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Time to do the write thing

In what began as a bucket-list project six years ago, financial planner Bill McBay put a check mark beside “write a book” when he completed Myths & Truths of Financial Planning Throughout Your Life. Having some additional time on his hands of late, he found himself delving back into the project, penning a second edition.

“My career changed and that kind of morphed into giving me some time to write the book. So, I started to write. And then in my industry, if you write a financial planning book, you have to get approved by the company that sponsors your license – it took me six years to get that book approved,” said McBay, noting the first iteration was a low-key undertaking.

“I had 50 copies that I used to keep tables balancing and gave away to friends and family as gifts. And it wasn’t until COVID happened that I was able to finally get it approved by the company that sponsored my license. And then I wrote an extra chapter just to make it second-edition worthy.” 

The launch for the book didn’t go quite as McBay once envisioned six years ago or even a couple of months ago, but “it was great” he says of the November 28 online event, taken in virtually by some 150 people.

On the night the book was released, there was a stream on the T.E.A.M. Financial Solutions YouTube account.

“Obviously, I’d hoped to have a book launch and a function like a banquet hall, have people come in with catered meals, and speeches, everything else. And obviously COVID didn’t allow for that. So, then we were going to do a smaller group and do a live virtual party, and have it videotaped, streaming live so people can see it,”  said McBay, who suffered some pangs of regret for missing out on the traditional event.

As for the book itself, he notes it covers off a number of misconceptions, including putting off financial planning until you are ready when, in reality, it should be something you start focusing on immediately. Nor do people need piles of money to have a financial planner, he added.

“The book talks about starting a new relationship, having a child, saving for education, paying down debt – planning for your ultimate demise, with your estate planning, being an executor. And then, of course, the new chapter is about market volatility during a global pandemic.”

McBay notes the current climate is a good time to think about financial planning issues.

“I think the pandemic is going to help a lot of people. In the average family where people have continued to work throughout the pandemic, they’re working from home,” he said, explaining that simple spending costs such as gas and getting dressed up daily have disappeared. 

“There’s other savings that you could see from not working, but they continue to earn their income. The market went down, but at one point it will tend to recover. The markets they go down, but all of our real estate went up. So, in this area, we had our overall net worth increase. So, the pandemic has really shone a light on planning, as well.”

Sales of the book will help support charitable groups. McBay has targeted three – the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Bereaved Families of Ontario Midwestern Region and the Kin Club of Woolwich – and says he’s open to hearing from other organizations.

Books can be ordered online on the Myths and Truths website, through e-book platforms and Amazon, as well as in person at the Elmira Home Hardware and Grammy’s Boutique and Espresso Bar in the Village of Wellesley, with McBay open to other locations.

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