BRAD GROSS, CIM, Senior Wealth Advisor, Wellington-Altus Private Wealth, Swift Current, Saskatchewan
"Stability and integrity"
For some clients, building a financial plan is stressful. They see market instability, and fear what it could mean to their future. It’s something Brad Gross, CIM, Senior Wealth Advisor, Wellington-Altus Private Wealth has seen before.
“Many people don’t realize there’s so much more to financial planning than just stocks or mutual funds. A financial plan is a comprehensive strategy that touches so many areas including insurance, estate planning, taxation, and more. Investing is an important part of it, but it isn’t more important than the others.”
It’s a steadying influence that only comes with experience. Brad’s been in the business for almost 25 years, and he’s seen a lot in that time. Fluctuations from economic downturns, the 2008 financial crisis, terrorist attacks, and the pandemic. Each represented a crisis point for many.
Brad’s experience, though, led him to make some vitally important distinctions: are the challenges short term or long term? And are they related to events beyond our control, or do they reflect a previously unseen issue with the strategy?
“Almost every time these external forces are beyond our influence. The worst thing to do in that circumstance is panic. If the plan is comprehensive, and flexible, it should be able to adjust for these external forces over time. Rarely are sound long-terms decisions made in a state of panic. We know there are going to be challenges. We’ve seen them before, and we’ll see them again. Weathering these challenges often means staying the course, but not always. Knowing when to respond and when not to respond, is where my experience comes in.”
Avoiding common mistakes
It doesn’t matter how smart an Advisor is, or how much experience they have, the market will go where it’s going to go. It’s well beyond anyone’s control. What’s important is not mistaking good luck for good strategy.
Good luck can’t be in the blueprint of anyone’s financial plan.
Recognizing what it takes to build a successful strategy, avoiding common pitfalls, and being agile enough to react to market forces is crucial to success.
When it comes to building a successful plan, Brad wants all the information he can absorb. Does the client have a will, and if so, will it perform today as it was intended when it was drafted? What is the client’s tax exposure? Have taxes been minimized as much as possible? Have tax deferrals been maximized? Does the client have the right insurance?
If something should happen unexpectedly, does the plan account for that?
Without a holistic view of these types of considerations, no plan will be fully effective.
“We can’t see the future. We need to stay within the things we can control. Have we gotten a comprehensive view of the client’s needs and goals? Do we know where they are and where they want to be? We need a deep understanding of these things so that we can customize a plan that will meet those needs. No two clients are the same, and therefore no two plans are the same.”
The best advice that Brad ever received about his business is that “‘clients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’” It’s something that resonates with Brad all these years later.
A client needs to be confident that their Advisor has their best interests at heart. Some Advisors fall into an education arms race, talking about degrees, and designations…but if an Advisor spends that much time talking about themselves, how much listening are they able to do?
Brad wants to see clients achieve their financial dreams, regardless of what they might be, whether it’s a house, education, or investing in assets for future generations.
The passion for seeing his clients achieve their dreams is where Brad’s business begins and ends.
The Wellington-Altus Advantage
Brad’s firm, Wellington-Altus, is different than most of the major firms in Canada. First, it’s independent. That’s key because it allows them a freedom to provide the best advice unconstrained by external factors or internal products.
The clients’ needs drive the product decisions. Nothing else.
Second, as a growing firm they are nimble, and can respond more quickly than larger, more bureaucratic organizations. They are constantly pushing forward to maintain their status as a leader in the market.
Third, they are a team. The success of one, is the success of all. It isn’t like that at most firms. Wellington-Altus is different because they are all shareholders. It’s in everyone’s best interest to advance the company.
Few organizations operate this way, but that’s likely to change given Wellington-Altus’ phenomenal success. It’s a model organization. It’s no surprise that Brad found himself attracted to Wellington-Altus, given their passion for caring begins at the top.
Brad works long hours ensuring that his clients not only have the support they need but feel supported as well.
When he takes time away, he prefers to spend it in nature, at a provincial park near his home. As his kids grew the family spent summers there, at a small campsite they maintain.
So many of Brad’s fondest memories start on that lake.
Watching his family grow and transition into higher education, and adulthood, is a big part of why Brad does the work that he does. Not everyone has been so fortunate. If Brad can bring a measure of that stability to clients across Canada, he wants to do it because everyone deserves to know the peace that comes from financial security.
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Brad Gross, BComm, CIM®
Senior Investment Advisor & Portfolio Manager
Wellington-Altus Private Wealth
244 1st Ave NE, Unit 10, Carmel Mall
Swift Current, Saskatchewan S9H 2B4
833 - 203 - 9327