For Andrew Kirkland and Richard Burton-Williams, President and Vice President of Justwealth Financial Inc, it was never about the money. In fact, the entire team behind Justwealth Financial has a strong knowledge of the finance industry, and with that they realized a detrimental common denominator: the current financial methods in the industry were not the best way for Canadians to save for their retirement.
For those that aren’t financially savvy, mutual funds are generally known as one of the safest and easiest ways to invest your money for long-term saving. A mutual fund manager invests a pool of money provided by individual investors, organizations and companies into a portfolio. So, rather than the individual investor constantly monitoring the stocks and bonds in their portfolio, a professional fund manager takes care of all the hard work.
In other words, mutual funds give piece of mind. However, mutual funds do not come without their caveats. The major disadvantage to mutual funds is the annual fees. Most investors usually pay 2 percent on annual fees, which can accumulate to thousands of dollars over the years.
One can rationalize taking on these hefty fees if their fund managers were able to devise lucrative portfolios, however, research has shown that 99% of these managers have underperformed the S&P 500 index.
Due to these disadvantages, many investors have chosen to use robo-advisors instead. Robo-advisors swap the fund manager with algorithms and mutual funds with exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In return, the individual investor pays less fees and has a portfolio that is customized to their own risk profile. However, Justwealth Financial believes that robo-advisors can be even better with even more personalization.
Andrew Kirkland and his team understood all of these issues. They desired a change, had relevant experience in the finance industry and believed there was a better way for the typical Canadian to invest. This inspired them to found Justwealth Financial.
How do I start saving?
To invest with Justwealth, there are three simple steps. First, they take you through an investment questionnaire, where you answer how long you want your money invested for, what your expectations are on annual returns, what are the risks you are willing to take, and what kind of account you are willing to open.
Factoring in your responses, a personalized portfolio that caters to your financial aspirations will be constructed. With over 60 different portfolios available, you’ll be paired with a portfolio that’s right for you. And, if you are not happy with their portfolio recommendations, you have the freedom to change your portfolio at any time.
This flexibility is extremely advantageous to Canadian investors, as objectives, obligations, and financial positions change over time. Another benefit to using Justwealth is that they assign every client a Personal Portfolio Manager who ensures that their investment objectives are being met.
Justwealth Financial started as a direct-to-consumer business. Their business model involved establishing a connection with prominent financial bloggers that strongly advocated for Justwealth’s services. This helped them acquire several, satisfied customers, which proved to them that partnering with trusted and respected partners was an efficient way to acquire customers.
Justwealth recognized that financial advisors are able to build strong, lasting relationships with their clients. They not only manage their clients’ investments, but they also counsel their clients through their financial predicaments. Kirkland and his team did not overlook this connection and began to entertain the business-to-business model.
Soon after, Justwealth developed Justwealth Institutional, an online investment portfolio management system for financial advisors and other financial intermediaries. The system would let financial advisors work with ETFs instead of mutual funds and would reduce the annual fees their clients would typically pay. The financial advisor would continue with their guidance in finance, taxes, and insurance, but they would get help from Justwealth Institutional for investments.
Simply put, Justwealth Financial and Justwealth Institutional stands for justice – providing justice to Canadian investors and financial advisors. Kirkland and his team achieve this mantra by maintaining an honourable level of professionalism, integrity, morality, and always putting the customer first.
Justwealth is part of the RIC Centre Incubator program. To learn more and apply, visit riccentre.ca/what-we-do/incubator/