A day in the life of an advisor … seven years later

Her day's outline may look the same, but a lot has happened to change how her typical day unfolds

A day in the life of an advisor … seven years later

Wealth Professional shared a day in the life of Marta Stitler, owner of Pillar Financial Security with Worldsource Financial Management Inc., now in Waterdown, Ontario, seven years ago. While her day retains a similar shape, a lot has happened in the past seven years to change her life and how her day unfolds.

6:00 a.m. I wake, make my tea, and check BNN and the market futures before checking my texts and emails and forwarding them to my staff. I then take Oscar, my 100-pound boxer mastiff, for a walk. My practice has tripled in size to almost $90 million in the past seven years since I’ve purchased two books. I couldn’t handle it all without the new technology that is so much part of our lives now.

8:30 a.m. I’ve moved my operations, so head into my new pillar offices in the beautiful century-old stone building in downtown Waterdown, which I share with Brown Financial. After 18 months of working from home, it’s great to be with peers and staff again.

9:15 a.m. I review client requests, upcoming meetings, and office issues with my executive assistant, Vanessa Gangaram, and office administrator, Brianne Vassallo. Our use of technology has escalated, especially in the pandemic. We used to require nominee accounts, LTAs, or client signatures on all paperwork. We now use DocuSign for about 90% of our transactions. Turnaround is faster, simpler for most clients, and more efficient. It also leaves us time to schedule a staff viewing of the Worldsource webinar regarding 2022 know-your-product requirements to solidify our preparations for the new regulations, then we discuss creating a new client video. We’ve been providing client videos to our Mailchimp list of clients since the lockdown began in March 2020. Initially, it was weekly, then monthly, to reassure them that we’ve still been working hard for them from home. Now, we send our clients the video much less frequently. Brianne also regularly posts a dozen articles a month on our social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

10:00 a.m. I meet clients on Zoom at 10, 11, and 2, which means less driving, less client inconvenience, and more time to meet more clients. It also means I can communicate more easily with clients in other provinces, since I’m licensed in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario. My office sends the meeting agenda and updated client documents the day before, so I can review those with my clients. In between Zoom meetings, I eat lunch at my desk, reading emails and statements and reviewing files.

3:00 p.m. I return calls and chat with wholesalers, then prepare for my Rotary Club social later that night.

5:00 p.m. I leave the office to head back to my north Hamilton home. No workout today, which could explain the COVID 5 that I’ve gained.

6:00 p.m. I host a small rotary social at home, so we can participate in the larger Club Zoom social. We’ve been meeting online since the pandemic began, but still raised $30,000 from various events in the past year to support children and youth in Hamilton. We’re now planning another fund-raiser, an outdoor winterfest, in the new year and we’re continuing to partner with a Mexican club to provide clean drinking water and cement floors to replace the dirt ones in some homes.

8:00 p.m. I enjoy a late dinner at home with my partner, Pedro.

9:00 p.m. I review client emails. They text more now, even though I prefer email.

10:30 p.m. I go to sleep, so I’m refreshed to start it all over again tomorrow.