• GARY MILAKOVIC

CHRIS FRIESEN, B. Comm, CFP®, Investment Advisor and Financial Planner, RBC Dominion Securities


CHRIS FRIESEN




"It’s a team effort"






Chris Friesen, B. Comm, CFP, Investment Advisor and Financial Planner, RBC Dominion Securities, knows something about the benefits of a strong team. After all, he’s the winner of three Prairie Football Conference national championships, a three-time all-star, and defensive player of the year in his final season.


When speaking to Chris, you understand clearly how his athletic successes have influenced his business successes. He speaks often about a strong focus on the team and holistic approaches to finance; about adapting to changing circumstances quickly and effectively; and being defensive to protect people’s investments.


Chris is keenly aware that sometimes the market necessitates defensive adjustments, but also provides opportunities to adjust and counter, to take advantage of things as they present themselves.


Chris’ story of success is an organic one, and begins just north of Laird, Saskatchewan.



Humble beginnings



Chris is Saskatchewan born and raised. He is immensely proud of that upbringing; of the work ethic, and heart it instilled in him.


His grandparents owned and worked a farm for many years. His family originally homesteaded there in 1894. His grandfather was the third generation to farm the land, winning a century family farm award for farming the land for 100 years.


That farm is where his dad grew up. Chris has many fond memories of time spent there, learning about the power of a hard day’s work, and the gratification that comes with a solid effort.


That upbringing, like sports, has framed his approach to customer service, client management, and investment planning.


“I think where I differ from most Advisors is effort: I take a lot of time to understand clients, and I ask a lot of questions. I need to understand what’s important to them, what their goals are, and what they need their outcomes to be. That clarity, that investment of time right at the beginning of the relationship, gives me the understanding I require to respond and address their needs in the plan, and allows them to spend their free time doing the things that matter to them instead of worrying about the what-ifs.”


That extra time at the start of the client-advisor relationship provides insight to Chris on the client’s needs and expectations but also introduces Chris’ approach to planning to them.


Ensuring an open dialogue between client and advisor is vital to Chris and he wants to be clear and upfront from the first day. The approach Chris takes always puts planning in the lead. It’s far less about the investment or products, but rather about a holistic approach to planning.


A holistic plan that takes everything into consideration.



A different way to plan



The clients with whom Chris works come to him and his team with a variety of experiences. Some have been intimately engaged in their finances and planning for many years, others have far less experience, but they’ve all come on board with a disciplined approach to financial planning


Chris and his team work with each client to provide the best possible service to meet their needs. Experienced clients need far less support. They have a good sense of how they want their money to work for them and Chris can develop a plan that supports their goals.


When working with less experienced clients, however, Chris and his team work diligently to ensure that nothing is overlooked. It’s important. Chris wants to close those gaps. Many clients don’t realize the importance of estate planning and intergenerational wealth transfer. Nobody wants to think about the need for a will or seamless transfers in the event of an unexpected death. It’s one of the most difficult conversations to have. But Chris emphasizes its importance.


“Only the client knows how they want their final wishes implemented; but if they aren’t there, who will speak for them? I know it’s a difficult conversation. But it’s one I always push very gently to have.”


He wants to have these difficult conversations because he knows having them is in the client’s best interests, and that is his driving force, the reason behind his every decision: the client’s best interests.


Chris encourages his clients to work with their lawyers and accountants to ensure that wealth is efficiently transferred to the next generation and to have the difficult conversations with family about what comes next. He is a resource for clients who have questions and works closely with a client’s team as needed.


“If you can, you should speak for yourself. Don’t let others speak for you.”


Like estate planning, sometimes insurance, or taxation, can be overlooked as well. Some clients see financial planning as simply investing in mutual funds or picking stocks.


It isn’t.


Chris’ holistic approach looks at all elements of a financial plan and works to include many of these overlooked areas in their proper place within that plan.



Never stop growing



Chris believes in life-long learning. Particularly in the financial industry, where things change often, and quickly, keeping up to date is a big part of his day.


“One of the biggest challenges I face is keeping up with a quickly changing world. There is so much that can affect the market, and my client’s situation and I am constantly learning so I can provide the client with the best possible results. RBC provides so many resources, and daily information, I’m so glad to have such a strong organization behind me in support of my clients.”


After Chris obtained his university degree, he decided to go all-in: he studied for the Canadian Securities Course (CSC) to get his securities license. Like everything he does, Chris invested the time into preparation right at the beginning to give himself the best chance at success.


Following the CSC, he completed his Certified Financial Planning designation (CFP). It was one of the best decisions he ever made.


“The CFP gave me a much higher level of knowledge. Of course, as I’ve gained more experience I’ve gained confidence too, but that continuous learning has been huge for me. The more I learn, the more I develop myself in this industry, and the better teammate I will be for clients. My education has given me the confidence and knowledge to sit down with clients in a complex situation, to add value, provide them the advice they need, precisely when they need it.”



Passion



Chris sees himself as an important part of the team. Like a defensive football player, he’s constantly reading the markets, making recommendations on how to proceed, and providing information on opportunities as they arise.


No matter how far he is removed from athletics, the lessons he learned still resonate with him to this day.


Chris lives his work, and he never gives less than 110%.



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.”





Chris Friesen, B.Comm, CFP | Investment Advisor and Financial Planner

RBC Wealth Management | RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

1000-409 3rd Ave. South | Saskatoon, SK | S7K 5R5

306.956.5244

chris.l.friesen@rbc.com

https://ca.rbcwealthmanagement.com/Chris-Friesen/home