Best Financial Advisors in Eastern Canada | 5-Star Advisors
Best Financial Advisors in Eastern Canada | 5-Star Advisors

Service first

It’s evident that the difference maker for any advisor to truly stand out is service. Things such as returning calls and sending regular statements are standard practice, and don’t move the needle for Canadians today. 

Wealth Professional’s 5-Star Advisors 2024 are those who forge genuine connections with their clients, understand how they want their life to look, and transport their clients’ vision into their financial plans.

Best Financial Advisors go beyond

Julie Littlechild, founder and CEO of Absolute Engagement, has worked with and studied successful financial advisors and their clients for more than 25 years. Based in Toronto, Littlechild underlines the approach top advisors must take today and how it has changed. 

She says, “They’re thinking beyond just dollars and cents, and really looking at money in the context of the lives of their clients. It’s thinking more and increasingly about the range of services they provide, the depth of support, really acting as a leader for their clients, and helping them not only reach their financial goals but to understand their goals and inspire them to get there.” 

Best Financial Advisors in Eastern Canada | 5-Star Advisors

For such a key role in the financial industry, the best financial advisors today need to alter the relationship with their clients in terms of how income is generated. 

“The modern advisor is certainly very different in terms of their outlook on that. The days of just making money off people are probably long gone,” Littlechild explains. “They’ve recognized that there’s a very tight connection between doing right for your clients and doing right for the business.” 

Despite being trained and having extensive expertise, the leading advisors need more. It’s about developing an appreciation of what clients are seeking. 

Littlechild says, “It’s the ability to understand the goal behind the goal and the things that are getting in the way of achieving those goals, as well as understanding the dynamics within a household. These are soft skills and I don’t know any advisors who are good at what they do, who don’t have those skills at this point.” 

Best Financial Advisors are specialists

A trend among WPC’s 5-Star Advisors is to explore niches and become experts in them. This enables them to be a port of call for clients who are seeking a particular skillset. 

Examples of some of these niches include: 

  • pre-retirement

  • post-retirement

  • philanthropy

  • estate planning

  • stock market investing

  • business owners

Julie Littlechild Absolute Engagement
“If we map what the great advisors are doing, it’s the ones taking it to a different level and thinking about a personalized and truly engaging experience, and who aren’t just measuring it based on some tick boxes”
Julie LittlechildAbsolute Engagement

Littlechild explains why some advisors may not be attracted to this strategy. 

“I’m a big advocate of having a clear niche. I don’t think a lot of advisors do because it’s a scary place for them to be. They feel like they’re saying no to something rather than yes.” 

However, she lays out why in 2024, trying to master all niches is counterproductive. Inevitably, it will result in lesser service being afforded to clients. 

“The fundamental reason in terms of saying a niche is important is that you just can’t build experience that is differentiated, personalized, and deeper around the needs of an incredibly diverse set of clients,” says Littlechild. “As soon as you start trying to be all things to all people, you water down the client experience.”

Best Financial Advisors mirror clients

A stereotypical trope is that experience is an important component of being a 5-Star Advisor. 

The qualification often missing is the nature of that experience. This is why younger advisors have become a bigger part of the industry. 

“The successful younger advisors that we see are targeting younger clients. Compared to more mature advisors, they’re far better positioned because they’re going to build an experience that responds to younger clients. The top advisors reflect the needs and life stages of their clients,” Littlechild says. 

Absolute Engagement’s data shows that what is important to clients is having a connection around values and investment philosophy. Being able to appreciate a client’s stage of life and the resulting challenges that come with it enables advisors to be more effective in proposing the appropriate strategies. 

Littlechild comments on how the leading-edge advisors are using systems to assist them with this. 

“There’s been an interesting convergence of tech, not just being about efficiency but connection and personalization. It’s helping them to get to know clients on a deeper level or track and understand their goals.” 

And she continues, “The data is telling us that there’s a lot of client needs and only some advisors are actually leaning into those, which is probably one of the major differences with the best advisors.”

Examples of excellence

Respondents of WPC’s survey shared how 2024’s 5-Star Advisors have gone above and beyond to deliver outstanding service. 

  • “During husband’s recent illness, checked in regularly to see how he was doing and to offer support and assistance in any form. Compassion well beyond what would be expected.”

  • “Connects at regular intervals, is always responsive to my concerns or questions, and consistently demonstrates a personalized, caring attitude toward me as an investor, but also as an individual. He understands my thinking about my finances within my investment portfolio.” 

  • “Helped set up separate investment accounts for the kids within my portfolio.”

  • “Been on call 24/7 to help coach me through a major career and life transition. His constant encouragement and reminders to invest in long-term visions and goals has helped land me where I was meant to be.”

  • “Helped us figure out our entire financial picture as we moved to the Middle East and then back to Canada. Sought to understand our situation for savings and investment planning across these very different ecosystems. Not only gives sound advice but really seeks to understand us as people and relates well to our family circumstances and needs. Far surpassed the compensation he receives from our business.” 

  • “Genuine care and concern of the whole family unit.”


What clients want

WPC’s survey respondents also shared what additional features and services they would like to see offered by their advisors. 

  • “Seamless integration with banking, though our advisor does make banking liaison as easy as possible.” 

  • “Better online tools/portal from the firm, which they are currently working on.” 

  • “Provide tax preparation services as they are already providing the high-level tax planning strategies for my financial plan.”

  • “More focus and attention should be placed toward educating clients and the public at large.” 

  • “Enhanced offerings of private placement investments.” 

Best Financial Advisors in Eastern Canada | 5-Star Advisors


Best Financial Advisors in Eastern Canada | 5-Star Advisors 

  • Brian Himmelman
    Himmelman and Associates
  • Catherine Metzger Silver
    Edward Jones Kentville
    Edward Jones
  • Colin White
    Verecan Capital Management
    iA Private Wealth
  • Dan LeBlanc
    Verecan Capital Management
    iA Private Wealth
  • Darren Ryan
    Ryco Financial
  • Dennis Graves
    Graves Financial Advisory Group
    CIBC Wood Gundy
  • Graham Roy
    Affinity Financial Group
    Harbourfront Wealth Management
  • Jonathan Graves
    CIBC Private Wealth
  • Kevin Hannay
    Hannay Group Private Wealth Management
    Wellington-Altus Private Wealth
  • Michelle Randell
    Randell Financial Group
    Scotia Wealth Management
  • Shannon Tatlock
    Red Sky Financial
  • Thomas Cook
    Affinity Financial Group
    Harbourfront Wealth Management


Wealth Professional conducted its third annual search for
5-Star Advisors in Canada. Our goal was to answer one question: Who are the best advisors in Eastern Canada when it comes to acting in their clients’ interests? From a diverse cross-section of financial professionals, we got the opportunity to spotlight remarkable examples of passion, dedication, and commitment. 

From January 29 to February 23, the WP team undertook a rigorous marketing and survey process, leveraging its connections to thousands of readers across the country. Readers were asked to nominate their advisors who gave them the best support based on five key criteria.  

From over 200 nominations and with input from the WP editorial team, a shortlist of 12 advisors was created. The 5-Star Advisors are recognized based not on AUM but rather the service provided to their clients.