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More than one million Canadians identify as members of the LGBTQ2+ community, and more than two-thirds of them worry about facing discrimination based on their identity when seeking financial advice, according to data from FP Canada.

Laura Whiteland, owner and certified financial planner at Inclusive Financial Planning in Truro, N.S., says this fear may lead LGBTQ2+ people not to access the professional financial advice they desperately need.

Globe Advisor spoke with Ms. Whiteland, who identifies as transgender, recently about issues affecting her community.

What services do you bring to the table for your community?

For many of my own clients, I’m their first advisory relationship. Because they haven’t talked with an advisor about their money, they really let things get neglected. Now, some are five to 10 years from retirement and had they dealt with things sooner, they’d be in a much better position.

With helping my community, I’m one of them and act with empathy. I let them know their options and what they might run into – just preparing them. I’m not in a position where I can completely overhaul the industry but I can help people navigate the system and institutions.

Has Nova Scotia been accepting and welcoming to the community?

We’ve come leaps and bounds in the past 10 years for acceptance in Nova Scotia.

I’m also one of founders of the Truro Pride Society and continue to be on the board. I continue to be engaged on the community side of it as well. But parts of the financial services industry are seen as the last bastion of the old boys’ club. A lot of advisors aren’t well-versed with issues affecting trans people in particular. More institutions put a lot of weight on what your legal name is versus the name you go by, for example.

What issues have you encountered getting life insurance coverage for a trans person?

Every institution is different as to how they treat people and there’s not a lot of standardization.

Some will deal with you if you transition and change your gender. Some will still want to know your sex assigned at birth, which can make it difficult for some folks. Some institutions will consider it almost like a pre-existing condition and raise the premiums.

It’s really all over the place and you’re probably going to have to share a lot more information with the insurer than you should have to. And even after all that, you might still have difficulties getting coverage.

Has your practice been affected by more people moving to Nova Scotia of late?

Yes, and one of the benefits I have is being able to give newcomers more homegrown knowledge and differences in cultural dynamics when leaving an urban centre to come here. Making such a big move comes with some additional financial planning considerations from taxes to helping people find their community.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

– Deanne Gage, Globe Advisor reporter

Must-reads from Globe Advisor this week

How to manage RRIF withdrawals tax-efficiently to avoid ‘a hefty penalty’

What goes into a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) must eventually come out and be taxed as income. Often, that happens after the RRSP has been converted into a registered retirement income fund (RRIF), at which point a specific percentage must be withdrawn every year. Still, advisors employ many strategies to reduce taxes on RRIF withdrawals at or above the minimum – something that may be especially important as retired clients seek more income to meet higher costs driven by inflation. Alison MacAlpine looks at how advisors are doing this.

Why this portfolio manager is preparing for a ‘decade’ of value outperforming growth stocks

Money manager Robert Taylor is in the camp of investors who believe inflation will remain high for a while, which means interest rates are unlikely to start falling anytime soon. For investors, it could mean higher-multiple growth stocks will remain compressed, and value stocks will shine. Mr. Taylor, senior vice president and chief investment officer at Canoe Financial LP, who oversees about $5.4-billion in assets, talks to Brenda Bouw about what he’s buying and selling and a technology stock he wished he didn’t sell.

How couples in conflict over financial goals and strategies can find common ground

Money is a frequent source of conflict among couples. One survey found that fighting about money topped infidelity as a reason for divorce. So, how can advisors navigate situations in which partners disagree about their goals and the strategies required to accomplish them? Asking clients about their past experiences with money can give context for current attitudes and help to understand a couple’s behaviour. Alison MacAlpine speaks to advisors on how they handle such situations to create a successful outcome.

How couples working together in financial services balance their relationships

Mixing business with pleasure is becoming more commonplace with couples, but can those who live together also work together harmoniously? One advisor says, “Nobody knows you better than your spouse. So, it seems like a natural fit for spouses to work together in business as there’s already a high level of trust present.” But if spouses are not careful, every day could turn into a work day and they may find themselves talking about business while on vacation and during other family time. Deanne Gage weighs the pros and cons for advisor couples that work together.

Also see:

What Ontario’s self-certified investor pilot program means for advisors and investors

This 82-year-old retiree started a business to stay active – not to rely on for a living

Insider traders use ETFs to front-run M&A deals, academics say

Municipal bonds can boost returns and diversify fixed-income portfolios but face liquidity, rating risks

China reopening bets now a ‘crowded trade,’ warn fund managers

What you and your clients need to know

Manulife profit falls as market volatility hits wealth and asset management unit

Manulife Financial Corp. reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday as investors pulled capital from the insurer’s wealth and asset management unit amid heavy market volatility. Substantial asset management units at insurers have taken a hit from equity market declines through 2022. Manulife’s global wealth and asset management unit posted net outflows of $8.3 billion in the fourth-quarter, compared with inflows of $8.1 billion a year earlier. Here’s more on the earnings report.

Canada sees 15 ETF launches in January – nearly half using covered calls – despite fund outflows

After a solid net creation in December, the Canadian ETF market recorded a net redemption of $343-million in January. About $501-million of the outflow belonged to the fixed-income asset class; equity ETFs accounted for $328-million with most of the positive flow coming from cash alternatives, according to National Bank Financial Markets. However, the robust demand for cash alternatives has moderated compared to previous months. Anthony Menard of Inovestor breaks down the stats, along with the providers and products to note.

Recruiters advise candidates to use ChatGPT when applying for jobs, but with some caveats

New artificial intelligence tools are making it easy to generate professional and personalized application materials, and recruiters encourage job seekers to use them. Human resources professionals who spoke with The Globe and Mail believe tools like Open AI’s ChatGPT are poised to forever change how candidates construct application materials, such as cover letters, résumé points or writing samples, following some early experiments that prove their effectiveness. Jared Lindzon reports on what this means for employers.

– Globe Advisor Staff


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