Samuel Waxman of Millennial Financial Group is part of the Wealth Professional Canada Young Guns 2016

Managing partner and financial advisor
Millennial Financial Group

Even in an industry that is constantly evolving, change can’t come soon enough for some – including Samuel Waxman. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario in 2011, Waxman went to work in his father’s insurance firm for close to three years before deciding to branch out on his own and start Millennial Financial Group in December 2014 with partner Ryan Tkatch. 

“We realized that the average age of an advisor in the insurance industry was 58 – we were 26 at the time,” Waxman says. “We felt there wasn’t a place for young advisors to go to get the proper technology training or education that they needed. There also wasn’t a place for younger clients to go. So that’s why we decided to open up a shop targeting the millennial generation and using younger advisors.”

Seeing a gap in the market is one thing, but following through on that opportunity is quite another – so far, the risk has delivered great reward for the young entrepreneur. “We opened with three advisors, and since then have added two more as part of the mortgage division,” he says. “We target start-ups and tech companies that a lot of younger people work for, and the business is growing rapidly.” 

In an industry where experience is often valued above all else, building a reputation and getting ahead can be difficult for younger advisors. For Waxman, the key has been to try to change how the game is played. 

“It’s very hard for young advisors to break in, especially if they’re not getting the right training,” he says. “With technology changing so much, the training we receive needs to reflect that. For sales and marketing, the same methods that worked 50 years ago won’t work forever. It needs to be updated. My firm, for example, does not do any cold-calling; we spend a lot of time focusing on social media instead.”

Another generational difference – and an area that new advisors can use to set themselves apart from older colleagues – is having a business card heavy with acronyms. “Designations are very important for the business, especially for younger advisors,” Waxman says. “I have my CHS, and I’m about to get my CLU and CFP. We might be younger, but we will have a lot of education behind us.”