New and recent immigrants are the fastest growing segment of this country's affluent, presenting an opportunity for advisors. But those seeking to win them over, may need to up their game and find areas of specialization.
The Statue of Liberty welcomes “poor,” “wretched” and “huddling masses,” but recent immigrants to North America are now far more likely to be wealthy, sophisticated and urbane. A new study by BMO Harris Private Banking shows that new and recent Canadians now account for about a third of the country’s affluent population.
As the fastest growing segment of the mass affluent in Canada, these new Canadians present an opportunity for advisors. But those seeking to win them over, may need to raise their game and find areas of specialization.
“One bit of advice is that these people are more aware and more educated than earlier generations of immigrants: they really know what’s happening, they are educated and sophisticated, so you really need to know your stuff,” says Anita Dalakoti, an multilingual Indian-born advisor in Vancouver specializing in insurance and investment solutions.
The study by BMO Harris Private Banking revealed that about 24% of those who are considered affluent, having investible income of $1 million or more, are immigrants to Canada while an additional 24% or describe themselves as first-generation Canadians with at least one parent born outside of Canada. Among this group, 68% reported that their wealth was self-made.
This demographic shift has provided a boon for advisors with well-established connections in immigrant communities. Vishu Dhiri , advisor with Global Securities in Surrey, has a strong center of influence in the South Asian community. He has been seeing a definite increase in the client base and their wallet size over the past decade. “I would say 75-80% of my clients are first generation immigrants and the balance are second or third generation.”
Part of the shift is because Canada major cities score high on global livability indexes, attracting wealthy immigrants seeking lifestyle benefits. In addition, for several decades Canada has eased entry for skilled professionals as well as “business class”
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