A World of Change

Canada’s Financial Services industry is often touted for its stability. But the very qualities that have created steady profitability and made the industry the envy of the world — regulation, prudence, caution, tradition — can no longer protect it from a tsunami of change. Regulators are trying to level the playing field, with the introduction of CRM 2; independent firms are being bought out by big investment groups; and the government is stepping in more frequently adding their two cents, which has most recently increased our taxes and decreased the efficiency of the investment tools available.

Not all of these changes should be viewed as negative; CRM2 will hopefully weed out individuals who may be taking advantage of their clients’ lack of knowledge and the big investment groups are providing a great way out for a lot of hard working advisors. As for the government, well that is something we all just have to deal with.

Even though the financial landscape is changing, like it has many times in the past, the best of the independent practices look at the changes and see it as an opportunity to build ‘another fence’ around their clients. Along with the ability to offer a wide spectrum of products, the independent firms learn to adapt their models and use what has made them successful to persevere in this ever changing world. One fundamental practice that most independent firms share is the understanding that each professional plays a critical role in planning for a client’s future and that they alone are not the solution to every problem.

In the absence of a team of professionals you are left with a ‘jack of all trades’, which normally ends with missed opportunities and mediocre service. Many clients, whether affluent or not, have different advisors, from an accountants to a lawyers to investment professionals and an insurance professionals, but very rarely do all of those people sit around the same table and discuss what is the best direction forward for client. This
can lead to a lot of confusion, as clients will typically feel as though they are being pulled in many different directions not sure of which way to go. This leads to frustration and finally a lack of engagement from the client.

Chris joined Wise Riddell Financial Group in September 2013 after spending 8 years as a professional chef in Montreal.  With his decade of business and management experience, he has been a valuable addition to the risk and estate planning team at Wise Riddell. Chris has returned to his native Oakville where he resides with his wife, Diane, and their two young sons. He is an avid golfer, skier and enjoys being outdoors with his family.

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