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AFFINITY FINANCIAL GROUP
Years in the industry:
Thomas Cook sees a lot of grey area around the role of a financial advisor, which he believes is hurting the profession. The Nova Scotia-based principal of Affinity Financial Group has strong feelings about advisors who prioritize their own earning power over the needs of their clients. “The industry needs to turn its focus to providing quality, client-first solutions, as opposed to focusing on product sales that help the bottom line of a parent company,” he says.
Now running his own operation in Halifax, Cook values the independence of such a venture. In recent years, he has moved away from a commission model, and the switch has given him greater freedom to pursue his clients’ best interests. “I am not pushed to use proprietary products like most of the industry,” he says. “Clients seem to like the transparency of costs, as well as the mindset of hiring someone to manage their wealth, as opposed to their advisor being compensated by selling them a product.”
Nearing a decade in the business, Cook is approaching veteran status even though he’s still in his early 30s. He believes certain changes in the industry have been a long time coming, and he hopes to see professional standards for financial advisors raised across the board.
“I hope they institute a minimum education level and clear disclosure requirements so clients are aware of what is available to them based on their advisors’ licensing or education level,” he says. “Currently there are no disclosure requirements. Something needs to be done to make this completely apparent before engaging in business.”
Affinity Financial Group
90 Lovett Lake Court, Suite 301 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3S 0H6
(902)377-8000 / (902)832-9748