It’s now been one year since we convened our very first MD Physician Council meeting, yet October 2019 feels like a lifetime ago. Who would have thought that it would be our last in-person meeting for the foreseeable future? Or that discussions about physician health and wellness would take on an even more dire tone due to a pandemic? Or that financial literacy would become an even greater imperative with markets in flux and incomes unsteady?
The fourth MD Physician Council meeting took place (virtually, of course) on the first day of October. COVID-19 still weighs heavily on all facets of our lives, and physicians are, understandably, feeling the weight of a pandemic that still has no end in sight. Personal finances are a topic of increased concern — with November designated as Financial Literacy Month, there was no better time to focus on an area where MD can help physicians and their families gain confidence and equip them to make informed decisions about their finances.
Indeed, many of our clients have taken more of an interest in their investment portfolios lately. At the same time, many of you are letting us know that you have little knowledge about your investments, or time for them — an understandable concern. Rest assured, our MD Advisors* are here to help. But we’ve heard loud and clear that you want more in terms of education, insight and options. The Council is making these things priorities, and key topics this month touched on investing responsibly and exploring the Scotiabank Healthcare+ Physician Banking program.
As part of a renewed focus on financial literacy, MD is strengthening our responsible investing strategy. So, we asked our Council to help determine how this strategy should look when the rubber meets the road.
According to our recent survey, many physicians consider ethical and social responsibility to be meaningful issues when they invest. To that end, our strategy seeks to maintain a strong investment return while influencing companies as much as possible to be better stewards of the environment and to exhibit good corporate behaviour. Finding the right balance is the key challenge.
As our Council informed us, it’s not a matter of “pressing play.” There are so many layers of responsibilities we hope the companies we invest in are considering. At MD, our mission is to focus on the issues that matter most to our clients — and see where MD can gradually effect change in a way that doesn’t hurt returns.
In doing so, we will aim to build financial literacy among our community as it relates to this important area. It’s our responsibility to help clients align their investments with their personal values as much as we can.
Physician banking program
This pursuit of financial literacy also underpins the Council’s request to learn more about the Scotiabank Healthcare+ Physician Banking program. By increasing their financial literacy and understanding about MD and Scotiabank products and investments, the Council members are guiding MD on how we can best present financial planning to clients.
New Investing 101 Program
During Financial Literacy Month, our team is pleased to roll out new resources to help Canadian physicians gain awareness and insight into their banking and investment needs. These “Investing 101” materials are provided as one element of our response to physicians and family members who have asked us to play a greater role in education. We’re planning some “Investing 202 and beyond” resources and would like to know what you’d like us to focus on. I promise that we’ll continue to listen to your feedback so that we can deliver the financial information that meets your individual needs.
The next Council meeting will take place in December, when we’ll continue to discuss financial literacy — the core of our strategy.
As always, if you have specific feedback to share, please don’t hesitate to contact your MD Advisor and/or our Council via MDPhysicianCouncil@md.ca at any time.
Wishing you and your families a safe few months ahead as we close out this truly unprecedented year.
* MD Advisor refers to an MD Management Limited Financial Consultant or Investment Advisor (in Quebec), or an MD Private Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager.
Banking and credit products and services are offered by The Bank of Nova Scotia “Scotiabank”. Credit and lending products are subject to credit approval by Scotiabank.
MD Financial Management (MD) provides financial products and services, the MD Family of Funds and investment counselling services through the MD Group of Companies. For a detailed list of these companies, visit md.ca.