Advisors, Pilots, Sailors – We’re All the Same

Alain

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Alain Quennec

Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager

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All three professionals help people navigate a journey to their desired destination. Our passengers place an immense amount of trust in us to keep them safe from the potential dangers on their journey and to make the most of their stops along the way.

We start with a lot of education – our firm requires not just licensing required by regulation to provide financial products to our clients, but professional certifications like the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and the CIM (Chartered Investment Manager). Many of us hold multiple designations that take years of coursework to acquire.

I prefer my pilot to have passed flight school, don’t you?

And that brings me to my second point – training. We employ a rigorous Articling Advisor Program to ensure our advisors go through a structured apprenticeship program. Every advisor is required to attend multiple client meetings with a variety of advisory teams to ensure they experience a cross section of client profiles and situations.

And we all have experience. Our 23 financial advisors have combined experience of over 400 years in the field of financial advice. We each advise our own clients, but each of us also offers insights and analysis to the collective group, making us a much stronger advisory firm.

We care about SOB’s. No, not what you’re thinking – that stands for “Souls On Board”. We care for each person individually, and that informs the diligence with which we practice. We not only respond to the questions and concerns posed to us, we let the clients know what they should be asking, and the challenges they aren’t thinking of.

I hate quoting Donald Rumsfeld (former US Defense Secretary, of whom I am not a fan), but he did get something very right– there are three types of information:

1. – known knowns: where you know what you know

2. – known unknowns: where you know what you don’t know

3. – unknown unknowns: where you don’t know what you don’t know

In the second category, you are aware of the dangers, even if you don’t know how to handle them. The third category is the most dangerous, because it means there are dangers out there you don’t even know exist.

Not only do we have practice experience, our firm is unique in that we require every financial advisor to attend a minimum of one major multi-day professional conference per year, at their own expense. Advisors are expected to report back to the collective, the highlights of the education they received.

These conferences are also an opportunity to connect with advisors from all over the world and bring back best practices to colleagues.

It’s much easier to copy what someone else is doing and build upon it to make it better, than to try inventing it yourself. Henry Ford didn’t have to invent the wheel to build the automobile– he was happy to use it as it was…

Advisors, pilots, and sailors don’t spend a lot of time pulling on the directional tools they employ.

Through a combination of preparation and up-front work, we chart a plan/course and put things in motion to implement and begin the journey.

Then we sit back and watch the dials on the dashboard, ensuring we are “on course”, making the necessary – and usually small – adjustments along the way. You didn’t think a pilot had her hands on the yoke the whole way, did you?

We love to show our clients what we do in the service of their goals, so never hesitate to ask your advisory team questions. It’s your journey, and we are privileged to be your guides. ■