For the first 14 years of my career, I followed conventional financial wisdom. I listened to the recommendations of the most respected investment firms in the world, and I did thousands of hours of my own research. I met star fund managers and asked them tough questions. I became a Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) at a time when less than 1% of all advisors in Canada attained this prestigious designation. I did everything I thought a financial advisor was supposed to do.
But a funny thing happened during this journey: none of this time and effort translated into an advantage for my clients.
Not that anyone in my industry would have noticed. During those 14 years I received numerous awards from the firms I worked for including Rookie of the Year and the President’s Award. Eventually I was promoted into management and became a vice-president. Yet at no time did anyone at these firms ask if I was doing a good job for my clients.
Eventually I realized that most brokerages and investment firms don’t really care about their clients: they’re only concerned with their bottom line. That lead me to seek out a different approach.
I soon learned that once you move away from Wall Street/Bay Street, the answers are there. But they’re not found in the self-serving commentary prepared by investment firms. Think about it: if you’re looking for the best way to manage your wealth, create reliable income in retirement, fund your children’s education or create a legacy, should you look to the manufacturer of investment products? Doesn’t it make more sense to seek answers from the academic community, which doesn’t have a vested financial interest? The answer seems obvious to me.
After 14 years of frustration, I chose independence from Bay Street, and I’ve adopted an evidence-based approach to personal finance. It’s one based on decades of academic research by some of the leading minds in finance and economics.
If you would like to learn more about how you can benefit from this scientific approach, I invite you to read my regular comments in the Investing Insights Blog section or Contact me for further details.