DAN FROST, Financial Advisor, Raymond James Ltd. The Frost Group, Medicine Hat, Alberta
Daniel Frost, CIM, CCS, Financial Advisor, Chartered Investment Manager, Certified Cash Flow Specialist
“Investing in the business of families – empowering clients to achieve their dreams.”
Financial Advisor and Certified Cashflow Specialist Dan Frost was born to immigrant parents who came to Canada with a suitcase and $50 each. Taking over the business for his father Keith Frost in 2013, Dan has worked in a variety of roles within his family practice since first joining in 2007. A “second generation” Financial Advisor, Dan is committed to the “business of families” and transferring generational wealth.
“My dad was an Advisor for 20 years,” says Dan. “I started out working in the Oil and Gas pipeline industry but after a serious injury I realized it wasn’t for me and I wanted to try something else. My father asked me to come and work with him then, but I didn’t think there was much of a chance that people would want to work with a 21-year-old Financial Advisor, so I ended up working as a salesperson in the car business instead.”
Dan worked for a big Chevrolet dealer for two years, selling Cadillacs – and learning the sales and marketing skills that would later help him become a successful Financial Advisor.
“My career with Murray Chevrolet went really well,” explains Dan. “One day a father came in with his daughter to purchase a car. My approach was to sell HER the car, even though I knew her father was the one writing the cheque. A couple of days after the sale he called me again. He had enjoyed working with me so much, he asked me to come work for him in the insurance business. He was impressed that I had treated his daughter like the buyer, discovering her needs and said he thought I was a rare commodity.”
The offer was not just to work in insurance sales, Dan was also being offered the chance to purchase the man’s business after 5 years of “learning the ropes”.
“I’d never really considered becoming a business owner before, but I was excited at the idea. I looked over my job offer when it arrived and discussed it with my dad. They were going to pay me more money than I’d ever seen, but I would have to purchase the business after 5 years – and it was a considerable amount of money to do it. So, my father said he would make me a deal. He wanted me to come work for him instead and he said, “I’m going to pay you less than you make now. I am going to make you work 10 times harder than they will over the next 5 years, but you won’t have to buy my business.” Dan recalls. “And he wanted my answer in 15 minutes.”
Dan knew he would be making a big move either way, so he went to his boss at the car dealership he was working for and gave his notice.
“I told my boss that either way I would be leaving and explained that I honestly didn’t know which way to go,” says Dan. “As a second-generation owner at one of the largest auto dealers in Canada I was happy to take advice from him. He said, “I can’t tell you what the answer is, but we’ve always done well in the family business.” So, I started working with my dad in July of 2007.”
The Business of Families
Shortly after starting in his dad’s practice, Dan experienced the financial crash of the late aughts. He admits that he did work much harder than anyone had ever asked him to – and part of that had a lot to do with the timing of his introduction to the industry.
“People were worried about their money and it wasn’t easy” says Dan. “They don’t care what you know, they want to know that you care. We continued to help move money from generation to generation while looking for the best opportunities and strategies – and ultimately our clients kept their faith in us. We focus on family, whether that’s our own family or the families we work with. When you’re dealing with older and younger people, or even people who are part of the sandwich generation like I am – there can be big challenges. It’s important to spot them and be able to zone in on what each group needs most. Our most successful families are the ones who work together and focus on family goals.”
Cash Flow Is King
Through Dan’s work with younger generations, he recognized that Canadians have a big problem with debt. For Dan, the answer to this problem is financial literacy and cash flow management. He has concentrated his expertise in these areas. Dan is one of 14 Certified Cashflow Specialists in Alberta and one of 200 in Canada.
“Canadian debt was reaching near pandemic proportions before the actual pandemic hit,” explains Dan. “Canada has a huge debt problem, it’s a crisis that is going to become a big problem when people have to start paying this money back as interest rates increase. Debt can be a problem at any age and can easily threaten the legacies of the families we work with.”
Dan’s focus on cash flow is central to holistic planning for his clients. He has worked with Raymond James Ltd. for his entire career and is able to help his clients with everything from investments to purchasing insurance, as well as working with mortgages and/or home equity credit lines.
“Ultimately, cash flow IS king at any stage of life,” explains Dan. “At Raymond James our work is holistic, it’s not just software telling you where to spend your money or which insurance policy to buy. We don’t focus on product. We focus on the plan and then we work on the money. If I tell someone that the best insurance for their needs is $300 a month and they don’t know where to find that money, I can show them with a good cash flow plan. Paying off debt is a great way to free up cash for more important things. Paying interest takes money away from the places it really needs to go. I might start with advice to pay the highest balances down first, but I might also look at paying off the lowest balance just to get rid of it faster – especially if the lower balance credit facility has a higher rate of interest.”
In addition to Dan’s cash flow planning work for individuals of all ages, he also assists business owners with charitable giving strategies, group benefits, and the cash flow needs that specifically relate to operating a business.
“In 2015 I became a Certified Cash Flow Specialist,” explains Dan. “I build cash flow plans for my clients to help show them how to get more life from money they already have. We work with the net amount of money a client has and then free up amounts that have been tied up somewhere it doesn’t have to be. Again, paying down/paying off debts is at the top of the list.”
Empowerment – Achieving Dreams
Dan’s parents immigrated to Canada in the early 70s. His father was accustomed to working a lot and wanted to find a career that would allow him to spend more time with his family. He worked as a millwright and eventually made the switch to his career as a broker. During this time, the family fostered 48 children over a 17-year period.
“It wasn’t that my family had a lot of money growing up,” says Dan. “But when you are making a pot of soup, it’s pretty easy to stretch that out and make more to look after a few extra people in need. We had supper at home every night and ate together as a family, that was church for us. I raise my children the same way.”
Today Dan and his wife Lisa have three children of their own. The couple has continued his family tradition of fostering children in need. Dan values his own family and the families of the clients he works with – but also the families in his community. In Medicine Hat he has been actively involved with the Kinsmen Club and Chamber of Commerce. His upbringing has taught him to lend a hand to others in need, to empower others and help them on the path to achieving their dreams.
“We are incredibly fortunate to live where we do,” adds Dan. “We have such a great community for support and guidance.”
Intergenerational Wealth and Financial Literacy
Passing on wealth, like family traditions, is how Dan explains that families truly become wealthy. While teaching young people about money does help, estate planning is essential to building and sharing wealth between generations.
“Young people aren’t always prepared to receive an inheritance and grandparents really need to look at how they want to strategize for future generations – not just the one that immediately follows them,” says Dan. “Should parents skip a generation and leave money to their grandchildren because they’ll have the longest time to work with the money left to them? If money is being left to even younger members of the family who will be the trustee for that money? These are very important things to consider during the estate planning process.”
Dan’s passion for helping families navigate these uncharted waters led him to organize a presentation for his community in 2019. He invited the leading authority on estate planning, Intergenerational Wealth Specialist Tom Deans, to speak in Medicine Hat.
“Tom covered three main areas of focus,” says Dan. “An introduction to estate planning; followed by a more in-depth review of estate planning basics with a focus on how to run a family meeting, determine and deliver the news of who executors and beneficiaries will be; and the third was based on his book “Every Family’s Business: 12 Common Sense Questions to Protect Your Wealth”. Dan believes that this third subject is something that many families involved in business should take the time to explore.
“Families need to think about stopping conflict after they’re gone,” adds Dan. “Who is executor and why, who is power of attorney and why, who carries health care and/or personal directives? By making the right decisions now, we are giving “harmony, clarity, focus and control” to the process – a process that at the end of the day, really no one wants to have to go through – but it’s a necessary part of family life.”
Information in this article is from sources believed to be reliable, however, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete. It is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal investment advice or solicitation to buy or sell securities. The views are those of the author, Dan Frost, and not necessarily those of Raymond James Ltd. Investors considering any investment should consult with their Investment Advisor to ensure that it is suitable for the investor’s circumstances and risk tolerance before making any investment decision. Raymond James Ltd. is a Member Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
April Potter is a veteran writer with expertise in financial services including nearly 15 years in debt restructuring. April has written for multiple online publications on a variety of subjects. Also a painter, her background in finance is balanced by her artistic endeavors.
Financial Advisor/Insurance Agent
The Frost Group
Raymond James Ltd
1899 Dunmore Rd SE,
Medicine Hat, AB T1A 1Z8