SCOTT COCKBURN, DIVISION DIRECTOR, INVESTORS GROUP FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
“Blending the Best of Both Worlds”
When he was a young boy, Scott Cockburn, a Financial Advisor with IG Wealth Management, wanted to be James Bond. When he was a teenager, he wanted to be more like Gil Grissom, the fictional character on the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Scott jokes that Grissom was responsible for his initial academic focus as he headed east to study Forensics at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “I love puzzles. I also love people, especially meeting and talking to new people. As, it turned out, I also have a knack for numbers and for business,” Scott says.
Scott enjoyed testing his entrepreneurial mettle, first as a restaurant manager, and later, as an owner/operator of a retail store, and a screen printing business. “In forensics, I learned how to take a big problem, and break it down into smaller, manageable portions, that I could start to fix and improve. These skills worked very well for me as I moved into the business and entrepreneurial world.”
After wrapping up a business project, a good friend and mentor suggested he consider a career in financial planning. Scott was intrigued and researched several different companies. He joined IG in December 2011 to work alongside the same mentor who brought him into the industry.
“If it wasn’t for Bob Campbell, I would have never found my way into this career that I love. Not many young boys and girls grow up dreaming about becoming financial advisors. Police officers, fire fighter’s, astronauts even – but not financial advisors!” Scott goes on to add that many people who enter the field of financial planning or financial advisory do so after working in another field or industry first.
Today, Scott is a Division Director and Branch Manager of Peterborough’s IG Wealth Management. His main passion is working with professionals in various career types to build impactful IG Living Plans that create financial strength and stability in their personal and family lives. All of his work is motivated by two key beliefs: that “a goal without a plan is simply just a wish” and that “a great idea, without a plan or execution, remains just that – a great idea.”
Teaching and mentoring other advisors about IG’s processes and systems, provides an added layer of job satisfaction. “I accepted a management role at IG because it allowed me to continue to see clients. In most other financial institutions, when you are part of the management team, you just manage staff and don’t interact with clients. With IG, I have the best of both worlds. It takes tremendous planning and organizational skills to be effective in both. I relish the challenge - there isn’t any opportunity in the company that can get me to give up engaging with clients, because it’s what I love the most about what I do.”
“But, I can’t do it alone. Like John C. Maxwell asserts in his book with the same name, “Team Work Makes the Dream Work.” I work with a team of amazing individuals who all specialize in their unique area of the financial services industry. We need each other to be effective. I don’t believe that any one advisor can do it all by him or herself or be an expert in every area. The financial field is just far too complex.”
“We each have unique skills and abilities that we bring to the table, and that complete the full puzzle of an awesome financial planning team. In fact, having a team of specialized individuals, available to clients through the IG network, is the key to having a thriving planning practice.”
Philosophy & Approach
“From studying forensics I learned that I am very process oriented and like systems. Although forensics and finance do not seem to have anything in common, the two disciplines are actually quite similar. In both, the practitioner is required to observe and investigate a current situation and to figure out what is going on. Then, he or she can start putting the different pieces together, like a puzzle, to figure out the bigger picture. The major difference between the two careers is that in forensics, you work backwards to figure out what happened, whereas in financial planning, you work to determine what the puzzle will look like sometime in the future,” Scott explains.
“A good financial plan is like a roadmap, helping you to see your destination and the route you need to take to get there. When built on sound advice and reviewed regularly, your plan will help get you to where you want to go and keep you on track, despite life’s inevitable twists and turns.”
But, good advice can’t happen in a vacuum. Scott spends a lot of time in the first crucial step - what he calls the Discovery Phase. “I am intensely curious. I ask a lot of questions. I ask clients to visualize and connect to their dreams and specific goals that we can work together to achieve. At Discovery we create the right road map. Once we understand the starting point, we can visualize the endpoint and driving in that direction becomes easy.”
He then puts everything he has learned into your personal roadmap/timeline including when your mortgage will be paid off, and when you will be financially able to retire. Everything is monitored and updated to reflect current realities. The result: satisfied clients.
Up Close & Personal
Scott received his Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC) designation in 2018 and will complete his Certified Financial Planner designation in 2019. “The CFP is the gold standard designation for our industry and I’ve been working hard to complete it for four years now. I’m happy to report that I’m finally about to achieve this goal.”
Scott believes in giving back to the community and the people in it. He is a member of the board of the Greater Peterborough Health Service Foundation (GPHSF). The board raises and provides funding to health services in Peterborough above and beyond funding that is provided by the provincial government. He is also passionate about supporting and fundraising for children’s organizations such as Sick Kids Hospital and Easter Seals.
Scott has also played, coached and refereed competitive soccer for years. “Soccer has helped me build the confidence to be a leader, to be a strong communicator, and above all, to develop and encourage teamwork.”
He is a current director and organizer with various local soccer leagues that include Peterborough City Soccer. “I support an initiative to create an inclusive environment for children and people of all ages, socioeconomic status and all skill levels, to just get outside and play together. Soccer is an international sport that is affordable, provides great exercise, and creates long-lasting friendships.”
All of the Cockburns love the sport. Everyone, including Scott’s wife, Maggie, and their two kids, Emily and Zachary, participate in, and are fans of, the sport. Their dog, Marvin, loves every game that involves a ball. When it comes time to unplug and unwind, the family can be found at their secluded lake retreat on a mountain in northern Ontario.
As a last word, Scott says, “A lot of people have good intentions but don’t have the knowledge piece to pull it together, or confidence to pull their own financial plans together. I know as well as anyone that life gets busy! And, planning takes time! I believe people should live a life of not just financial stability, but financial confidence so they can live out their personal dreams by achieving their financial goals. I enjoy providing this confidence by educating people on how to do their own financial planning. I don’t believe in financial planning for you. I believe in financial planning with you. It’s my mission to inspire financial confidence in everyone I work with.”
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Category
1743 Lansdowne Street West
Peterborough, ON K9K 1R2