Advisor Profile

Rona Birenbaum, CFP®

CEO
Caring for Clients
Viviplan
Toronto, ON

Services Open Modal

Services

Advisor's specialize in a number of services to meet the needs of their clients. Listed below are the most common services offered. To view services offered by this Advisor, refer to their profile.

Alternative Investments

Types of investments and/or investment strategies other than traditional investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Examples of alternative investments might include hedge funds, private equity or managed futures.


Business Succession Planning

Strategies related to the passing on of the leadership/ownership of a company or business. Advice may include taxation considerations, contingency planning and the coordination of external professional services.


Cash Management Planning

A practice that considers an individuals short term and long term liquidity needs, credit, taxation considerations, budgeting, debt financing and restructuring.


Disability Planning

Strategic financial planning for individuals and dependents with physical or mental disabilities. Disability planning may include a combination of insurance needs assessment, estate planning, cash flow analysis, taxation and the use of trusts and/or the RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan).


Discretionary Portfolio Management

A service offered by advisors who hold the necessary qualifications (CFA, CIM) and are registered as a portfolio manager. A portfolio manager is authorized by his or her clients to make buy-sell decisions without referring to the client for approval of each transaction. Portfolio Managers are required to manage portfolios according to strict guidelines, frequently outlined in an Investment Policy Statement (an agreement between the client and the portfolio manager) which details how a portfolio is to be managed.


Education Planning

Creating a savings plan to support the financing of post secondary education that is balanced with other spending and saving priorities. The primary educational savings account for Canadians is the RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan).


Estate Planning

The arrangement and management of an individuals financial affairs with the goals of maximizing the value transferred at death through careful and strategic planning.


Family Office

A family office is a specialized advisory practice intended to serve the needs of very high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals and families. Family offices offer the integration and co-ordination of professional services intended to oversee the complete financial affairs of wealthy families. Including, but not limited to business, tax and legal advisory, philanthropic planning, wealth transfer planning, family governance and investment consulting.


Fee For Service Planning

An advisor who charges a set fee in exchange for their services. This fee can be either hourly, project based, or paid as a monthly or annual retainer. These advisors typically focus on providing detailed financial planning services rather than investment management services.


Financial Planning

A dynamic process intended to achieve specific financial goals relating to an individual or families budgeting, saving, spending and investment needs. Financial Planning considers both short term and long term goals taking into account various unforeseen events and anticipated changes in circumstances.


High Net Worth Investors

Advisors who have the necessary experience and qualifications to meet the needs of individuals and families with a high net worth. These advisors typically offer specialized and integrated investment management, estate planning and wealth transfer solutions coordinating their services with other professionals such as attorneys and accountants.


Insurance Planning

Advisors who offer clients insurance products based on an insurance needs analysis, making adjustments to coverage as necessary.


Investment Management

A generic term that refers to the managing of a portfolio of investments (the buying and selling of stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc) to achieve a specific investment objective or combination of objectives (income, growth, capital preservation, tax minimization) while taking into consideration the clients tolerance for risk and investment time horizon.


Legacy/Philanthropic Planning

Specialized advice relating to large scale charitable donations. Planning advice may include identification and vetting of recipients, goal setting and measurement, tax considerations and trust and foundation management.


LGBTQ Planning

Advisors with the necessary experience in addressing the unique financial planning needs and challenges that confront same sex couples and people who identify as LGBTQ.


Navigating Divorce

Advisors who have specialized training in pre and post divorce financial planning. This may include advice relating to tax considerations, division of property, spousal and child support, valuing and dividing property and estate planning and insurance issues.


Portfolio Review (Second Opinion)

A complimentary service offered to prospective clients who are uncertain their needs are being met by their current advisor and are seeking an objective opinion regarding their investments. This may include concerns relating to performance, strategy, diversification, risk, fees and product type.


Retirement Planning

The process of planning life after paid work ends. This may include both lifestyle and financial considerations. Retirement planning includes considerations such as savings targets, income and cash flow planning, tax planning, insurance and estate planning.


Severance and Pension Transfer Strategies

Advice relating to the efficient transfer of severance packages and pensions, including considerations regarding taxation, benefits and investments.


Socially Responsible Investing

Sometimes referred to as sustainable or ethical investing – an investment methodology where the selection of investments is focused on companies that have corporate practices that encourage environmental protection, diversity, human rights, consumer protection, etc. Socially responsible investors will generally avoid companies involved in the production of fossil fuels, weapons, gambling, alcohol, tobacco and pornography.


Tax Planning

Evaluating an individuals financial situation and taking the necessary steps to ensure the elements of a client or households financial plan work in the most tax efficient manner possible.


Tax Preparation

Services related to the preparation of income tax returns.


US Based Investors

Advisors who are registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and able to offer wealth management services to US residents (any one residing in the USA for >182 days per year), as well as specialized services to US citizens residing in Canada.


Wealth Transfer Planning

Services intended to prepare clients and their heirs for inheritance. Services may include methods and timing of transfer, direct gifts, use of trusts and specialized investments products.


  • Alternative Investments
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Cash Management Planning
  • Disability Planning
  • Education Planning
  • Fee For Service Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • High Net Worth Investors
  • Insurance Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Legacy/Philanthropic Planning
  • LGBTQ Planning
  • Navigating Divorce
  • Portfolio Review (Second Opinion)
  • Retirement Planning
  • Severance and Pension Transfer Strategies
  • Socially Responsible Investing
  • Tax Planning
  • Wealth Transfer Planning

Investments Available Open Modal

Investments Available

Listed below are the descriptions of the most common investment's available. To view investment's offered by this Advisor, refer to their profile.

Alternative Investments

Types of investments and/or investment strategies other than traditional investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Examples of alternative investments might include hedge funds, private equity, managed futures or exempt market securities.


Bonds

A bond is a loan made by an investor (lender) to a borrower (typically a government entity or a corporation). The borrower pays a fixed rate of interest to the lender at regular intervals for a defined period.


Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

An investment fund that trades on a stock exchange. ETFs are similar to mutual funds in that they typically hold a diversified portfolio of assets (stocks, bonds, commodities etc). Many ETFs track an index – such as a stock index or bond index and are managed passively (very little trading) whereas mutual funds are actively managed (lots of trading). ETFs have many attractive features such as tax efficiency and much lower costs (MERs) than actively managed mutual funds.


Foreign Equities

Stocks that trade on exchanges outside of North America.


Forex

The market in which global currencies are traded. The forex market is the largest and most liquid market in the world where trillions of dollars worth of currencies change hands daily.


Futures

A legal contract between two parties to buy or sell a commodity or financial instrument at a specific price at a specific future date. Futures are derivative contracts that derive their value from an underlying asset such as a commodity, currency or an intangible like an interest rate or an index. Futures contracts are used as either a hedging tool or for speculative purposes.


Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)

An investment that offers a fixed rate of return over a specific period of time. GICs are typically issued by Trust Companies or Banks.


Insurance

A contract, typically referred to as a policy that is intended to protect the holder against loss or other uncertain risks.


Mutual Funds

An investment product that holds a diverse portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other investment instruments – managed by professional money managers who actively trade the portfolio with the goal of producing capital gains and or income for the Mutual Fund’s investors.


Options

A type of derivative contract. Options derive their value from an underlying instrument such as a stock. An option contract (1 contract = 100 shares) represents the right to either buy or sell the underlying stock at a specified price on or before a specified future date. There are two types of option contracts – Puts and Calls. A put represents the right to sell shares, a call represents the right to buy shares. Investors use options for hedging purposes, to generate income in a portfolio or to speculate.


Stocks

A generic term for 'shares' or common equity. Representing fractional ownership in an company.


  • Alternative Investments
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
  • Insurance
  • Mutual Funds

Account Types Offered Open Modal

Account Types Offered

Advisor's specialize in offering a number of account types to meet the needs of their clients. Listed below are the most common account types offered. To view account types offered by this Advisor, refer to their profile.

Corporate Accounts

An investment account set up in the name of a corporation.


Group RRSP

RRSPs offered to employees by their employer. Contributions are taken from the employee's pre-tax pay through payroll deductions. Employee contributions are often matched by their employer. Contributions are then deposited into their RRSP as specified.


Individual Pension Plans (IPP)

A retirement savings account that shares some features of an RRSP. IPPs specifically benefit owners of companies or executives of incorporated companies who do not participate in an employer pension plan and who have annual earnings greater than $120,000. IPPs allow for higher contribution limits than RRSP, they are locked in and cannot be accessed until retirement, and at retirement they pay a fixed amount of income, similar to a defined benefit pension plan. IPPs are creditor proof.


Locked-In Retirement Accounts (LRSP, LIRA, LIF, LRIF)

Accounts specifically intended to hold pension funds that originated in an employer sponsored Registered Pension Plan (RPP). Employees terminated from membership in a RPP before retirement have the option of transferring these funds to either a LIRA or a LRSP (The LIRA and LRSP serve the same function, however a LIRA is registered under provincial registration and LRSPs are registered federally). These accounts share the same features and benefits as RRSPs, the primary difference being; additional contributions are not permitted and withdrawals cannot be made until retirement.


Margin Accounts

An investment account that allows an investor to borrow money to buy securities.


Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)

An investment savings account which allows Canadian parents to save for their children’s post secondary education. The primary benefit of the RESP is two-fold; dividends, interest and capital gains on investments are tax sheltered, and; the government of Canada will contribute 20% of the first $2500.00 that participants (the subscriber) contribute to the plan annually. This government contribution is referred to as the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG).


Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF)

The holder of an RRSP account is given the option to convert their RRSP account into a RRIF account on or before the end of the year they turn 71. Contributions are not permitted in RRIF accounts instead holders must withdrawal a minimum amount every year (there is no maximum withdrawal limit). Withdrawals are taxed as earned income. Eligible investments are similar to those that can be held in an RRSP - stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, etc.


Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP)

The primary retirement savings account for Canadians. An RRSP can hold mutual funds, stocks, exchange traded funds (ETFs), bonds, hedge funds, preferred shares and certain types of option contracts. RRSPs offer two primary advantages to retirement savers: contributions are tax deductible and taxes on dividends, interest and capital gains are deferred to when withdrawals are made.


Separately Managed Accounts

Sometimes referred to as a SMA Account. This is an investment account (either registered or non- registered) managed by a professional investment management firm – these managers are external, third party entities typically operating independently of an advisors dealer. SMA accounts are subject to minimum investment amounts and operate on a fee based compensation model. There is a growing trend for advisors to use SMA accounts as part of their practice where the advisor selects and recommends an external manager – effectively outsourcing investment selection to a team of professional portfolio managers. In an SMA account each stock position and transaction in the portfolio appears in the clients account and the fees attached to the account are fully transparent.


Taxable Investment Accounts

An investment account that is fully taxable.


TFSAs

A savings account for Canadian residents 18 years or older. Unlike a RRSP, contributions are not tax deductible. However, dividends, interest and capital gains are not subject to income tax and withdrawals of contributions and investment income are not taxed. Eligible investments include: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, GICs, preferred shares, hedge funds and certain types of option contracts.


Trust Accounts

An account that is considered a separate legal entity that holds property for the benefit of an individual, group or organization (the beneficiary).


US$ Registered Plans

Registered Accounts (RRSPs, TFSAs, etc.) that allow investors to hold US dollars inside a registered plan. This avoids costly currency conversion when buying or selling investments denominated in US currency.


  • Corporate Accounts
  • Individual Pension Plans (IPP)
  • Locked-In Retirement Accounts (LRSP, LIRA, LIF, LRIF)
  • Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP)
  • Separately Managed Accounts
  • Taxable Investment Accounts
  • TFSAs
  • Trust Accounts

About Me, My Team and How We Serve Our Clients

Known as "the firm you can trust", Caring for Clients was one of Canada's first fee-for-service financial planning firms. Founded by industry trailblazer, Rona Birenbaum, it is now an 8-person Financial Planning and Wealth Management firm that provides comprehensive advice regarding cash flow, retirement, investing, tax and estate planning as well as risk management/insurance.

What can you expect from us?

You can expect professional, experienced advisers. You can expect us to work in your best interests only. You can expect us to be interested in every aspect of your life. Why? Because finances touch on career, family, health, leisure—just about everything you do. The more you share, the more we can help. You can expect us to be available, pretty much anytime, to answer questions and solve problems. You can expect us to stay in touch. We will anticipate ways to save and protect your wealth as times change and to advise you of these opportunities as they arise.

If you do my financial plan, do I need to invest with you?

No. We charge for our advice and the plans we develop. You are completely free to deal with anyone you wish to handle your investments.
Are you tied to specific investment products?
No, we are completely independent of any financial institution and its products. We have just one aim: to ensure the investment products you own are the best available to carry out your financial plan.

Is financial planning the same as investment advice?

Not at all. Financial planning takes a comprehensive look at all your circumstances to ensure your finances (budgeting, cash flow management, borrowing, insurance, investing, tax planning, etc.) fit with your goals and preferences. Investment advice ensures that the marketable securities in your plan align with your financial planning goals.

 

 

Read More About Me and My Team


My Investment Philosophy and Methodology

The main components driving investment success are:

  • Asset allocation
  • Quality holdings that the investor understands
  • Investor Behaviour
  • Tax efficiency
  • Cost

Our services range from high level strategy, which is part of a financial plan engagement, through to detailed analysis and recommendations via our investment dealer, Queensbury Strategies.  

We oversee product and manager selection, tax management, portfolio rebalancing, and portfolio reporting. We are independent of the products that our clients own and are, therefore, able to objectively advocate on your behalf.

Our investment philosophy is fundamentally conservative. We put particular emphasis on generating a combination of income and growth from investments, while containing risk of capital loss within defined parameters. As a result, our clients sleep more soundly.

*All investments are handled through Queensbury Strategies Inc.

 

Read More About My Investment Philosophy


What My Clients are Saying....

 “Our best interests were at the heart of our financial plan.  Realizing we had not paid enough attention to our finances, my husband and I met the financial planners at Caring for Clients. After our first meeting we were confident we were in good hands. They examined every corner of our finances and stretched our brains asking us the right questions.

When our financial plan was presented, we could clearly see a picture of our financial future and how our goals and dreams could be achieved.  Never did they try to “sell” to us. Not once did they stray from a path that was personalized to our situation and our level of risk tolerance.  Our best interests were always kept at the heart of our financial plan.  If you are looking for a team of financial planners who have the knowledge, experience, professionalism and who truly care, look no further than Caring for Clients."   - Valeri Hall Little


"Rona and the team at Caring for Clients helped us put together a plan that is far beyond financial advice. Their unique holistic approach had us explore all aspects of our life to ensure that we had all the necessary support in place for our future. True to their name, the "caring" customer service approach made us feel supported and kept us accountable to our agreed deliverables. We look forward to working with Rona and the team for many years to come."  - Jennifer Fry

 

"Sometimes it feels that, no matter what your question, your financial advisor's answer is, 'luckily, what I'm selling'.

So let me explain why that doesn't happen with Rona and the planners at Caring for Clients...

- They are "fee for service", so what you get is strategy - smart, savvy strategy - not tactics.
- They select their clients for their best fit with them.
- They've got an extraordinarily broad range of expertise.

I'm delighted to be working with Caring for Clients, and recommend them unreservedly." - Michael Bungay Stanier

 

 


SeekAdvisor Q&A

How often do you communicate with clients?

During a financial planning engagement communication is weekly in general until the plan engagement is complete (3-6 months).  Wealth management clients meet with us by phone, virtually or in person, at least annually and more frequently as desired by the client or as appropriate given their personal circumstances.

Who are your typical clients?

Individuals age 40-65 who are navigating the complexity of their current lifestyle and future planning.

What are the most common mistakes you notice new clients have made with their investments?

Chasing returns, assuming lower cost automatically translates into higher returns, taking on more risk than necessary, and overreacting to volatility.

Are you a fiduciary?

As a financial planner, yes.

If something happens to you, do you have a succession or continuity plan to ensure there is no interruption in how your clients are serviced?

Yes.  I have a team of 7 and each client works hands on with two planners to ensure continuity of service and advice.

What would you be doing if you weren't working in financial services?

I'd be a psychologist.  I love helping people live their best life.  Turns out Financial Planning is a way to do this too!

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