"Experience, Expertise, and Education"
Al Aube, CFP®, RRC®, Senior Financial Consultant at IG Wealth Management comes by his love of finance honestly. His father was a businessman, active in the construction and building supply chain, and his mother was a bookkeeper, so he was raised with a healthy respect for entrepreneurship and financial wellbeing. In fact, while he chose to become a Wealth Advisor, his sister chose to become an accountant.
Numbers are quite literally in Al’s blood.
Al didn’t start out in finance, though. For almost a decade he was an entrepreneur in Information Technology, managing projects for both small and large companies, including financial institutions like CIBC and RBC.
As he neared his 30th birthday, Al began to get serious about his finances. His work with the banks had inspired him to make a career transition. Al took his time, but he knew the financial industry was the one he wanted to be in.
He started with night courses, getting his licenses, and working hard to establish himself. Al did interviews at many of the big firms…but he chose IG Wealth Management. It was the right fit for him.
It’s a proudly Canadian company, with a long history; that legacy was important. They have a strong track record, with proven results, and value their client relationships above all else.
Since choosing IG Wealth Management he’s never looked back.
When speaking to Al, there are a few things that become immediately clear: he loves his work and is passionate about taking a client-centric approach to his business. He believes that ensuring the next generation of Financial Planners is provided the right training; and he loves the outdoors…hiking, biking, snowshoeing, skiing; Al does it all.
But Al’s work is by far the most exciting part of his day.
Meeting new people and helping them achieve their goals is what gets him up in the morning (and occasionally keeps him at his phone long past closing time.) “When you love what you do, you never count the hours. If you’re clocking in and out, or watching the time pass, you aren’t passionate about your work. I know it might be a luxury, but you spend so many hours of your life working, it should ideally be something you enjoy. I know I’m lucky because this is the best job in the world.”
Al’s “client-centric” approach is process oriented. It doesn’t make recommendations based on a client’s financial position at present, it seeks to find solutions that will improve their situation and meet their goals. It all starts with asking questions.
A lot of questions.
What are their goals? What is important to them? Where do they want to be in five, or twenty-five, years? What do they want to achieve with their plan?
No plan is complete without a full understanding of what the client wants and needs, but it’s also about understanding their values, and dreams, too.
It’s a serious, deep, and intimate conversation.
It needs to be, because without that deep understanding, Al can’t effectively build the plan that will achieve those dreams. “Clients who aren’t willing, or able, to share their wants and needs, may find the process challenging. They need to have a good comfort level with their financial advisor, otherwise the relationship won’t prosper for either.
People often talk about products, but I reverse it: find out who they are, about their values and dreams, evaluate their current situation, then develop plan that includes products and solutions that will get them to where they want to be.”
Every client deserves a strong financial plan, for which they need a good Advisor; but they also need to be able to make good decisions for themselves along the way. Not everyone has an equal understanding of finance. It’s complex, so Al tries to offer guidance, support, and education during their relationship.
He reviews the numbers, keeping in mind client goals and values, then presents them a series of ideas on how to improve their situation. It isn’t just one choice because he isn’t pushing product: he gives them options.
“I lay everything out for them in a clear way, each of the choices will get them to their destination, but the methods and tactics may vary. Each client is different, so we need to make sure we’re taking that into account when providing options.”
A completed plan isn’t the end for Al though, because things change; life changes. It could be something in the market, perhaps a birth or a death, or even a legislated change, but Al is proactive. He offers updates and choices as the situation evolves. He is engaged in the process, never forgetting why he’s doing this in the first place: to provide a better life, and future, for his clients.
Education and a strong foundation
In a complex industry such as finance, the right education is key, and for almost a decade, Al’s been giving back by teaching the fundamentals of financial planning at Laurentian University.
His goal is to provide a solid foundation upon which planners can build a successful practice.
Of course, Al teaches the core principles such as applied knowledge (knowing how to properly apply your knowledge to a unique client situation), but he also instills in future Advisors the importance of ethics, transparency, and communication.
Ethics in financial planning is too important not to teach. “Some Advisors get trapped in a cycle of pushing product as opposed to advising clients; they take on more clients than they can effectively handle; they don’t say no to a client who may not be the right fit. We are entrusted with an incredible responsibility dealing with a client’s money and financial future. It needs to be done the right way.”
Transparency and communication too, are important concepts that Al includes in his curriculum. It’s so vitally important that Advisors are fully transparent with their clients. Ultimately, it should be the goal of the Advisor to empower the client with all the knowledge they need to make an informed decision and let them decide; to be up front about costs; to provide products that meet the clients’ need instead of their own.
And to communicate clearly, in terms that the client understands. Al knows that not every client has the same level of financial literacy, so making sure they are clear on what their decisions mean are key.
If an Advisor is conscientious, and client-centric, providing the most ethical and transparent service will follow naturally.
Life away from finance
Born in Timmins, and raised in Ontario’s beautiful north, Al is very familiar with nature.
“I’ve never been a hunter, but I used to fish just as often as I could. There’s something soothing about feeling the wind blowing softly, hearing nothing but the gentle flow of water all around you.” Nature grounds Al and gives him a release from the rigors of his job. It’s something he needs because he takes his work so seriously.
There is a parallel between his work and the outdoors that Al appreciates, too.
“Numbers are numbers. You can’t fudge them - they say what they say. Being outdoors is kind of the same. Hills don’t get smaller when hiking and you’re tired, and fish don’t jump in the boat because you want them to. You must deal with each situation directly and use your experience to make the best of it. It’s just like finances.”
Al also used the time to unwind because it invigorates him. He comes back from time away energized and ready to provide the best service for his clients.
Al knows what it takes to be successful in the financial industry; he teaches it. With every client he takes on, he’s learning about their needs and dreams, and providing them the information they need to make informed choices. He isn’t leading them to any preordained option or pushing them toward a product that isn’t in their best interest.
Al is the best kind of Financial Planner: one whose expertise is leading edge, who’s passionate about the work he does, and cares about every client.
Trademarks, including IG Wealth Management, are owned by IGM Financial Inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations. This is a general source of information only. It is not intended to provide personalized tax, legal or investment advice, and is not intended as a solicitation to purchase securities. Al Aube is solely responsible for its content. For more information on this topic or any other financial matter, please contact an Al.
Gary Milakovic is a veteran writer with more than a decade in the public sector and corporate communications. He has covered a wide spectrum of topics and his work has been featured by large and small organizations across Canada. Gary is passionate about communication, his writing often focuses on uncovering the “story behind the story.”
AL AUBE, CFP®, RRC®,
Senior Financial Consultant
IG Wealth Management
144 Pine Street, Suite 101
Sudbury, On. P3C 1X3
705 - 674 - 4551 ext. 240
Mobile 705 - 618 - 4551