DOUG WARKENTIN, CFP, FCSI®, Senior Wealth Manager, Aligned Capital Partners, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Doug Warkentin, CFP, FCSI®, Senior Investment Advisor,
Warkentin Group Private Wealth Management
of Aligned Capital Partners Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba
“Know your destination and we’ll help you get there”
Doug Warkentin knows that life is a journey. He also knows that the journey won’t get you anywhere if you haven’t determined your destination.
“When we do a financial plan, the one question I ask people -- and 99% of my clients don't know the answer to -- is if you're the age you want to be when you retire today and you have no debt, how much money would you like to have every month? Most people say, ‘oh I never really thought about that’. If you don't know the destination, I don't know how to get you there.” That’s why Doug, Senior Wealth Manager at Warkentin Group Private Wealth Management, a part of Aligned Capital Partners, usually builds financial plans backwards. “Tell us what you want, not what you need, and we will build a plan to get you to that destination.”
Doug found his own life’s path when he discovered he really enjoyed finance. His late mother-in-law suggested he apply at Investors Group, and he did.
“They wouldn’t hire me,” he says. “I had to go back three times. I was 23 and the manager said, you’re too young. You’ll never make it in this business.”
That was 30 years ago, and Doug has been charting his own path in the financial industry ever since.
His first year wasn’t easy. “In my first six months I thought, I was making more than this waiting on tables! Then I got serious and said, I’m going to sink or swim.”
Swim he did. Doug’s next six months were a big improvement over the first six, and in just a few years he qualified for Presidents Club/Elite, which rewards the top one percent of advisors at Investors Group.
Acquiring the freedom to do his best job for clients
After 17 years, Doug left IG, where he could only sell mutual funds, to become IIROC licensed, which meant he could offer clients any products they wanted. “It’s a very different world on this side of the landscape,” he says. Doug is now licensed through, Aligned Capital Partners Inc., where the top priority is to do the very best job possible for clients.
Doug and his team at Warkentin Group Private Wealth Management take that to heart. They do the best for their clients by taking a holistic approach to financial planning, and the team employs learnings from both the MFDA and IIROC worlds. “In the MFDA world I was a financial planner,” says Doug. “In the IIROC space, I’m an Investment Advisor. I would say what makes us unique is that we marry the two together and use a wholistic approach helping our clients plan for their future. We do full blown financial plans for clients, and we do investment advice.”
Doug’s team includes associate Harley Struth, who he worked with back at IG and calls ‘one of the smartest guys I’ve met in my life’. About a year ago, he brought on Alex Harrison, who he’s training to be an Advisor. Sandi Labchuk is his executive assistant, and Kathe Meseman is our “in-house” tax specialist. “For our clients, we offer to prepare their returns at no cost. It’s one of the added perks.” Rounding out the team is his wife Izabella, his office manager. She is incredibly efficient in getting things done.
Instilling trust in his clients
Doug says that financial planning is probably the biggest part of his practice, and he’s worked hard to gain the trust of clients as they work together to chart a path to their goals. That trust is even more important when the road gets a little rocky.
“We don’t second guess our Doctor when he says you need something,” he says. “But when the markets are down, unfortunately, some people panic. I try to educate my clients and tell them, we’ve gone through four good years, and this is normal. We’ve had one bad year, but you didn’t hire me for three months. You hired me potentially for 30 years.” Most of my clients have experienced volatility and understand that they don’t lose anything unless they sell their positions.
Education has always been important to Doug, and it’s why he continues to learn and add new designations to his title. “In this industry, if you’re not evolving and educating yourself, you’re going to be left behind,” he says.
Among others, Doug holds a Certified Financial Planning designation (CFP®) and has full certification and accreditation awarded by the FP Canada and the Manitoba Securities Commission. Doug is also a Fellow of The Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI®), the highest honour and most senior credential in Canadian financial services. Doug is also fully licensed for life insurance and other insurance solutions.
A client-first approach
Designations aside, Doug believes his most important asset is his ability to connect with people. And, he believes, it’s that client-first, service-oriented approach that helps him stand out amongst his peers. “You can be a good, knowledgeable advisor, but it’s that genuine ability to listen and care for people that creates loyal and long-lasting relationships.”
His success can be measured by the number of referrals he receives from happy clients. Their happiness is a testament to his commitment to regularly meeting with each and every one of his 180 clients, and he still does house calls. It’s time consuming -- Doug routinely puts in about 60 hours a week – but it’s also overwhelmingly rewarding. Doug speaks about one family in particular that had been with him his entire career. The parents had just sold the company to their son and were retiring. At a meeting with their accountant, the wife looked at Doug. “She pointed her finger and said, ‘that guy there is the reason why I’m sitting here today and we’re able to retire.’ They took the advice I gave them over those 30 years. And they followed it for 30 years. What a great compliment to hear someone say thank you at the end. That was the greatest compliment I've ever gotten from someone.”
It's also about the journey
Doug acknowledges that he’s a bit of a workaholic, but he also admits that he could improve the quality of his own life by cutting back on some of his hours. That hit close to home recently when he learned about the death of a good friend, only 51. “We don’t know when our time is up,” he says. I always say save for the future, but make sure you’re also enjoying the journey.”
Doug’s own journey takes him to his cottage on the lake with his wife, where he loves to fish. He’s also active in his church and in the community. He sponsors amateur speed skater Tyson Langelaar, who’s based in Calgary. And he’s travelled to Africa a number of times, where he’s involved with Mully’s Children’s Family (MCF), a charitable organization in Kenya that rescues and helps abandoned children. It was through this organization that he met Stella, who used to live in Kipsongo Slum, Kenya’s second largest slum. At five, she’d been abandoned by her family and rescued by MCF at age seven.
“I met her for the first time in 2013. She was in grade 10. I went back with my brother about two months ago and there’s Stella. She's now got a degree in human rights at the University of Nairobi. She's applied to do her master’s degree in human rights all over the world and ironically, was accepted at the University of Manitoba.” The organization doesn’t have the money to bring Stella to Canada, so Doug and his wife have decided to fly her to Winnipeg so she can attend the master’s program, funding her education, lodging, and clothes.
“This girl was given up and probably would have died,” says Doug. “And now one day she might be working at the United Nations with a human rights designation. It’s mindboggling.” Statistically, there are 100,000 orphans in Kibera Slum (Africa’s Largest slum). Out of the 100,000 orphans, an estimated 20,000 will not see their fifth birthday.
Life’s a journey. And, as Doug knows well, it’s amazing where that journey can take you when you end up on the right path.
Janice Tuff is a professional writer and communicator who got her start in radio copywriting.
Three decades later, she continues to draw upon the valuable lessons learned in her radio days: grab your audience’s attention quickly and always tell an engaging tale.
Doug Warkentin CFP®, FCSI® Senior Wealth Manager
Warkentin Group Insurance Services Inc.
Senior Investment Manager
Warkentin Group Private Wealth Management
of Aligned Capital Partners
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3N9
Doug Warkentin provides insurance services through Warkentin Group Insurance Services. Doug conducts securities related business through Warkentin Group Private Wealth Management of Aligned Capital Partners Inc. (ACPI) and is registered to provide investment advice and products to clients residing in the provinces of AB, BC, MB, NS, ON, SK. ACPI is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC.ca) and a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (www.cipf.ca).