In-depth with No. 2 from WP's Top 50 Advisors in Canada

WP gets down to the nitty gritty with number 2 on this prestigious list, as she shares her insights on today's market in a candid Q&A.


Name: Léony Degraaf Hastings

Company: deGraaf Financial Strategies

Revenue: $250,000

No. of Clients: 225

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

A: I am looking forward to 2014, increasing the number of education seminars I offer, touching base with centres of influence and increasing sales to at least $300,000 of income.

Q. What makes a good advisor?

A: A good advisor listens to what the client says, or doesn’t say, and formulates recommendations to best match the client’s goals and family dynamics. A good planner is knowledgeable, trustworthy and client focused.

Q. What do you like most about being a financial planner?

A: I like the satisfaction I receive from clients when I have put their minds at ease over their retirement or estate plans. They are typically very grateful for the guidance, experience and solutions I can provide.

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

A: That it is over! Sentiment over the past year seems to have been a little gloomy. I’m also happy to have my CFP studies behind me, which have been a big distraction over the past two years.

Q. What is your top tip for other advisors?

A: If you listen to your clients and always put your clients needs first, you can’t go wrong!

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

A: I offer a complimentary consultation so the client and I can get an idea if we are a good fit for each other. Once they are a client, they know they can reach out to me for guidance on any financial matter. I pride myself on ...treating clients how I would like to be treated, as a valued client.

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

A: The unknown of how industry changes will affect our practices and our ability to deliver comprehensive advice to all clients of all asset levels. I don’t require minimum account sizes, as I believe no matter how much someone has been able to save, that is all they have and it is very important to them. I believe all clients deserve the same level of advice, regardless of their asset base.

Q. What are the biggest issues facing the financial advice industry today?

A: I don’t feel regulators are obtaining enough input from advisors in the field on how or if the industry requires changes.

Related Stories:

In-depth with No. 3 from WP's Top 50 Advisors in Canada

In-depth with No. 4 from WP's Top 50 Advisors in Canada

In-depth with No. 5 from WP's Top 50 Advisors in Canada