Investment Advisor, Chartered Life Underwriter, and Elder Planning Counselor Lee Mosley began his career as an entrepreneur. His experiences as a self-employed self-starter enabled him to understand the challenges small and midsized business owners face. Adopting the Personal Wealth Management Strategy™ he’s assisted entrepreneurs with a wide-range of financial concerns including; employee benefit programs, shareholder issues, personal income management, asset growth strategies, succession planning and exit strategies.
“I was attending Carleton University studying law and political science,” explains Lee. “I started my first big job with some friends running the campus pubs. We became one of the largest employers on campus. I discovered my true passion was to become an entrepreneur and after leaving university I also opened up a travel agency with my mother. We then opened up a local gift shop and kept expanding.”
Fast forward and one gift shop became three. Lee also became an associate professor of retail management and virtual merchandising at a local community college. However, the economy had other plans for the retail industry. Business interest rates were rising and retail expansion became a challenge for many entrepreneurs. Lee’s insurance agent began pressuring him to consider a career change from retail entrepreneur to insurance advisor.
“At first, I really didn’t have an interest in insurance,” explains Lee. “My personal insurance agent asked me to write an aptitude test and I passed. I still wasn’t ready to consider a career in insurance, but he asked me to write the licensing exam – again I passed. So, I began working with Standard Life – but on my terms. I didn’t want to take the typical approach of contacting friends and family members to get my start. I liked small businesses and as an entrepreneur at heart, I started out working with employee benefits. I’ve always enjoyed the tax and the legal stuff involved in starting and building a small or medium-sized business. I had discovered that most small business owners will talk to an insurance advisor about employee benefits before they’ll have a conversation about their personal insurance needs so that is where I started. I was able to build trust by starting with benefits and then moving on to shareholder agreements, purchase and sale agreements between business partners and making sure single owner operated businesses had adequate spousal protection in place.”
Craving the independence of running his own business, he eventually parted ways with Standard Life to open his own office by the mid-eighties. Lee found his true purpose in advising others, offering proactive risk management strategies to entrepreneurs and individuals alike.
“I figured, making money wasn’t hard selling insurance,” says Lee. “However, it didn’t have much value to me because there was something missing – I had to know that I was making a difference in the lives of other people and that the only way I could truly do that – was on my own.”
Plotting Your Path to Wealth and Retirement
Making the important decisions about retirement and estate planning is an integral part of what Lee offers to his clients. With more than 30 years of experience, he first expanded his business to include asset management products in the mid nineties. Lee earned his Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 2005 and his Elder Planning Counsellor designation in 2007. He joined Investment Planning Counsel in 2014 as they support independent advisors.
Lee’s mantra is to plot a steady path and stick to it, and to move forward with one good idea rather than a myriad of ideas that could be great.
“Of course, there are always going to be rises and falls in the securities business such as the 1987 and 1993 crashes,” explains Lee. “You cannot time markets – you do the best you can to make sure you’ve got the assets in place that meet your client’s expectations and consider their fear factors. By my estimation, Warren Buffet is the best investor in the world and he does a couple of things really well. Essentially, he has one portfolio that he runs (Berkshire Hathaway). He doesn’t run one portfolio for very conservative people, one for very aggressive people, one for somebody in the middle – he runs one single portfolio. Basically, he sticks with one good idea and I think that’s great. I’m not going to go to my clients and say – here’s my best idea and by the way I have multiple other best ideas too. I’ve also built one portfolio and I’ve gone on to get more licenses and pass more exams to excel at that one good idea.”
When it comes to setting the course for growth, Lee’s experience has taught him that slow and steady wins the race.
“In the end, good companies have good cash flow,” says Lee. “It doesn’t matter if an economic crisis like Coronavirus or 9/11 happens – Microsoft is still Microsoft and TD Bank is still TD Bank. Stock prices change depending on greed and fear, but dividends continue to provide income, so people can wait for a better time to sell if they need to. Over 38 years of being in this business I’ve learned that there’s really no need to look for that home run every time. People are always looking for growth and to protect their money, there is always a need for life insurance and employee benefits to look after employees but there is also a need to grow assets so that entrepreneurs can retire comfortably, and companies can build their baseline. Always looking for that company that’s going to turn around and rise in value 10 times over the next 6 months – that’s a guessing game more than anything else. I am interested in protecting my clients and making them grow in a good controllable fashion.”
Challenging Times and Working with the Mosley & Associates Team
Lee’s approach to preparing clients for economic fluctuations has served them well during the Covid-19 pandemic. Clients don’t have to worry about their investments and can rest easy that their money is in good hands with Lee.
“I do a pretty good job of training my clients for ups and downs in the market,” explains Lee. “We make sure they have good investments that pay good dividends and are pretty secure. For us, it’s more about making sure the income is there for people that rely on it – it’s not really about whether you sell Microsoft today or 6 months from now. We are experiencing unprecedented times, we’ve never in our lifetimes been told to go home and stay home. Whether you live in Canada, the USA, or Europe – the world has gone home. Despite this, I think I’ve had maybe 5 phone calls from clients who are concerned. I do talk to my clients regularly to keep them focused on our long-term goals. In planning I try to make sure there is something I call a “cash wedge” in place for clients so that there is a certain amount of cash in their portfolio that I can pay them out without having to sell anything so we’ve already got a plan in place to get through to at least July or August.”
Lee’s team has been working from home since mid-March, using technology to communicate with clients remotely across the country. His admin team includes Cindy Cleary, who has been working with him since September, 2001. Cindy’s expertise is working with Group Benefits and Insurance. On the investments side, Sheila Hemsted has worked behind the scenes in the securities industry since 1971. Sheila joined Lee in 2014.
“My team has been working from home,” says Lee. “A large part of what our practice has become is being that first call that people make when they have a financial question. It doesn’t matter if it’s something we can do for them or not because I know people in the industry that will do things properly if it’s something that doesn’t fall within my services. I’ve cultivated a list of contacts who are not out to just feather their own nests and who always put a client’s needs first. I want Mosley & Associates to be that trusted resource that makes a difference in people’s lives – it’s important to be able to do that for someone. I believe that if you’re not making a difference in people’s lives then you can’t be doing the right job for them and that’s no good for anyone and if you’re not doing the right job for people it shows you don’t really care – that’s my soapbox.”
Giving Back and Life Outside of the Office
Outside of the office Lee was one of the organizers and volunteers behind Ottawa’s Operation Big Turkey during the holiday season for many years. The organization provides a dinner for thousands of people in need of a hot meal or who are on their own during the season and seeking community. Lee is also a proud supporter of Canada Company, assisting Canadian troops (and their families) as they return from service to help them transition back to civilian life.
“I grew up in Army camps as my father was in the Forces since enlisting in the second world war. Canada Company helps Armed Forces members cope with issues from terms they’ve served,” explains Lee. “We can do things for people that the Army can’t do such as refurbish a house to help make it easier to live in for veterans with disabilities. We also help with children who have lost parents to war (either through death or due to life-changing disabilities). We host summer camps each year where kids have access to psychologists and peers going through similar experiences to help them cope with and understand that they are not alone and they don’t have to deal with loss all by themselves.”
Lee and his wife Sharon (a midwife) enjoy riding motorcycles and take long trips on their bikes in their spare time. The couple also has a passion for dogs.
“All of my clients know that I am a dog person,” says Lee. “I used to be on the Ottawa Humane Society board and managed their employee benefits program for many years. One Christmas my wife and I fostered 22 puppies who were just 6 weeks old. That was lots of fun!”
What Does the Future Look Like?
For Lee, the future is about continuing to work with good people to provide them with the best resources to achieve results and plot their paths to financial success.
“Most of my clients over the years have all become friends,” says Lee. “You do things for them that you would do for yourself and you invest for them what you have invested for yourself. I work with a trusted dealer, Investment Planning Corporation, who is there to ensure that my clients are always protected. I know that there are a lot of people out there who aren’t getting the right advice or the right help. To me, the future is about connecting with people and letting them know that there are good people out here with good resources – you just have to reach out.”
April Potter is a veteran writer with expertise in financial services including nearly 15 years in debt restructuring. April has written for multiple online publications on a variety of subjects and offers a range of social media. Also a painter, her background in finance is balanced by her artistic endeavors.
LEE MOSLEY CLU®, EPC®
35 Antares Drive,