G2 Financial Group
As a wealth management firm, G2 Financial specializes in unique financial services for Canadian professionals, private business owners and other high net worth individuals. The key services G2 Financial offers are tax minimization and wealth management. Started in Calgary, the company expanded to Toronto in 2001, and continues to build its portfolio of wealth management services.
Anna Khan, Executive Director for Eastern Canada, stands behind the tremendous success of the company’s Toronto branch. Launched in 2001, Toronto serves Central and Eastern Canada, from Manitoba to Halifax. Khan said, “When we launched our Toronto office our goal was to implement the same strategies that our Calgary parent office uses to provide quality tax consultancy services and wealth management strategies to high net worth Canadians. We work as a tax consultancy firm first. We help professionals to incorporate and create strategies to minimize their tax bill. Once we succeed in lowering our clients’ tax bill, we work with them to preserve this capital, putting their capital towards alternative investments where this money actually earns solid returns.”
Tax Minimization Strategies
G2 focuses on providing financial services to medical professionals, legal professionals, and corporations. To the question, “What are the advantages of a professional being incorporated?”, Khan said, “If a salaried employee in the Province of Ontario earns anything over $120,000 a year, he or she already belongs to the highest tax bracket, meaning that about half of the income goes to the Canada Revenue Agency. However, once incorporated, these professionals automatically belong to the corporate tax bracket, which is 16 per cent.” Besides this huge financial advantage, G2 treats the process of incorporation as a service, and not as a special privilege.
To consider incorporation, Khan advised that incorporation is suitable only for high net income professionals who do not live beyond their means, with a manageable debt. “If a professional spends as much money as he or she earns, incorporating will not help as there is no wealth worth protecting. On the other hand, if a professional lives moderately, incorporation can save them great sums of money. On average, these professionals are looking to save about 20 per cent of the money they keep in their corporation, so this is indeed a very lucrative proposition. Another advantage is the opportunity to add family members [adults] onto the corporation as shareholders, and pay them salaries or dividends, splitting income between more individuals who belong in a lower tax bracket.”
Consultative Investment Advisory Services
Once G2 Financial puts the corporate strategies in place, G2 Financial also facilitates the next step — the search for a suitable investment for this saved income, or Consultative Investment Advisory Service. To this, Khan said, “99 per cent of the time, when we look at our clients’ portfolios, we see clients paying high fees for what we call ‘non-managed accounts’, with vague portfolio reporting where managers do not provide the information clients need to know about their financial position. Also these firms invest most of their clients’ investments in mutual funds which is less than ideal. This is due to the current proliferation in the investment industry, where mutual funds had become the most expensive, complicated and frankly just not understood investment instrument in the market, making money managers wealthy, not making the clients wealthy.”
Instead of working with banks, G2 Financial refers its clients to investment firms that provide alternative investment options. “For example, investments in land are always secure and offer a solid rate of return — unless there is a war or an earthquake [where the land actually disappears]. Since 1817 [beginning of recording of land prices], the land prices have dropped only once, and only for a period of 11 months — in 1931, during the Great Depression. Of this, we can safely say that geologically and geo-politically Canada is one of the most secure places on earth to invest in land. These investments may not sound as sophisticated as the bank investment products, but they are steady, and they provide good returns (8 to 10 per cent a year) to the investor.”
While the company plans to open additional offices in the future, Khan continues to raise awareness about G2 Financial services across Canada and internationally. “We work with the professional communities, and we provide lectures on tax minimization strategies, raising awareness in medical and legal communities. Within the past year, I personally lectured at professional conferences in Turkey, Egypt, Australia, South Korea, Tahiti, and the United States.
This is one of our strategies due to the fact that, while these conferences have international audience, Canadian professionals also attend, and that’s how we get our word out into these communities.”
G2 Financial also continues to improve its connection to current and potential customers by improving its online presence. To provide clients with on-demand service, the company is launching its new website with a built-in wealth management assessment system that allows professionals to submit information about their financial situation with G2 Financial for a professional review. This assessment will ask specific questions in the compendium of nine key areas of wealth planning and management, such as retail banking, commercial, estate planning, retirement planning, and so on. Khan said, “We need our clients to think of all of those areas in order to create a full financial plan. Once submitted, we personally review the submissions and will create a holistic financial plan for these professionals.”
The company attributes its success to relationship building abilities and product development, as well as development of a reporting process that embodies the company’s customer-first philosophy. G2 Financial also leverages its financial mentorship with its formidable presence and reputation in the Canadian media. “We have also lowered our cost of business, we mitigate budgetary constraints in marketing, and we work to renegotiate services pricing. We partnered with senior managements to develop multi-pronged PR strategies, including guerrilla, online seminar and advertising approaches. In terms of relationship building, we worked and cemented relationships with major business, trade, and medical communities; these relationships delivered dramatic increases in our sales performance. We promoted partnerships with various companies that allow G2 to hire new graduates and professionals from the ranks of Canadian newcomers, and we focus on success planning and leadership development,” said Khan.