I have been a client of Rob McClelland at Assante since 1995. I moved my account to Rob more than three years before I retired. I am a former professional engineer in the Canadian petroleum industry and PEO member. I decided to become an Assante client of Rob, because I had neither the time nor the desire to continue to manage my portfolio alone, although I certainly wanted to see it invested in a way to foster growth, while preserving the capital.
I have found that Rob’s understanding of my objectives has been excellent. He is a proponent of value investing and diversification, and for my account, and probably many other retirees, he steers me away from higher risk growth vehicles. Some of these have proven to be highly profitable in the good times, but have also taken overly dramatic plunges in the bad times. My portfolio wasn’t immune to the 2008 market meltdown, but because of its diversification, the down cycles were both minimized and dampened.
Rob is sensitive to the need to offer his clients a range of investments to promote growth, security and income, if desired, while at the same time trying to minimize the management costs of his services. He has demonstrated that a family of sound and diversified mutual funds can serve my needs while at the same time, minimizing the associated fund management fees.
Rob has also offered me a number of steps I have been able to take to minimize taxes over the years. Along with this, he has also provided excellent advice with respect to estate planning. I like the way in which Rob involves both spouses in the financial planning and review process. It is comforting to know that all the necessary financial and supporting documents, such as insurance records, are in the office, where the surviving spouse will be able to find everything when needed.
For people like myself, who don’t think they can ‘beat the market’ by themselves, and yet desire to see their portfolios securely managed, I can certainly recommend the services offered by Rob McClelland and his Assante Associates.
Our involvement with ASSANTE – The McClelland Financial Group started when we were invited to an information night in Thornhill. My husband had recently suffered a detached retina, and was having difficulty accessing information from the newspaper to continue with our investments. Rob’s impressive presentation helped us decide to take the first step in relinquishing our self-investments. It was probably one of the smartest moves we have taken.
Rob always met with the two of us, and I began to see the wisdom of this method. A plan was formulated to make our retirement comfortable. My friend’s husband died and I became part of this sad event. She did not know what insurance, or investments were available, and what pensions were due. I’m sure to this day my friend is not maximizing her assets with her investments, nor is she receiving support to improve her portfolio. If she had been with The McClelland Financial Group, all documentation of wills, insurances, and tax returns would have been available in one place through the office in Thornhill.
I most appreciated Rob’s lesson in retirement. I had to live on the amount of my pension for two years before I retired. The left over money was then invested for me. I at first found this hard to do, but I soon became adjusted to limited assets, and retirement was an easy adjustment.
The second phase of our family investing came about when my widowed mother came to live in Thornhill. After being tutored by Rob, I soon realized that my mother’s investments were not well planned and were definitely not income tax friendly. After too many failed attempts to try and change the brokers’ plan, I finally convinced my mother to transfer her assets here. She was immediately impressed by Rob and the family rates. For a few years she was an active participant in her investment portfolio, and she would happily accompany me to our meetings. She noted the improvement in her returns very quickly and saw growth. Her investment income was planned to meet her continuing needs. As my mother approaches ninety three she has little contact with Rob, but he continues to consult with me, and I know any problem we may have with her taxes or accounts will be looked after as all the pertinent information is at the office. Believe me there are times when I have had to use this service as papers get mislaid in her little apartment.
The third phase of family investing has come with our children. Mike looks after our daughter’s account. Our son and daughter in law have moved to the USA. Now come his issues with retirement assets in two countries. Since the Canadian money has to be kept in Canada, our son needs a money manager. He realised that there was a built in trust and confidence in The McClelland Financial Group. They still have their meetings on conference calls or an office visit if they are back in Canada.
The bottom line is that we are all getting the best monetary care, and I believe when it comes time to pass on our investments, the family has the opportunity for the best advice. Professional investors have the necessary knowledge in financial and estate planning affairs.
As an engineer, what I like is that your approach is independent and objective, logical and methodical and what you believe is best for clients, even if not necessarily aligned with corporate preferences. You provide well researched analyses to support decisions and plans, have a good communications strategy and willingly fulfill any request made of you.
I have been a client of Assante since 2001 and specifically with the McClelland Financial Group since 2007. My move to Assante originally resulted from a search for financial planning expertise which was not being provided by our banking investment advisors. Since becoming a client of Robert McClelland, the depth of the firm’s expertise in financial, tax and retirement planning has become more evident.
We have been very pleased with the management of our financial affairs by Robert and his partners during the recent years of market difficulties. As an engineer, structure is important and the McClelland Financial Group provides us with advice and plans in a structured way that is in sync with our thinking. We would not hesitate to recommend the Group to anyone looking for more out of their financial advisor coupled with superior service delivered in a way equally understandable by those with little financial knowledge to those of greater financial sophistication.
Over the last 20 years I have been a client of several investment and financial advisors from the major banks. No one offered or provided any financial planning or services of any kind other than the buying and selling of stocks. None offered a balanced approach to a portfolio. Given this situation, I lost a substantial amount in the 08 economic downdraft.
I then tested Assante Wealth Management – The McClelland Financial Group who have provided a full menu of financial planning options and guidance. My portfolio has increased even in the current economic downturn. This is due to a fully balanced approach to my portfolio with quarterly adjustments if necessary. I can now sleep soundly at night.
Family Business Owner
I have been very pleased with the advice and service as provided by The McClelland Financial Group (TMFG) under Assante Wealth Management, since joining them in February of 2011.
I have been invested in the stock market, since the ‘80s. I had always used a stockbroker who was a stock picker. In recent years, I suffered financially under a broker as he picked a couple of really bad ones. One financial holding in particular was wound down under financial difficulties, and I lost $50,000. Never again!!
I have come to have a better understanding of the way in which the DFA funds work and am convinced that this is the way to go in investing. I have a great deal of trust in my advisor, Mike Connon, and have been very, very pleased with the financial advice and service given.
I have learned recently that Dimensional (Dimensional manages the funds that The McClelland Financial Group uses for their clients) has more than one Nobel prizewinner in its list of principals. That the prizewinner won the prize in economics just recently, certainly gives me confidence that I have joined a group of winners.
I used to do exhaustive spreadsheets to see how I was doing, following each of the positions with the statements each month. I started doing the same thing with the Assante statements but, as my daughter, who has a big job in institutional investing said, I “would be very pleased with Assante” and that “they do all of the tracking for you”. This has proven to be the case. I am pleased with my financial progress under TMFG’s wing and put my trust in their capable hands without having to do all the spreadsheets.
Having said that, another and equally, if not more important role, that has been provided, is full financial advice. I am retired and want to make sure that I am investing wisely but also in the most tax efficient and estate efficient manner. It is also important to me to be prepared and ensure that I have Powers of Attorney and a Will that reflect my wishes. I have discussed these topics at length with Mike and feel better prepared in these areas.
I have also been provided the opportunity to attend “Lunch and Learn” sessions. TMFG tries to ensure that their clients are presented with opportunities to further their knowledge on a myriad of topics. Topics have been varied and always interesting. The impact of divorce on your finances, Wills and Powers of Attorney, tax efficiency in investing and in your estate, are among the best ones. I am anxious to attend a proposed session on downsizing and de-cluttering.
I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial financial relationship with TMFG. It is off to a good start.
Like most people interested in wisely-investing money, we attended many presentations on this topic, and listened to philosophies on investment strategies. At one such presentation, we listened to, (or heard), Rob McClelland speak. By the time we returned home, we knew we had found the right investment firm, and the right advisor for us. Over the past eighteen years, our original decision has not only been constantly re-enforced, but strengthened as well.
Robert McClelland has an excellent team of dedicated and loyal staff members. Questions and concerns are always addressed promptly, and accurately, being passed to the “expert-in-charge,” of the specific issue. Various scenarios of investment strategies are often presented to us during our meetings, and we the client, choose what we feel best works for us. In 2008, the financial world was “challenging,” and wise, diverse methods were put forth by the Assante Team to best minimize inevitable losses. But, most importantly, the calm, well-researched advice given to us, then – as always – has made us feel, financially secure, and has resulted in steady financial growth in our portfolio.
Assante is dedicated to preserving family wealth: the key-word being, family. The Assante Team works as one. A client can feel – in the office atmosphere, and through the genuine exchange of pleasantries – confident, and at-ease. The on-going review of the “Dashboard Topics,” keeps us aware of our personalized, and ever-changing needs.
In 2011, a Client Advisory Board was established. I (Michelene) had the honour of serving on the first committee, and was quite amazed that a financial group felt such a strong need to be in-tune with overall, client concerns.
Since May of 2012, a Lunch-and-Learn Mini-Series has been established; each meeting focused upon a different set of financial issues, presented by an in-house expert, or guest-speaker. Not only do these presentations enlighten and expand financial knowledge, but “lunching” with other co-clients (or prospective clients), we are again immersed in the family based feelings of sharing.
Many people select a professional, whether it be a doctor, a dentist, or home renovator, not simply for his or her expertise, but because the choice, “just feels right!” Our choice to invest with Assante Capital Management, initially, “felt right.” Ultimately, over the years, this decision, has been, for us, most rewarding.
Transparent, engaging, accessible, knowledgeable, reliable.
My wife and I are new clients of TMFG but already I would say that, based on our experience with two major banks, our TMFG advisor blocks a large period of time for our meetings: we did not feel rushed, lots of time was made to explain what has been done on our behalf. The attention feels personalized in large part due to the setting which our meetings are held.
- There are repeated offerings to ask questions.
- There is flexibility in the agenda/schedule to discuss a variety of financial topics arising from the updates of our Dashboard.
- Action points have been acted on a timely fashion (that personalized care again).
- The financial advice and care is mufti-faceted from tax planning to insurance needs.
- Receiving information from experts makes our decision making more effective and sound. That expertise is further appreciated because some investors/people don't know what they don't know.
- TMFG can provide advise based on their success, research and experience. That saves clients time (trying to research from an overwhelming supply of print and media advise).
- The recent experience at our banks was that the staff (advisors) were changing over frequently. We never knew whether or not the person across the table would be the same person the next time we met. (4 advisors in the past 4 years). Thus some actions that were to be done were not done. We don't see that happening with our TMFG advisor Mike Connon; our advisor he is a partner at TMFG and has been there for the past 20 years.
- TMFG is transparent on cost of what they do for clients and the various sources of investments we use. I don't remember that from the banks.
- TMFG workshops are great with a selection of free-wheeling topics. We are looking forward to the next one.
Carlo Cansino has been my Financial Advisor at The McClelland Financial Group since 2010. From the very first meeting, I knew I had made one of the best decisions of my life by placing my funds under his care. Carlo has always instilled confidence and trust. He is very easy to talk with on any topic, so I always look forward to my meetings with him.
I recently sold the family home that I lived in for 44 years. Carlo assisted with good advice through the whole process and has recently invested for me the major proceeds from my successful sale of the house.
He has now met all three of my adult daughters, and two of my sons-in-law. Through Carlo my family is now very aware of my financial situation and they know that they can go to Carlo, if necessary, for information on my Will and Powers of Attorney, all in safekeeping at The McClelland Financial Group of Assante Capital Management Ltd. Meeting with Carlo has given my family peace of mind about me and has also stimulated important conversations within the extended family.
My only regret is that I didn't find Assante and Carlo Cansino years earlier. That's what I tell all my family and friends.