Lasting Wealth Financial Plan

 Blue Sky Financial Planning developed a proprietary planning process which is centered around our definition of “Wealth” . We define Wealth as the ability to sustain your desired lifestyle through all phases of your life – thus the name,”Lasting Wealth”. 

It is not just about the money, although this is an integral component. It is about life and all the twists and turns that come with it. Most importantly, it is about your life, your story, and how you want the rest of your story to unfold.

We use the Certified Financial Planner protocol to engage clients, collect data, define objectives, design, implement and monitor the financial plan. Once we are sure we understand your situation, your Lasting Wealth financial plan is drafted for your review. The plan will have the following components;

  • Net Worth Summary: All that you own minus what you owe measured once a year.
  • Investment Summary:  Individual investment summaries plus a consolidated report measured once a year.
  • Milestones: Birth dates, anniversaries and special lifetime events to put the continuum of your life in perspective.
  • Future Income Projection: This graph shows where the lifetime income will come from and highlight any deficiencies which need to be addressed.
  • Plan “B”: An inventory of all the insurance policies you own.
  • Legacy Now!: A record of your Will, Power of Attorney and Medical Directive reviewed once a year . We encourage and facilitate communicating the intent of these documents to Executors and beneficiaries.
  • Insurance Analysis: How much? What kind? What will it provide for the survivors to fulfill the Lasting Wealth objectives?
  • Bucket List: Documenting what is on your list – travel, personal goals, special events – cross them off as you complete them and tracking the new ones.
  • Thinking ahead and looking back: Imagine your future 3 years from now and identify what has to happen between now and then for you to feel that you have been successful.
  • Way to Go/Ways to Go: We give you credit for all that you have accomplished and help you identify what is left to be done.

We have designed this document to be simple, short, yet comprehensive and colorful to give you the best overview of your financial plan. More importantly, the discussions about each of these components flesh out what is most important to you and protects you from being distracted from your objectives.

Finally, this plan along with all the other important financial documents are organized in a Personal Financial Organizer binder for easy reference between meetings.

Points to Ponder

“I have learned a lot and discovered nothing”
– Ricardo Semler “The Seven Day Weekend”

“Have fun wherever you go because you are going to be there anyway.”
 – DJ on Sirius Radio Outlaw Country

“Gratitude is an internally generated capability that allows an individual to create and discover unlimited meaning and value in every situation and relationship in life.”
 – Dan Sullivan / Strategic Coach

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Gifts to grandchildren-Blue sky financial planners in Regina

Gifts For Grandchildren

By Grant Karst, CFP, CLU, CHFC

Someone once said, “If I had known how much fun grandchildren are, I would have had them first!”

Grandchildren truly are special and grandparents love to shower them with attention and gifts. Here are a few ideas for gifts that won’t end up in the toy pile and will provide a lifetime of benefits.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

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Don’t Wait For Pension Reform – Build Your Own!

The Office-Blue Sky Financial

Imagine having guaranteed income which lasts as long as you do. It never runs out. You can’t outlive it. You don’t have to worry about the markets or interest rates. Once the monthly payments start, they never stop – month after month after month. Read more

Will You Bogey Your Retirement-Regina financial company

Will You Bogey Your Retirement?

Image credits: Sun Life Financial

The golf season has finally arrived – a little late, a little wet – but golfers are hitting the links with vigour. It is a relatively short golf season is Saskatchewan so we learn to play in all kinds of conditions; wind, rain, mosquitoes, and more wind! It is much like life where we control some parts of our environment and learn to deal with the rest. Read more

“Retirement Planning with Yogi” By: Grant Karst

The Baby Boomers have arrived at the retirement stage and like every stage of life they have gone through, it is going to be different for them. In fact, one financial institution has already given them a new name, “Generation I” with the “I” standing for “income.” As the Boomers approach retirement they are confronted by many circumstances different from their parents’ generation:

  • They have spent more and saved less


  • They want to retire earlier and expect to live longer

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“Investing” By: Grant Karst

The pen-Blue Sky Financial

Why do so many investors do exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time?

Why did so many investors take money out of the equity markets in the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, when the market was at its lowest point?

Why were many investors reluctant to add money to their equity mutual fund RRSP in January and February 2009 when the market was offering discounts of 40 to 50 percent?

Why did a large percentage of investors miss the significant market rally in 2009?

Why are thousands of investors still sitting on the side- lines in Money Market funds waiting for a “sign” that it is time to get back into the market?

Why will thousands of investors jump back into the market again after it has increased in price by 20 percent or more?

Why do people clamor for sales when they buy everything except investments?

Why do investors repeatedly sell what has decreased in price and buy what has increased in price?

Why do most investors receive a fraction of the market returns?


Why is this investing stuff so difficult to get right?

Why? Because we are hardwired to fail at investing.

Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge that there is a small percentage of the investing public that these comments do not apply to. These individuals have managed to override the hard-wiring affecting most of us, and consistently make sound, objective decisions about their investments. They don’t always make the right calls, but their batting average is good enough to produce positive long-term results.


O.K., let’s get back to why investors behave badly. Behavior scientists have identified many reasons to explain investor behavior, but the two biggest emotional culprits which sabotage our decision making are fear and greed. It isn’t simply that these emotions are so powerful, but that they unfortunately they have an unequal effect on us.


The fear of loss is estimated to be two to three times stronger than the euphoria of gain or profit. Consequently, the emotional effect of a 10% loss is not equal to a 10% gain. The loss feels like a 20 or 30%, so panic sets in. The 10% gain satisfies our greed motive but does not have enough staying power to offset the panic when it sets in.

To compound the problem there is “free” advice from colleagues and family, plus the media, focused on sensational negative events. It is no wonder that investors start selling low and buying high and wonder why they can’t make any money!

I have long ago given up trying to change this emotional hard-wiring. Instead, I have accepted that investors behave irrationally, and developed an investment-planning process which recognizes as a central theme that investor behavior will have the largest bearing on the success of the investment program. Unlike many investment planning processes, mine does not start with researching rates of return, MER (management expense ratios), volatility, investing styles, market trends, interest rates, etc. Instead, I focus on the investor—not the investment. First we have to know why an individual is in- vesting. It sounds straightforward, but this is often overlooked, or it is assumed that every- one wants to invest in the market.

Many years ago I asked a client who had several hundred thousand dollars invested in GICs why he wasn’t taking advantage of higher potential returns and better tax treatment of the returns by investing in equities. His answer: “Because I don’t have to. I can’t spend the money I’m making now, so why should I complicate things?”


If investors are going to stick with an investment plan, they have to have a strong underlying reason for doing so. If they do not, the first sign of adversity, i.e., a bear market, will make them question their plan.


Our process is called Blue Sky Planning. It involves an optimistic visualization of an individual’s financial future as it pertains to his or her family, career/business, retirement and estate. One or all of these areas will answer the question “Why are you investing?” This discussion will also tell us how much the investor will need, which in turn tells us what kind of a return he or she needs to receive.


Once we understand why an individual is investing, we move on to the next question:

“What kind of investment strategy will give you the best chance of avoiding the typical investor mistakes caused by fear and greed?”


For some investors, simply recognizing the un- equal power of these emotions, along with coaching from their advisor, is enough to provide a framework to keep the plan on track. Often, having a diversified portfolio with automatic re- balancing minimizes the emotional extremes. Others are willing to pay for guarantees and downside protection. For some, having part of their investments in safe, simple products allows them to invest some of their money in the market and deal with the volatility.

We always emphasize that there are no right or wrong products, but there are products that are right for the investor.

Just because most of us are hardwired to fail at investing does not mean our investment strategy has to fail. If we know why we are investing, and have created an environment conducive to good investor behavior, we can enjoy not only reaching our investment targets but also the journey along the way.