Stephen Judd of Investors Group Financial Services is part of the Wealth Professional Canada Young Guns 2016.

Regional director
Investors Group Financial Services

Staying with one firm and climbing the proverbial career ladder is no longer a popular trajectory, but for Stephen Judd, staying put at Investors Group for a decade has meant rising to the rank of regional director with the company – among other advantages. 

“I really like the people I work with,” Judd says. “They really helped me out when I was learning the job. I also like the vision of the company, especially on the financial planning side of things. I envision myself as a person offering a financial planning service, whereas the products – stocks and bonds – are more a means to an end.”

As for his investment philosophy, Judd believes playing it safe usually works out best in the long run. “Typically I don’t deal with risky assets,” he says. “I build a solid foundation for my clients, so if they want to trade in risky assets, they do that in their own time. The cornerstone for wealth creation for me is dividend pay and equity, whether it’s Canadian, US or European. Really, it’s nothing cool or sexy – it can be boring, but in times of volatility, it will always pay out a yield or a dividend.”

Having a decade of experience also has allowed Judd a keen insight into the business in light of its current state of flux. 

“Change is always tough because people are naturally averse to change,” he says. “I don’t think the changes coming in with CRM2 are a bad thing at all – I think they’re great. People need to see the value for what they’re paying. CRM2 is probably the first step; I expect CRM3 and CRM4 – they are constantly realigning what the model looks like. But in places like the UK and Australia, I don’t think the changes they brought in had the effect they wanted.”

Keeping up-to-date with shifting regulations is often a job in itself, but Judd hopes the effort will be worth it when all is said and done. 

“I’ve been in the industry 10 years now, and there has been much more change in the last three years than the previous seven,” he says. “Typically, though, I think the regulators do a good job, and they do what’s best for the industry and the Canadian public.”