Top tips from our top 50 financial advisors

This article compiles insights from some of the professionals featured on our Top 50 Advisors list since its launch

Top tips from our top 50 financial advisors

Financial advisors nowadays are facing a myriad of challenges, including managing client expectations and keeping abreast of regulatory and industry changes. Despite these challenges, there are still advisors who thrived – not just survived – in their practice. What is the secret behind their success?

For this article, we have compiled insights from some of the most hardworking and successful professionals featured on our Top 50 Advisors list since its inception in 2014.

Kyle Richie, Richie Group

“We have fun and truly care about what we do.”

Todd Degelman, Wellington-Altus Private Wealth

“I employ a consultative process to identify [clients’] situations and challenges, and then work with a team of experts to design solutions. I am committed to continually improving and developing my proprietary processes.”

Gerald L. Goertsen, De Thomas Wealth Management

“Advisors today need to make sure that they are adding value to all of their relationships. If they are just selling products, they will be replaced by a robo.”

Kevin Hegedus, PWM Private Wealth Counsel

“Although we are always on top of regulatory and industry trends, we focus our time and attention on our clients’ investing, taxation, and planning needs each and every day.”

Wes Ashton, Popescu Ashton Group

“A little humility and a lot of hard work goes a long way.”

Wolfgang Klein, The Wolf on Bay Street

“I think to run a successful practice, you have to be adaptable to the ever-evolving landscape and never take anything for granted. As Darwin said, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.’”

Kevin Haakensen, PWM Private Wealth Counsel

“I am always striving to find ways to help our clients succeed and meet their goals, while balancing that with allowing our employees to have a good work-life balance, all while trying to run a profitable, successful business. If you treat your employees well and give them a healthy and happy work environment, they will treat your clients well.”

Gary Berardinelli, Group Berardinelli

“Relationships need to be the core value. Everyone has products, but what is important is the client experience and finding those little cracks and filling them in.”

Thierry Jabbour, Thierry Jabbour Financial Group

“We have to keep up with changing market trends and market dynamics. This is why it is important to have access to extensive research and to hire and retain the proper personnel.”

Bill McElroy, The William Douglas Group Inc.

“Diversify. I have built a multi-income-streamed office by focusing on the three things that are important to businessowners: Life insurance, investments and group benefits. When the financial markets are not attractive to investors, I always have something to fall back on. I have become the ‘go to’ person at my clients’ company. Whether it’s a buy/sell, group benefits, pensions or the personal needs of the staff, I can help them out.”

Léony deGraaf Hastings, deGraaf Financial Strategies

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

Nathan Leibowitz, Manulife Securities

“Find a niche that will drive your practice and allow you to spend your time ensuring that you are up to date on all facets of their needs, not only directly related to their financial planning.”

Anita Dalakoti, Dalakoti Financial & Insurance Services Inc.

“Empower yourself with knowledge so that you can add value to the services you provide your client. If you don’t do that, you are simply an intermediary and can be replaced by another intermediary. Do not mistake the word advisor to mean ‘salesperson.’ I don’t believe one can replace a knowledgeable advisor — a wise client can certainly add to their repertoire of advisors but will not replace you if you add value.”

Nick Bakish, Bakish Wealth

“Following up with clients has been one of the best ways for my team and I to grow our practice and maintain our clients. Alongside those points, understanding your target clientele and where your strengths lie is one aspect that can allow an advisor to grow yearly.”

Stephen Jones, Assante Wealth Management

“I often say that I am in ‘the client retention business.’ Focus on activities today that lead to clients who will be there 20 years down the road.”

John De Goey, Wellington-Altus Private Wealth

“Use reasonable assumptions when doing your illustrations. In particular, if you’re using high-cost products, make sure your projections take those costs into account. If your projects cost 1% less and your fees are the same, it stands to reason that your clients’ returns will be about 1% higher – which is massively impactful over an investor’s lifetime.”

Cyrilla Saunders, Saunders Wealth Advisory Group

“Stay true to your core beliefs. Knowledge and education will always serve you and your clients well. Create a circle of knowledgeable professionals around you, both in-house and in the community you serve ... these people will benefit your clients.”

Luke Kratz, Kratz Group

“Establish a belief system based on your strongest convictions and then consistently communicate what you believe and what you stand for, letting the chips fall where they may. Many advisors fall into the trap of attempting to be all things to all people. It is much better to be all things to a set number of people – those who share your principals and value what you do for them.”

Peter Boronkay, The Boronkay Team

“We cannot control the wind, but we can adjust the sails to best align our work with the needs of the client. This profession gives us a clear canvas to make a financial painting for our clients. We have the freedom on how we apply the strokes to this painting.”

Laurie Bonten, Wellington-Altus Private Wealth

“Look at the big picture and don’t focus on the short term. Build solid relationships with superior service. Know all the rules surrounding the industry, along with the types of service and advice you can provide. You cannot control the markets, so control what you can ... your knowledge.”