – with it)

I sent my kids to school on the day after Labour Day with a feeling that it hadn’t been a great summer. We hadn’t gone swimming or canoeing enough. I worked too much. Woe, etc. This isn’t a new feeling. Friends will testify that I become a mopey sad-sack in the last...

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.

May 2019 Update

It has been an eventful month of May here at Spring, with tax season at an end and multiple statements, returns, and updates flowing in from all of you and your accountants. We hope you are as invigorated as we are about all the planning that you can do now that you...

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...

June 2020 Update

  What a month, what a year. It’s hard to be a person right now, and it’s hard to be mindful, goal-oriented, and thoughtful about our futures. It’s times like these that, more than ever, we need to rely on our plans. We gave our thoughts on all of that in last...

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...

Fill in the Blank (Part One): I Don’t Want to Spend Money On…

At first glance, it sounds like an incredibly stupid exercise, I grant you. Um, I don't want to spend money on insurance, on my mortgage payment, on those never-ending, teeny-tiny little school activity requests that dribble home every other day, on fixing my car...

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...

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...

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?...

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.

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...

January 2019 Update

  Happy New Year!! Feel free to attack this month’s blog content in bits. Like everything else in January, it’s just best to take it at your own pace, as we have lots to talk about, starting with the markets and moving into tax updates, TFSAs & RRSPs, CPP...

Tender Money Conversations

Tender Money Conversations You may have found, like me, that your ability and desire to read anything except for the back of the cereal box has diminished significantly. That’s okay - the written word will still be ready for you when you’re ready for it.  I happened...

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...

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...

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...

January’s Top Three Reads

If you - like someone else on the Spring team :coughSandicough: - recently welcomed a dog into your home and are now suddenly A Person Who Has Time for Podcasts, our reading list this month has a beautiful series about Fred Rogers that’s perfect to start the new...

Book Review: Wealthing Like Rabbits by Robert R. Brown

Note: this is not a sponsored post, but I did receive a free copy of the book. There’s no shortage of personal finance books out there, and so many of them are nearly indistinguishable from the rest. Which make sense: the rules mostly stay the same, with occasional...

Integrated Investing by Bonnie Foley-Wong Book Review

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a talk by Bonnie Foley-Wong of Pique Ventures on the concept of Integrated Investing for a small group of other advice-only planners. I now have a huge crush on her because of her passion for making a difference in the world through...

April 2020 Update

Has it only been a month since our last update? It feels like several decades have passed. The sheer volume of information we’ve received and amount of change that has occurred since the beginning of March 2020 has easily outstripped what we would have experienced in...

October 2018 Update

  For many of our clients, one of the most frustrating moments of working with expert advisors is when you have this realization: There is rarely one “right” answer. Even when you process this initial realization, and think to yourself, “Sure, everyone is...

April 2018 Update

Have you ever felt like everyone is working with the same set of information that you are - and therefore, sharing it would not be valuable? It’s a cognitive bias called “false-consensus,” which leads people to believe that their own values and ideas are “normal” and...

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.

Cynicism, The Canadian Pension Plan, And You

The point: scoff if you like, but we have a public pension system in Canada that will likely make up a good portion of your retirement income, and its existence should be factored into your plans. I hear it all the time - in banking, in financial planning, and now...

August’s Great Reads

Was “balance” a word created just to trigger your anxiety? Do those stock market numbers people go on about actually mean anything? How do former inmates pay the bills once they’re on the outside?  If any of these questions have floated through your mind this summer -...

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...

Line of Credit Debt Case Study

It’s time for another financial planning case study, drawn from real life work with our clients here at Spring, but smudged and blended artistically to keep you from recognizing your next-door neighbour with line of credit debt.  As always, these case studies are...

Income Splitting with Spousal Loans

Ah, tax strategies. Eyed with hopeful suspicion by the uninitiated, a tax strategy can feel like a fun Spy Vs. Spy game - but that other spy? That’s the government. Many a newly minted spy would consider backing away from anything that might have you facing that...

Canada Pension Plan Maximums January to December 2016

With few exceptions, Canadians over 18 who work in Canada and earn more than the minimum amount ($3,500) must contribute to the Canada Pension Plan.  Your contributory period starts at  the time you begin work and ends at retirement.

Paying Your Taxes With Plastiq is a Bad Idea.

The point of this post: don't pay your taxes with your credit card. Ever. The big news today (for money nerds who read every scrap of money-related news, that is) is that through the online payment system Plastiq, you can put your income tax payment on your credit...

Now What?

Hi Sandi I know you are often looking for article ideas and I'm wondering if you would feel in the mood to write something to motivate folks who are doing okay, have a plan, no debt,....but need to avoid the temptation to go into debt (aka buy a cottage). It's nice...

What I’ve Been Reading While I Haven’t Been Writing

The point: It's been a busy week here at Spring Personal Finance, and client commitments trump writing commitments. I've always got a few minutes to read, though, and the best in Canadian personal finance news every week to an open list I share with +Jackson...

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...
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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