Getting the balance right is a matter of being diplomatic, rational and accommodating. “I would rarely say, ‘You can’t do that.’ Rather, I might say, ‘if you do this, it will make it harder to do this’…You want to point out where they will have to cut spending in other areas to keep them on track for their financial goals. Keep bringing them back to the big picture. Point out how they will be in a better situation down the road,” says Kerr.
She should know. She’s had a long time to learn from her father. Krista began her career at Ernst & Young as an audit manager and consultant. But in 1993 she joined the family firm. Originally based in Montreal the firm expanded to Toronto and now employs thirty people. Today Kerr leads the quarterly Kerr Financial partners’ meetings, is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee and remains active in developing new business. She also leads the firm’s Multi-Family Office division, which provides integrated planning services to sophisticated high net worth families largely made up of business owners, senior corporate executives and individual investors. She also serves as a member of the Board of the National Ballet of Canada and the National Ballet of Canada Endowment Foundation and Chair of the Patron’s Council Committee of the National Ballet of Canada. She also edited a publication, The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need
. That is, she’s a pro. She understands goals and what it takes to client expectations and needs for the very long-term.
“You have to understand the other things clients want to do. You bring it up. But you have to point out an array of scenarios. Use simulator tools and financial planner software. Help the client understand the impact to long-term cash flow that will follow from their decisions. Bring up these projections on software. Show them where the impact will be and how the big picture will change. Point out the deficits. Keep revisiting and managing the generational goals and assumptions. That’s the key.”