Tim Butler of Investors Group is part of the Wealth Professional Canada Young Guns 2017.

Financial consultant
Years in the industry: 2.5

Having graduated from UPEI with a degree in economics, Tim Butler was working with the Island Storm of the National Basketball League of Canada when an encounter set him on a completely different career path. Seeking sponsorship for the team, he approached the regional director for Investors Group, who convinced him to instead join the organization as a financial consultant.

That was in 2014, so Butler is still in the process of learning his trade in the wealth management space. He reflects on what it takes for a new entrant to prosper in this industry.

“Building a book of business from scratch is a scary proposition, and I have been through months where my revenue did not surpass my expenses,” he says. “I can see some institutions moving toward more of a legal model in how they bring in new blood – hiring young associates and giving them a base income in the first few years until they can build their practice to the point they can be sustainable.”

It’s been challenging for Butler to gain a foothold with Investors Group, but the hard work of those frustrating early days is starting to pay off. Part of his baptism by fire has been the industry’s shift when it comes to the compensation model for financial advice.

“A great change for myself as a young consultant was our company’s move to eliminate DSCs completely from our product shelf,” he says. “It was a move that was needed to keep us in line with our competitors and eliminate those uncomfortable early redemption fee conversations.”

This new fee-conscious environment means advisors need to be able to demonstrate value at all times – but this is a positive, in Butler’s view.

“If you do not build value in the clients’ eyes, how can you justify the fee they see on their statements?” he says. “A quote I use with my clients when talking about fees is: ‘Price is only a concern in the absence of value.’”