– Story by Darcy Nybo Photography by Don Denton
Dale Collins decided to become a financial planner the moment she heard Jim Ainsley describe what he did for clients.
“We were working at a credit union together at the time,” Dale said from her West Shore office. “I began taking courses at night and eventually moved over to the financial planning side of the business. After completing my Certified Financial Planning designation in 2005, I decided to start my own practice to ensure I had access to the best products for my clients.”
Dale bought and built her West Shore office space in the summer of 2014. She built the space adjacent to it the following year, securing the opportunity for the continued growth of her practice.
Dale was born in New Brunswick, lived in Calgary, and moved to the Island in 1991. She raised both her daughters on the West Shore. “I love working and living on the West Shore,” she said. “Hiking trails, parks and beaches are abundant. I spend a ton of time at Thetis Lake and Langford Lake walking with friends. East Sooke Regional Park, the Esquimalt Lagoon and the trails around Royal Roads are also some of my favourites.”
Another thing Dale loves about the West Shore are the people. “Despite its growth, the West Shore still has a friendly small town feel about it. Local businesses really support each other.”
As an advocate for Youth Mental Health, in recent years Dale has been working closely with the Children’s Health Foundation, specifically focusing on the Foundry because of how they support youth in our community.
Another cause that is very close to Dale’s heart is the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “I was recently made aware of the research gap for women’s heart health. Two thirds of all research is done on men. Women are dying unnecessarily and we need to make strides to close the research gap.” Dale also supports Ovarian Cancer Canada, having lost her sister to ovarian cancer in 2015.
The giving doesn’t stop there. Dale supports the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, Goldstream Foodbank, West Shore Rotary, Soroptimist International, and many local sports organizations.
Part of Dale’s giving involves a life insurance policy on herself, with Victoria Hospice as the beneficiary. “Most people don’t know they can do this, and the premiums are tax deductible. You can expand the gift you are giving with the same amount of money.”
When it’s time to unwind, you’ll usually find Dale outside. “I love spending time at Lake Cowichan out on the water paddle boarding, and in the winter skiing at Mount Washington,” she said.
Dale also has a great sense of humour. “While sponsoring a local dragon boat team, they jokingly asked me to try and waterski behind the boat. I really didn’t think it would work, but I tried it, and actually waterskied behind a dragon boat!”
When it comes to financial planning, Dale has some sound advice for everyone, no matter what their age. “Start planning now, retirement is long! I have many clients living into their nineties.”
She also knows the importance of a good estate plan. “I can make it really easy for my clients to pass their wealth from one generation to the next. Family dynamics are complicated, and giving wishes may not always be equal,” Dale said. “A good estate plan can minimize taxes, and give you piece of mind knowing that your wishes will be followed. Another huge benefit to some pre-planning is the ease. People don’t realize how painful settling an estate can be if things are not set up properly. Usually the executor or executrix is a loved one, and in a lot of cases, the job can take years.”
Dale loves what she does and looks forward to going to work every day. “I love my job because I get to help people. Helping my clients plan for their life’s goals, like buying a home, retiring or leaving a legacy is a very fulfilling part of what I do,” she said. “And there’s no better place to do that, than here on the West Shore.”
Daily Uniform: Basically any dress from Calvin Klein. I run hot so I prefer sleeveless dresses.
Favourite pair of shoes: Freepeople Clog
Favourite Piece of Jewellery: A ring that I had custom designed
Favourite Accessory: The pearl necklace my sister gave me on her wedding day.
Favourite Watch: Marc Jacobs
Necessary Beauty Item: Dr. Renaud’s Global Defense and Natigéne