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Steering Your Way To Wealth

(NC)-When it comes to growing your net worth, one of the vehicles capable of moving you along the road to wealth is your investments. A roadmap, in the form of a good financial plan, and 'directions' from a knowledgeable financial adviser, can come in handy, too.

"Once someone has decided to invest, there are many options," explains Anita Prescott, a Winnipeg-based certified financial planner (CFP) and financial adviser with CIBC Imperial Service. "One of the earliest and most significant decisions an investor has to make is how active a role they wish to play in investing." Prescott returns to the road to explain some of the options:

Self-directed investor: You manage your own portfolio, decide what, when, how, and why on your own. This type of investing can be compared to driving your own car. The vehicle is entirely controlled by you. You determine the destination, the origin, the route, and manage all of the driving duties such as stopping, starting and steering. To work this way you must have the knowledge and information you require as well as the time commitment to manage your portfolio.

Adviser-assisted investor: You work with your financial adviser to develop a plan and asset allocation and to select the assets to implement your plan. This can be done using a wide range of investments such as mutual funds. Together you decide when and what to buy but you benefit from the expertise of the professionals responsible for 'managing' the mutual funds. You also have to monitor your portfolio to track its progress and re-balance as required. Compare this approach to taking a train or airplane. You can choose when to get on and when to get off, but you can't control the route or the driving itself.

Professional management: You work with your adviser to build your investment plan and determine your asset allocation. When it's time to put your plan into action, you rely on a professional manager to pick the investments, monitor your portfolio and rebalance as required. This is like taking a chauffeur-driven car. You choose where to get on and off and you can also pick the route, but the actual driving and day-to-day maintenance is done by someone else.

While you can expect some detours and alternate routes on your own road to wealth, it can be wise to begin your journey equipped with a good map and directions from an objective and knowledgeable adviser who has successfully helped others get to their destination as well. In many cases, investor needs can best be met using a combination of the above options.

This article is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as specific advice. This article is not applicable in Quebec.

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