2013 saw a growing number of clients flock from independent advisors to those toiling for the Big Five. 2014 won’t likely buck that trend.
Some argue the phenomenon prevails due to the aggressive acquisition strategy of banks, which have, over the last five years, gobbled up independents like candy. But, what is the real reason behind highly sought-after, well-heeled investors taking flight and building nests elsewhere?
One veteran client’s candid answers may surprise you and convince you to rejig your own approach.
An investor for much of his adult life (initially in GICs), Jon Nicholls, 68, is no rookie when it comes to his financial goals and the tools to achieve them. The Niagara-on-the-Lake resident, and former owner of a medium-sized, Toronto multimedia firm, understands the industry and its fluctuations. In his 30-odd years of investing, he’s taken risks and has sought valuable guidance from an advisor since 1985.
The secret to selecting an advisor
“The real key about having an investment advisor is someone who really understands what your goals are, is a strong enough person to tell you whether or not your goals are realistic, and who has a strong enough personality to be able to guide you along an agreed path and not allow you to get sidetracked along the way,” explains Nicholls.
For more than 20 years, he settled down with an established Toronto-based independent investment firm. A friend’s wife was vice-president there, cementing the trust so vital to any business relationship.
“I gave her (his advisor) some money to invest purely on the basis that I met, liked and knew her, and also because I’d heard good things about (the firm),” he says. “Frankly, I was happy, based purely on the fact that the money just kept coming in. For many years my investments showed reasonably consistent growth. The occasional bad year was followed by an exceptionally good one, so despite the fluctuations, I was getting what I thought were above- average returns.” (continued.)