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ALAN TCHABUSHNIG, Senior Wealth Advisor, T Wealth Group, Raymond James Ltd. Waterloo, Ontario


ALAN TCHABUSHNIG



"A Steadying Influence"




Alan Tchabushnig, Senior Wealth Advisor, Raymond James has always believed that one of a Wealth Advisor’s most important responsibilities is to serve as a steadying influence for a client. Money matters can be difficult. Markets and incomes can fluctuate, life changes may occur, and a client needs that consistency to steer them through those tough times.


He practices what he calls “sleep-at-night investing,” which focuses on reducing volatility in a plan because volatility is what keeps people up at night.



A good night’s sleep



One of Alan’s biggest frustrations is when a prospective client brings in their portfolio and there is no clear investment theme or strategy. He doesn’t blame the client, but the Advisor either didn’t take enough time explaining their recommendations, went through it too quickly, or just used so much confusing jargon it was impossible to understand. It happens more commonly than it should. Alan stresses the importance of honest communication throughout the planning process because if a client isn’t sure why they’re doing what they’re doing, how can they be expected to be disciplined and stick to the plan?


A big part of what Alan does is providing support for people; he provides advice and guidance based on years of experience and tries to help clients that are struggling through the pressure of market forces. He’s seen plenty of clients panic and want to sell low or buy high because they don’t want to miss “a great deal.”


Alan takes a disciplined approach to financial planning that focuses primarily on what he calls “smart income. Really, it’s about sustainable, consistent income that will rise over time. To use a baseball analogy, we aren’t looking to hit grand slam home runs – we’re looking at hitting singles and doubles on a consistent basis. We’re looking for products that will have a minimum downturn throughout the business cycle, with income that rises over time because we need to keep pace with inflation. Having a mandate on income allowed us to dodge the cryptocurrency quagmire and the cannabis stocks that didn’t work out as many hoped.”


Some Advisors dabble in income investing, but unlike Alan, don’t make it their primary strategy. They’ll often run into problems because they don’t have the experience that he does. Often, if an Advisor is seeking to implement an income-based strategy, they’ll put a client into a product that has the highest yield possible. However, Alan knows “that if the yield is too high, it’s a signal that could mean there’s trouble behind the scenes.”


Like any type of solution, income investing has its difficulties but tends to be more stable over time. In other types of investing, where a person is buying aggressively, Alan says you need to be right three times. “One, you must be right when you buy in. If you miss, your investment goes down and you lose time, assuming it goes back up. Two, you must be right when you sell. Are you getting the best return on your investment, or will it heat up even more? Three, you need to be right when you buy back in. If you sell on the wave, eventually it will crest and come back down. Did you buy back in at the right time to maximize your investment? If any of these three things are wrong, you get minimal returns. Or worse, potentially lose big. It’s an incredibly stressful process. But, with income investments, in theory, you get paid every single day.”


Things can go wrong, yes, because no system is perfect. But the odds of getting the income proposition right are far higher than getting the buy and sell proposition right.


It’s also less likely to cause clients sleepless nights because they aren’t riding the market rollercoaster in quite the same way.



Practice what you preach



Alan believes in his approach to investing. In fact, it’s a surprise to some clients that Alan follows his own advice. They sometimes think that there’s some other set of investments that aren’t available to the public that make up his portfolio; it isn’t true. He follows the same strategy because he trusts his process.


He knows it works.


It just takes discipline, experience, and an Advisor who’s able to build a custom plan that meets a client’s unique needs. Alan doesn’t believe in cookie-cutter solutions. Every client receives a plan that is tailored to their financial situation and individual goals. When clients who have worked with another Advisor come over to Alan, they’re often surprised by that, because they haven’t been provided that level of customization in the past.



The personal touch



For Alan, the most important part of his work is the connection he builds with his clients. They know it will always be him or his son picking up the phone. At the banks, a client’s Advisor can switch a lot – they get promoted or depart for a different opportunity altogether. It leaves clients constantly retelling the same story because the new Advisor needs all their information and tolerances all over again. It’s frustrating.


“When a client calls, we call back. When they e-mail us, we e-mail them back. It was true when my parents said it, and it remains true to this day: treat people the way you would want to be treated. We respond as quickly as we can because clients are contacting us because they have questions or concerns. Money is often what keeps people up at night, so we don’t make them wait.”


He’s also a man of his word. If he says he’s going to call someone back, he does; if he commits to answering a question, he will. It’s who Alan is.



Continuity



Alan loves his work. He’s passionate about finance and helping clients achieve their goals and enjoys it as much now as he did when he started more than three decades ago. During that time, he has seen many competitors come and go. They leave the business for various reasons, but too often they leave without a good succession plan in place. It means their business, and the clients it serves, suffer.


“Typically, in our industry, succession planning is simply bringing in a younger partner, teaching them the business for three or so years, and letting them take the reins once the transition is complete. I never wanted to do it that way because I have no intention of retiring. I love my work too much. As I was considering my next steps, my son Jack Tchabushnig was starting to take an interest in finance. He was a smart kid, with the right education, and the right skills, so I brought him in. That was a turning point for me. It allows me to remain in the business supporting clients but also allows me to mentor someone who will take care of clients long after I’m gone.”



Jack Tchabushnig


Some don’t recognize the importance of continuity or recognize its value long after it’s too late.


Alan, however, focuses on putting the best interests of clients first; and he always thinks ahead about what could happen. It’s one of his most important jobs. By bringing in Jack, Alan solidified the future of the business and protected the clients who rely on it for professional advice because, to him, there is nothing more important than looking out for the best interests of his clients.



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.”






Alan Tchabushnig Senior Financial Advisor, Private Client Group

Raymond James Ltd.

Unit 1 – 595 Parkside Drive

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 0C7

519 - 883 - 6064

alan.t@raymondjames.ca

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