CHRIS J. ANDERSON
Only someone that is a serious student and that is engaged in the subject matter, has the discipline to complete his Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science Degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, in five years. Chris J. Anderson (Chris) is that serious student. He decided to take a break from studying and to get a job. He was attracted to a financial services career because it would allow him to leverage his entrepreneurial, educational, and scientific background.
That was 22+ years ago. After working with a number of prominent Edmonton organizations, Chris joined Harbourfront Wealth Management (HWM) in January 2018. At HWM Chris focuses on delivering comprehensive and integrated holistic wealth management plans. “One of the reasons I joined Harbourfront was because of the organization’s access to unique, institutional type accounts which are not commonly available to retail investors. Moreover, our Integrated Net Worth Model provides advanced services beyond those generally available through brokers, bank employees, and investment advisors.” From the company website:
According to Chris, managing your net worth is much more involved than reviewing your investment accounts. Chris follows HWM’s 8 Step integrated and multilayered Wealth Management Process. The process itself includes tax minimization planning, portfolio construction, and management, retirement income planning, trusts and estate preservation as well as risk management. Also from the company website:
“Our process takes our clients through initial meetings with one of our advisory teams, followed by a meeting with a tax specialist, if applicable. Once the plan has been implemented, a structured review program is put in place that includes regular comprehensive wealth management assessments as well as portfolio reviews,” Chris explains.
Philosophy & Approach
In addition to his BEd and BSc, Chris has earned a number of industry-specific designations, including Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS), Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), the industry gold standard, and Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®). He is currently working towards his MBA.
We’ve all heard the expression, “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” It is typically used to describe someone who is too focused on the details and who fails to look at the situation as a whole. Chris looks at both the forest and the trees. “Because I look at the big picture, I can more easily identify potential road blocks and unexploited opportunities. I look at everything, including real estate holdings, business and other assets, as well as health and family circumstances. That is why I’m able to build defensive portfolios that are designed to have predictable, steady returns over time,” Chris says.
People don’t sit down with Chris unless they have some kind of root issue, like wanting to obtain a certain lifestyle in retirement or wanting to buy a business or a second property. “I need to be able to zoom in and zoom out to see how all of the different areas in the client’s personal, business and financial life, interact with another. That is where we can identify and make small improvements that will have a have a significant impact over time. My approach is one of continuous improvement, problem solving and education stemming from my previous industrial work experience and as an educator.”
To demonstrate this concept in action, Chris uses the following simple example. Let’s say the client is currently invested in a traditional balanced portfolio with a 50/50 mix of equities and fixed income. Moving this to 40% equities, 40% alternative fixed income and 20% real estate may provide portfolio stability, downside protection and equity type returns. It’s not thinking outside the box, it’s throwing the box away.” This type of continuous improvement process over a lifetime can have what Chris describes as a magical impact.
“I never push specific products. Rather, I provide perspective and unbiased information to help clients make their own informed financial decisions. I use analogies to make even the most complicated financial concepts meaningful, understandable, and accessible. I often joke that if I can’t explain things on the back of a napkin, then I’m not doing my job,” the Certified Financial Planner® says.
“Simplifying things for clients, including cutting out the fluff and industry jargon is a large part of what I do. Clients appreciate this. I’m often called upon to educate many generations of clients from the same family or business to ensure their story and their vision is seamlessly transferred from one generation to the other.”
Clients often tell Chris that he puts them at ease and that, for the first time, they actually understood the financial strategies they were being asked to implement. “I believe that is because I spend time understanding what makes clients tick. Then, I do my best to make the choices clear, meaningful and engaging,” Chris adds.
“When it comes right down to it, I see my role as helping clients move from point A to point B. I am always focused on improving their situations and on making their financial lives better. Having said that, things won’t work if clients aren’t committed to the process and to understanding the “why” behind my recommendations. It is only by harnessing our collective energy that we can achieve the stated goals.”
Chris and his business partner who, coincidentally, is also a Chris, are ably assisted by two full-time and two part-time staff members. “We all have our own areas of specialization, clients, and primary relationships. We have purposely built redundancy into the practice which means we are free to put the client first.”
Up Close & Personal
Chris is married, has two kids, and an Ewok dog (yes, like in Star Wars), who makes everyone smile.
He is a member of the Canadian Progress Club. Progress members seek the advancement of the communities in which their individual clubs are located. Progress is entirely Canadian with each local club conducting its own affairs and supporting its own charitable projects. This ensures the money stays in Canada. For example, Chris helped raise funds for the Neonatal Care Unit at Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert.
He is also a board member of Harbourfront Gives, a charitable foundation established by Harbourfront. “We believe we must give where we live. Bottom line, my cup is not full without helping others and giving back to the community,” he adds.
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
CHRIS ANDERSON | BEd, BSc, CHS, CFP, CIM
7240 – 82 Ave NW
Edmonton AB T6B 0G1
Office: 780-784-0049 / 1-844-633-4574