21 Feb

Holly Talks Financial Planning for Bowen Islanders

Our Managing Director Holly Graff is a Bowen Islander of over 20 years, and knows Bowen life inside and out. She wants to help fellow islanders thrive with the tools they need to take steps in their financial futures, no matter where they’re at.

Holly would love to chat – email her at holly@allanfinancial.com or call her at 604.688.9151 to start a conversation.

And check out some of our online resources for financial literacy here!

19 Sep

What do you think of when you hear the words “financial planning?”

For a lot of us, the words “financial planning” conjures up a vision of someone who has all their financial ducks all in a row. Or maybe someone who has more money than they know what to do with. (Now wouldn’t that be a nice problem to have? 😉)

But you don’t need to be either of those in order to start in a small way. In fact, the first step is just finding out where you could begin. You don’t know what you don’t know!

If you want to get started on a financial planning journey, just get in touch, and we’re happy to help you begin.

Find out how you can “Enjoy your Life.”  

You can always email me at danielle@allanfinancial.com or call me at 604.688.9151 to start a conversation.

08 Aug

What would you do if you were given $1M today?

Okay, so while we’re not offering you a cool million, asking yourself this question helps to really hone in on some of your priorities. From there, the next question is how to get there.

Here’s what our community said they’d do:

  • Buy a home
  • Get a horse 🙂
  • Put it in savings
  • Invest in stocks
  • Travel!

We hear these aspirations all the time, almost always tinged with a sense of how difficult they are to achieve. If you want to get started on a financial planning or a life insurance journey, just get in touch!

We want to help you “Enjoy your Life.”  

You can always email me at danielle@allanfinancial.com or call me at 604.688.9151 to start a conversation.

08 Mar

Meet Danielle

Marrying tradition with innovation

I’m really looking forward to this next chapter – both for myself and for Allan Financial. We’ve always been innovators and now I get to shape the next evolution of this company, and what life insurance and financial literacy can mean for generations to come.
~ Danielle

24 Feb

Disposition & Memorial

Once there is a dead body, what do you do?

Even fifty years ago, we would have had much more exposure to the dead and dying and from those experiences known the next steps to take.

We discussed what you should know in advance so that when the inevitable occurs to a loved one, you can spend your time doing the meaningful things to honour and memorialize that person.  And setting some of this in place for yourself can be a huge gift to those you leave behind. Knowledge is power!

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers, and this shouldn’t be taken as legal advice. And remember that we’re usually referring to how things are in BC, Canada, so things might be different where you are.

Feel free to click through the individual topics to learn more. The full recording is also below.

Video Clips:

Watch the entire event

Additional Resources:

  • Koru – home and family led funeral and vigils
  • BC Transplant – donating your body to science / organ donation / transplant
01 Feb

The Beginning of a New Era!

We’ve got a new President . . .

We’re excited to announce a change in leadership here at Allan Financial with Danielle (Allan) Kanengoni as our new President! Learn what that means for our future:

27 Jan

Advance Care Planning

Life Altering Physical Considerations

We talked through issues ranging from a sudden but temporary incapacitation (car accident) to a diagnosis with a terminal outcome (late-stage cancer). And why taking the wide range of scenarios into account is important. Advance Care Planning is not just having “I’d like a natural death” in writing. We mention the available tools, questions to ask yourself, and tips for having the important discussions with those who will have a say in your medical decision making.

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers, and this shouldn’t be taken as legal advice. And remember that we’re usually referring to how things are in BC, Canada, so things might be different where you are.

Feel free to click through the individual topics to learn more. The full recording is also below.

Video Clips:

Watch the entire event

Additional Resources:

Online guides mentioned as part of your overall planning in the event of incapacitation, unexpected injury, or serious illness.

Online wills, powers of attorney, and representation agreements, including discount codes.

  • LegalWills.ca – for 15% off any product
  • Willful.co – any product is 20% off by using code “ALLANFINANCIAL20” at checkout
02 Dec

I’m Dead Now What – 101

Welcome to “I’m Dead, Now What?”

For something with a 100% likelihood, most of us don’t do a great job of planning for death.

We’re running this series to explore life transitions, death, and how to plan for the inevitable.

I’m Dead, Now What features Christa Ovenell, aka Death’s Apprentice. Christa is a licensed funeral director and a certified Elder Planning Counsellor, specializing in end-of-life education and planning. You can catch her monthly on CBC’s North by Northwest.

Christa and Danielle

“Most of us will spend significantly more time researching which phone to buy than contemplating any element of our own advanced care or transition planning.

Do you know the simple steps you need to take to get your affairs in order?

It’s remarkably easy, incredibly empowering, and trust me: being ready is the biggest gift you can ever give.” ~ Christa Ovenell

Our first event focused on the legal basics – the what and why of:

  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Representation Agreements

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers, and this shouldn’t be taken as legal advice. We know some great lawyers (recommendations below) if you want to follow up with them and get specific direction. And remember that we’re usually referring to how things are in BC, Canada, so things might be different where you are.

Feel free to click through the individual topics to learn more. The full recording is also below.

Video Clips:

Summary of the 3 Legal Basics

Representation Agreements

Powers of Attorney


“I don’t own anything of much value”

“I’m too young to need this!”

Watch the entire event.

(includes info on what if you expect to inherit someday; what’s the bare minimum you should do; online platforms to do this yourself; what are “funeral wishes” anyway; what is a co-executor; I’ve moved; rush to cremation; etc.)

Additional Resources:

Online wills, powers of attorney, and representation agreements, including discount codes for you! (Simple, legal, and under $250, so no excuse not to do it.)

  • LegalWills.ca – any product is 20% off by using code “deathsapprentice” at checkout
  • Willful.co – any product is 20% off by using code “ALLANFINANCIAL20” at checkout

Local lawyers who specialize in simple estate plans and price accordingly –

11 Nov

Our Difference Makes a Difference

Meet Casey and Rich, a couple who have created a plan for retirement and are building an investment inside their life insurance policy.

Life insurance is something that’s usually only thought of as a payout after you die. We want to ensure that you can benefit from your life insurance right now. And we have so many stories of clients who are able to do just that.

22 Oct

15 Years of Kiva

Fifteen Years of Kiva

Kiva just turned 15 and featured the AF Kiva Project as one of their stories of impact from around the world! We’re so grateful to Kiva, their field partners, and of course all our generous lenders. Thanks to you, we’re on track to hit $1 MILLION in loans by the end of 2020! Watch Danielle’s interview below, and check out Kiva’s page for more.



28 Sep

AF Family, Meet Jessie!

Now that we’re back in the office, please join us in welcoming our newest team member, Jessie Mejia!

Jessie joined us in early March as our Senior Executive Assistant (you can thank her for keeping Ross in line). Onboarding remotely at the onset of a pandemic was no easy feat, and Jessie took it in stride. She came to us highly recommended as a seasoned pro with over a decade of experience in high-level administration.

We love Jessie for her gentle and empathetic presence in the office, and her sharp organizational skills. Coming from the public health world, her expertise in client care and confidentiality are a huge asset to our team.

If you haven’t met her yet, Jessie is the first friendly face you’ll see when you walk in to AF. We can’t wait for you to meet!

18 Mar

Continuity of Operations during COVID-19

Dear friends:

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, we updated our technology to give our team the capability to work remotely. We didn’t know we’d need it so soon, and have a few small pieces still to implement. This should all be completed by early next week, but in the meantime, our team is taking advantage of our new capabilities.

With that in mind, we continue to be available to provide you with service regarding your existing insurance, to continue working through the design and implementation of new insurance currently under way, and to start any new planning and insurance reviews. We can easily arrange any meetings using screen sharing and teleconferencing to avoid the need for face to face meetings.

A number of our core values are being put to good use at this time – leading with heart, being thoughtfully driven to do more, and stretching to change.

This is an unprecedented situation for all of us, but rest assured that your needs continue to be our priority.

Your Allan Financial Family

28 Jan

The biggest challenge

Making room at the table for women in this industry.

16 Jan

Giving Globally and Locally: Introducing Kiva 250

Giving Globally and Locally: Introducing Kiva 250

We have some exciting things to announce at the top of this new decade. Firstly, we’ve now loaned over $850,000 to women in the Global South through our Kiva project. Secondly, we launched a new component of the program in 2019 that we’d like to tell you about: Kiva 250.

To integrate social giving further into the fibre of our business, we now automatically loan $250 for every insurance policy we sell. In 2019, we settled over 230 new policies, which means we added almost $60,000 to the total lent last year, thanks to clients like you!

75% of you have also chosen to keep your money in the lending pot, rather than accepting repayment at the end of the loan year. This means we’re able to re-loan the money to new entrepreneurs, exponentially grow the program and do a whole lot of good.

Thanks to your generosity, we’re hoping to hit one million dollars lent in 2020. Can you believe it?! We can’t!


It’ll be a close call, but with your help, we can celebrate this milestone. It’s beyond what we ever dreamed for this project.

That’s what we’re doing on the global level. At the local level, we’ve also decided to donate an additional $250 for every policy bought by Bowen Island clients to the Foxglove Fund, our endowed fund through the Bowen Island Community Foundation that provides bursaries for the Bowen Children’s Centre.

More information about the Foxglove Fund and the Kiva Project can be found here.

28 Nov

Adulting IX: Financial Goals & Cashflow Planning

Adulting with Julia

We were excited to finish off our series with financial planner Julia Chung, who workshopped how to set financial goals based on our own unique values and priorities.

We discussed things like:

  • Differences between a scarcity mindset (budgeting) and a growth mindset (cashflow planning)
  • How to be conscientious with spending and counteract forces that contribute to overspending and shame
  • Goal setting and aligning our cashflow with those goals

More photos from the event are below!

Julia’s Adulting Advice

Julia taught us that budgets are usually fear-based: we create them when we feel we don’t have enough. This can lead to an unsustainable or unrealistic allocation of our financial resources.

She advises to start your financial planning by filling out your ‘wheel of life.’ From there, prioritize areas you’d most like to improve, figure out what the gaps are between where you are now and where you’d like to be, and then set specific goals. This approach aligns your finances with your values, and this synergy is motivating!

We also learned that “should” is a swear word. If you’re saving for something because you think you should, you won’t be motivated.

Take the time to outline the specifics of your financial goals. “I save enough to take a vacation somewhere warm next year” isn’t as exciting as “I learn to surf in Sámara, Costa Rica in Winter 2020.” Experts recommend that at least 20% of your after-tax income be spent on lifestyle and entertainment, allowing you to enjoy your life.

Keeping focused on your financial goals is difficult – our culture promotes mindless consumption and it’s hard to work against this system. Goal-setting and being a thoughtful consumer are two tools we can use in response.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to finances. There isn’t one way to invest, one set percentage to put aside for retirement. The answer starts with you putting in the work to determine what your values and goals are.


Julia’s Presentation

Event Photos

29 Oct

Kiva is Celebrating the Big Billion!

Kiva is Celebrating the Big Billion!

This month, Kiva celebrated hitting 1 billion dollars in micro-loans to women across the Global South. And we at AF are celebrating that over $800,000 of that billion was lent by our community! Thanks to the generosity of our lenders, we’re looking forward to hitting the 1 million mark in the coming months! This is beyond what we ever thought was possible.

We couldn’t agree more with Kiva when they say: “Lenders like you continue to prove that fueling her future means fueling our future. Investing in women is one of the strongest levers we can use to advance global development for everyone. When we uplift women, we uplift entire communities.”

03 Oct

Adulting VIII: Investing & Financial Planning

Adulting with Dave (Round Two!)

Investing kept coming up as something people wanted to know more about. So, we brought back financial advisor Dave Sweeney to help us sort through all the noise.

We discussed things like:

  • Some of our individual money stories and what specifics Dave would have us consider in trying to invest for our future
  • Thought-provoking investing guidelines

As a bonus you’ll find photos from the event below!

Dave’s Adulting Advice

“The three most important things when it comes to investing – time, money and rate of return. The only one of these that we can’t make more of is time. Being Gen Y is an advantage because we have more of that elusive time! There’s no cheaper time to start saving than today.”

“Don’t fear the talk of a possible recession! At our age, we can take advantage of the longer time period we have to invest. A recession is also a good time to consider investing aggressively.”

“Between a RRSP and a TFSA, don’t use either for actual living expenses. But for long-term goals, the RRSP is better, and for short-term goals, the TFSA is the way to go.”

“Don’t make investment decisions based on emotions.”

“Yes, diversify your investment plan. Really.”

“Don’t count on an inheritance. Folks are living much longer now and eating up their savings in the last few years.”

“Have the long-term “financial chat” with your parents. Don’t leave any ambiguity. It will help all of you.”

A tip from his earlier talk that was just so good, it bears repeating – “To have enough to live on in retirement, when you’re under the age of 35, put away 10% of your gross income every month, before 45, put away 20%, and over 45, it needs to be 30%.”


Event Photos

30 Aug

Our Favourite Day of the Year!

Bowfest 2019!

Our community of Bowen Island comes together at the end of every summer to put on the annual community festival, aptly named “Bowfest.” We have participated for more than a decade now, by sponsoring and volunteering to man the rides. This year, we were responsible for the inflatable Bungee Run that had kids straining to race against one another.

Giving out our signature Enjoy Your Life t-shirts celebrating each years event, and spotting these around the lower Mainland throughout the year has become a tradition for a generation of Bowen Islander, big and small. We would LOVE to get tagged if you see one of these t-shirts out and about. On facebook we are @allanfinancial and on instagram we are @enjoyyourlife.af

If you were there you know all about it, but if not, you can tell from the photos that we had a blast catching up with friends and clients all day long!