CONNIE YUEN & PAUL KWAN, Senior Investment Advisors, TD Wealth Private Investment Advice
CONNIE YUEN & PAUL KWAN, Senior Investment Advisors,
TD Wealth Private Investment Advice
"The experience we offer"
Connie Yuen & Paul Kwan, Senior Investment Advisors, TD Wealth Private Investment Advice, have been in financial services for a long time. They’ve seen their share of market volatility and growth, and have supported hundreds, if not thousands, of clients along the way.
Earlier this spring, after an extensive and deliberate process, Connie and Paul decided to merge their practices to provide a more comprehensive advisory service for clients. Bringing their businesses together means clients now have access to a combined 40 years of experience in the industry.
Each has their individual strengths.
Paul’s been managing investment portfolios for decades, is conversant with equity markets, and specializes in the various types of solutions that strive to meet a client’s precise goals. Connie has a robust financial planning background and extensive experience working with high-net-worth clients. Together, they believe they are a powerhouse duo who strive to bring an unparalleled collective understanding of a client’s needs.
Bringing the team together
Before making the decision to merge their businesses, Connie and Paul talked about the details for more than a year. There were a lot of factors to consider. First and foremost, the decision needed to provide a net benefit to clients. Client experience is of paramount importance to both Connie and Paul, so a new team needed to serve clients above all.
“We had to line up all the details,” Paul said. “It was a lot of conversations about how we could move forward and serve clients in the best way. It needed to be a personality fit, too. If our values weren’t aligned, if we didn’t share the same philosophy about putting clients first, merging wouldn’t have been the right decision for either of our teams.”
Connie added, “Another important question was how do we grow together? As we looked more seriously at the possibility of merging, it turned out that our personal and professional values were even more aligned than we realized at first. Both Paul and I believe in proactive and highly engaged communication with clients, and that trust is at the heart of every positive client relationship.”
They also believe that success requires hard work, patience, and discipline.
Keys to success
Both Connie and Paul are avid cyclists, and, surprisingly, there are a lot of parallels between road biking and finance.
Being successful in road biking, like finance, requires an investment in the fundamentals like training, discipline, patience, and mental preparation. Successful bikers spend almost as much time preparing for a biking route as they do on their bikes.
“One thing that might surprise people is how much time we spend on preparation. We usually meet with clients for an hour or two, but depending on the topic, we may spend six or seven hours preparing in advance. Connie and I want to make sure that the materials are clear and easy to understand and written in plain language. Most of the clients with whom we work have been with us for 10 or 15 years, so we have a sense of the types of information they’re looking for, and we try and have answers ready for their questions,” Paul said.
“We don’t offer clients cookie-cutter solutions, either. Each recommendation that we make comes from a thoughtful review of their individual goals, catered to their unique situation, and needs. It takes time, but we’re known for our personal approach, so we aren’t going to change a winning formula,” Connie said.
Preparation and experience are important, but equally important are patience and discipline.
Patience is important.
Paul connected patience and investment to a cycling metaphor: “You can’t win the race in the first mile. But you can lose it.”
Money tends to be a highly personal topic. People trade their time for it, and since time is a finite commodity, conversations about money can often be emotionally charged, and when emotions get involved…things aren’t always easy.
That’s where discipline comes into play because panic is the enemy of success.
Connie and Paul are there to support clients through challenging times, especially difficult markets. They’ve seen a lot in their combined 40 years in the business, and they’ve learned that while every situation is unique and requires its own response, panic is never the right decision. A disciplined, cautious approach is far likelier to be successful than a haphazard one.
Their approach to working with clients is goal-based.
They see themselves as coaches, educators, and cheerleaders, supporting clients throughout their financial journey.
“One of the most important things we must understand are their goals - we need to learn their why. It isn’t just about how much wealth they are trying to achieve, it’s the desires behind the numbers that we need to understand. The why is the foundation of everything we do. Once we have that, we can really dive into the how,” Connie said.
Paul added, “Our first meeting with a client is very important. That discovery process is fundamental to how we approach working with a client. During the meeting, we take a lot of time and ask clients many, many questions. If you skip the discovery, you miss out on getting to know the clients and building the foundation of trust on which the future of the relationship will rest. We get to know clients as people, and that’s where our relationship begins.”
Connie and Paul feel strongly that they have a duty of care to put a client’s best interests first – which is what they strive to always do. It’s why they merged their businesses in the first place. After all, with 40 years of combined experience, two minds are better than one.
Connie and Paul are used to hard work. Each of them built a strong connection with their father…which is just another thing that connects them.
Paul’s father, William, was self-employed, and Paul didn’t see him very much when he was growing up. An average day for William was 12 hours, and a long day was 16. Paul would see him for 30 minutes at dinner, and then he’d go back to his office to continue working.
William would negotiate with clients, do marketing, and perform product quality control; Paul saw what it took to be successful, and while he wishes he could have spent more time with his dad when he was growing up, he’s making up for lost time now.
“I knew from a very young age that my father would rather be spending time with us, but he was doing what it took to improve our family’s future. He was busy making our family’s life better. He’s a sailmaker, for boats. He was able to turn his passion into a business. We go sailing regularly and I feel closer to him than I ever have because now I’m running my own business, just like he did. Like him, I’m doing it to improve the life of my family. We share a bond that was seeded so many years ago. To be successful, you must work at it. Nothing works…except hard work.”
Connie is a Canadian immigrant, originally from Hong Kong. Her father, Alan, owned a successful printing company, while her mother, Winnie, was a stay-at-home mom. They had a comfortable life, but Alan wanted more for his family. He chose to immigrate to Canada but to do so, they had to invest in the country.
He bought a pizza place. They didn’t know much about pizza, but they knew that success stems from hard work, and that’s where they started. It was truly a family business. Connie, her sister, and her parents, all pitched in to make the business run successfully.
Connie and her mom took orders, while her sister and her dad made deliveries; it was a huge change for her family, but they had no regrets. Alan was the sole breadwinner before coming to Canada, but this change brought them even closer as a family.
As she grew older, she worked several part-time jobs to put herself through university, with some help from her parents. “Nothing falls from the sky. Everything I have comes from the work ethic I established when I was very young. It’s why I work so hard for clients - I want them to be able to fulfill their dreams just like I did.
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.”
Paul Kwan Senior Investment Advisor
Connie Yuen, CFP® Senior Investment Advisor
Plutus Wealth Advisory
TD Wealth Private Investment Advice
700 West Georgia Street, Suite 2000
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1A2
The views expressed are those of Connie Yuen, Senior Investment Advisor and Paul Kwan, Senior Investment Advisor, TD Wealth Private Investment Advice, as of June 27, 2023, and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. Plutus Wealth Advisory is a part of TD Wealth Private Investment Advice, a division of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. which is a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. The TD logo and other TD trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or its subsidiaries.