Money. It's something everybody wants, but not everybody knows how to manage it.
Do you save it? Invest it? Ever since the 2007-08 global recession, the stock market has been something of a scary term.
Mark Schoeffel, Senior Wealth Advisor and Certified Financial Planner at HollisWealth in Sunny Tsawwassen, says part of the fear is due to Hollywood films like The Big Short and The Wolf of Wall Street that sour the public impression of the banking industry. Movies depict the world of investment as a high-stakes poker game with big winners and sore losers.
Mark says that he knows there are ups and downs to any market. But that doesn't mean he recommends keeping your money under the mattress at home.
"Just like every year we get snow once or twice a year in Tsawwassen, every once in a while we get a market correction of 10 percent or a market crash of 30 percent," says Mark.
As an investment advisor, Mark is able to guide people toward a better financial well-being, whether that's planning for retirement, building investment portfolios and managing them, or making risk considerations. Mark's job is to finance as a general practitioner is to health care. He can provide advice on a wide variety of financial issues, while being able to refer clients to specialists when necessary, such as accountants or trust firms.
So, just who are these high rollers walking into Mark's office with money to investment?
"Honestly? My clients are just the average Tsawwassen person. My average client has around $200,000 to $300,000 in investable assets, which can be a combination of RRSPs, TFSAs and regular savings."
Mark says one of the more satisfying moments in building relationships has been when a family member will recommend him to help the next generation with their financial planning. After 22 years in Tsawwassen, he has some clients that have been with him since the very beginning.
"For individual risk assessment I ask what the clients' needs are for their money. I run a small business. A bank advisor might have 500 clients. I have around 100 and am able to spend more time with my clients, get to know them. They're not just a file number."
Canadians have become increasingly financially literate over the past 20 years in part due to the banking industry trying to educate staff who deal with the general public.
"When you give people that knowledge, some of it tends to trickle down. The banks have taken turns trying to outshine one another. That has really helped raise the education level of the average individual about common things like mutual funds, stocks and bonds."
A graduate of Simon Fraser University in 1994, Mark started his career working for Royal Trust in downtown Vancouver. Two years later he was assigned to a branch in Tsawwassen, resulting in a daily commute from Coquitlam.
"Honestly, I didn't expect it," confesses Mark. "I thought it was punishment. I fully expected I was going to be in Tsawwassen for a year or maybe 18 months and then I'd move back downtown."
But in 1998, Mark received a promotion to the role of financial advisor and he decided to stay. It didn't take long before the sunny community of Tsawwassen grew on him and he bought a home in Beach Grove in 2000.
"Coming from Coquitlam the first thing I noticed was the sunshine. There'd be days I'd leave Coquitlam with snow on the ground, or it would be cloudy and rainy. By the time I got to Tsawwassen it was a whole lot sunnier and nicer."
You can meet and speak with Mark Schoeffel at his office in Tsawwassen, located under the atrium on the northeast corner mall of 56 th Street and 12th Avenue.