We have heard from a number of you through our online chat, via email, and have spoken to some by phone. The conversations have had a fairly consistent theme: “We are in shock and not sure what to do”.
We are all disappointed with the unfortunate and sudden closing of Planswell. When a company ceases operations in any business, it usually attracts a lot of attention, invokes speculation, and can result in negative publicity in the press and social media. This is typically perceived to reflect poorly on the organization and/or its executives, and sometimes the broader industry – fintech in this case. Stories that you read or hear, however, rarely address the impact to you, the client.
For an investor to hand over a healthy portion of his or her life savings, it requires one very significant pre-condition: TRUST. People will not give you their money to invest if they do not trust you – regardless of what fee you charge. When the company that you have entrusted your assets with suddenly informs you that they are discontinuing their service, trust is destroyed.
Planswell clients, we are empathetic to your situation. You didn’t ask for this, and very likely did not expect it. Now, you are tasked with figuring out the best way to move forward.
We can tell you that Planswell made significant efforts to ensure that each of you had multiple options on how to proceed with your investments, including several zero-cost options that offer you financial incentives. Although Planswell encountered financial difficulty, your investments are still safely held in your name with the custodian. Hopefully, that restores some trust.
If your confidence in the online investment industry has been shaken, it shouldn’t be. We believe that online investment managers provide extremely compelling value for your investment fees. Planswell had an ambitious global strategy across multiple aspects of finance – well beyond the focus of most Canadian online investment managers. Companies are formed every day with the best of intentions and the highest of ambitions; unfortunately, some fail. This happens in every industry – it is a normal course of business.
We can imagine how you feel right now, but the shock will wear off – hopefully quickly. When it does, you should take the time to explore your options, ask questions, conduct research and make an informed decision.
We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and answer your questions. We are confident that choosing to transfer your assets to Justwealth will be quick, easy and efficient, and we will work hard to ensure that it does.
We look forward to re-establishing trust in your investment manager.