Behind the scenes with WP's Top 50 Advisors in Canada

WP gets down to the nitty gritty with number 8 on this prestigious list, as he shares his insights on today's market in a candid Q&A session.

Behind the scenes with WP's Top 50 Advisors in Canada

Name: John De Goey

Company: Burgeonvest Bick Securities Limited (BBSL)

Revenue: $440,000

No. of Clients: 85

Q. What is your top tip for other advisors?

A: Use reasonable assumptions when doing your illustrations. In particular, if you’re using high-cost products, make sure your projections take those costs into account. If your projects cost 1 per cent less and your fees are the same, it stands to reason that your clients’ returns will be about 1 per cent higher – which is massively impactful over an investor’s lifetime.

Q. What makes a good advisor?

A: I incorporate actual empirical evidence, peer reviewed research, into my recommendations. That means using reasonable assumptions and teaching my clients about the importance of cost. I’m also a big believer in informed consent, meaning I try hard to help clients understand the trade-offs involved in the choices in front of them.

Q. What do you like most about being an advisor?

A: I like that I can help people achieve their goals – not only the financial ones – on their terms and based on their values and priorities. I get to work with people who have a wide range of perspectives and experiences. Many are experts in their fields and it is a treat to be able to work with people who are obviously competent in their field, yet simultaneously in need of advice in something that isn’t second nature to them.

Q. What has been the best thing about the last 12 months?

A: The fact that people out there seem to “get it” now. I’ve been talking about professionalism, transparency and the alignment of advisor and client interests for over a decade now. I’m finally getting the sense that the message is taking root. I love it when a plan comes together!

Q. What are your top tips for gaining, and retaining, clients?

A: Pay attention and stay connected. Clients need to know that you’ve got their back and that you’re always making recommendations based on what’s best for them.

Q. What targets do you have for the coming year?

A: Play a significant role in getting the industry to ban embedded compensation and adopt a statutory best interests standard. Admittedly, this might take more than a year, but these are big and impactful goals, too.

Q. What has been the biggest challenge for advisors in the last 12 months?

A: Nothing springs to mind. I suspect it’ll be important to temper expectations.