Finding you money is magical

Financial planning is a labour of love…

Certified financial planners Elanda Kowalchuk (left) and Janet Fish of Equuis Wealth Management at their office in Vernon.

Canadians are, comparatively speaking, a very well educated population. Unfortunately, according to Certified Cash Flow Specialist, Janet Fish, CFP, that education doesn’t tend to extend to financial literacy, and it’s a situation causing serious, and unnecessary, problems for far too many people.

The Canadian government has certainly recognized the issue. In 2015, they released the National Strategy for Financial Literacy, a strategy designed to help Canadians better manage their money.

Yet, according to a recent survey by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, less than half of Canadians (45 per cent) have household budgets, 60 per cent do not know how much money they will need in retirement, and a whopping 48 per cent reported that they would be in financial difficulty if their pay cheque was delayed by as little as one week.

It’s a small wonder, then, that an ever increasing number of Canadians are finding it difficult to achieve their life dreams and financial aspirations.

“The truth is I was one of those people. I woke up when I was 33 years of age and realized I had made a huge mess of my financial life. I had a successful retail clothing business – but I was broke,” explained Fish. “I realized that I wasn’t stupid but I simply had never been taught how to manage money. More importantly, I knew I wasn’t alone.”

Fish decided to change her own situation with the ultimate goal of helping others as well as herself. Now, some 27 years later, she is the owner of Equuis Wealth Management Inc. and she has realized and surpassed those initial goals.

“My stats speak for themselves. I have found a cumulative total of $179,000 per month for the clients for whom I’ve done cash flow plans. The ‘normal’ minimum found per client is $1,000 per month and the average is about $2,500 per month. Even really good savers have seen excellent results,” said Fish.

A large part of her success came when she gained her certification as a Certified Cash Flow Specialist (CCS). The CCS designation is the first of its kind in Canada and provides a financial planning process that works.

But for Fish, it’s also the personal approach to financial planning that’s critical.

“There is so much shame and confusion about money and the old rules simply don’t work. We take away some of those inherited beliefs about budgeting and replace them with a written plan that works. These aren’t budgets, and every solution is different.”

Fish explained that her approach has a lasting effect. While the average relationship with a financial planner is about five years, Fish pointed out her firm has clients who have been with her for 20 years and she’s now seeing second and third generations of those clients come in to make their own dreams a reality.

“There’s something magical about that,” said Fish. “When clients leave the office and are hugging you…you know you’ve done a good job. I love it.”

Top Performing Certified Cash Flow Specialist receives Two Gold CCS™™ Excellence Awards

“We congratulate Janet! The CCS™ Excellence Awards are held annually to recognize great achievement in Behavioural Cash Flow Planning – a service that assists clients with managing both their daily spending and saving, and long term financial goals. The CCS™ Designation is offered by The Money Finder and obtained by financial professionals across Canada.

Janet Fish, of Equuis Wealth Management in Vernon, B.C., has been using the Behavioural Cash Flow Planning techniques taught in the designation for four years, and she’s been in the financial industry for almost 28 years.

During the annual Cash Flow Symposium, Janet was awarded Gold in the category of Greatest Number of Behavioural Cash Flow Plans placed by a financial professional

in Canada for 2015, and Most Money Found by a Certified Cash Flow Specialist for clients in 2015.

Janet is a wonderful financial professional who truly believes in the power of helping clients to fund their dreams,” said Ian MacLean, Customplan Financial Advisors Inc., National Head Office.


Janet Fish, a certified financial planner with Equuis Wealth Management. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

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