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DOUG LAI, CFA, CFP, CIM, Wealth Advisor, Portfolio Manager, Scotia Wealth Management, Ottawa, ON.


DOUG LAI




“A fresh outlook, customized advice, and the experience to get you there”




Somebody once said, “youth is wasted on the young”. There’s a good chance that whoever said that never met Doug Lai.


That’s because Doug Lai, a Wealth Advisor, Portfolio Manager at Rideau Wealth Group, part of Scotia Wealth Management in Ottawa, has spent his youth wisely. He’s a fair bit younger than the average financial Advisor, but he’s been at Scotia Wealth Management for over eight years, and he’s wasted no time in attaining the credentials and designations he needs to best serve his clients. To date he’s attained his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and Chartered Investment Manager (CIM), options license, portfolio manager designation, and insurance license.



Finding his true calling early



Doug calls it good fortune that he found his career path early. He always knew he wanted to go into finance, but it was a summer internship at a banking institution during his last year of university that gave him his first taste of personal finance. “I could see firsthand how clients interact with their Advisors,” says Doug. “I was exposed to how they rely on their Advisors. I heard the conversations that happen when it comes to personal finance, which you don’t typically learn in a textbook.”


The internship led quickly to a job at ScotiaMcLeod. And, he says, something clicked. He’s been there ever since.


Doug calls it being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, and being offered the right opportunities. He recognizes that having such a direct path into personal finance is not the norm – many people start with other careers or get their feet wet in other areas of banking first. But the experience he gained in all areas of personal finance – right out of the gate – surpassed anything he might have missed by starting out in an entry-level banking position.


“When I first started at ScotiaMcLeod, it was right at the cusp of when they rebranded to Scotia Wealth Management. They were moving into more of a one-stop shop, so anyone who needed financial planning, investment advice, or estate planning didn't have to be siloed off into different groups. I got a taste of all the different specialties at once, so I was well-equipped and pretty comfortable speaking with clients about the different facets of their finances.”


That in-depth, firsthand experience, combined with a real passion for helping people discover – and reach – their financial goals, laid the foundation for a career Doug loves and plans to remain in for a very long time. Given that he started in the industry at such a young age, that likely means decades. And that’s good news for clients.


“With an aging population more broadly in Canada, I have been asked more than once from clients, in anxious tones, ‘Doug – will you be here in 10 years for me?’ I can say with certainty to them that I am not planning to go anywhere. Although I have a modest tenure already, I still have a full career ahead of me in this role. And I am happy to say that.”


Consistency and familiarity are important to people who find themselves at an uncertain time in their lives. Easing into retirement isn’t always so easy when you’re dealing with things you’ve never faced before, like no more employment income or now having to withdraw from your investments. “If someone has been guiding you all along and then you have a change of a trusted Advisor right at that pivotal moment, it can be stress-inducing,” says Doug. “I feel content knowing that I will be able to work with my clients for 20-plus years, make a meaningful impact on their long-term financial goals, and see them through their various stages of life.”


Increasingly, Doug is guiding clients through life’s milestones as inter-generational wealth becomes a growing aspect of the practice. More and more, his clients are introducing him to other family members: parents, grandparents, and their kids. Doug’s unique combination of youth plus experience enables him to speak to all generations; whether it’s advising parents who want to feel more comfortable about passing wealth to their children or helping young people develop good financial habits as they move forward in life.



Passionate, like-minded team members



Doug’s passion for helping clients is shared by his business partner and Senior Wealth Advisor, Graham Fallis, and other immediate four team members: Andrea Labelle, Sarah Sauve, Sara Benyaiche, and Alex Roy. It’s a team he describes as incredible. “We have skill sets that range from administrative all the way to financial planning,” says Doug. “The expectations I have and the philosophies I have are, fortunately, also engrained within the team I work with. And that means they’re extremely dedicated to our clients.”


Doug’s appreciation for his like-minded team members extends beyond the immediate six. He credits his management team at Scotia Wealth Management with always supporting what he and his team are doing – and giving them the room to do it. “Our immediate team and branch management team over and above me have been incredible,” he says. “With their support, we are able to make meaningful impacts on our clients’ lives.”



Findyournumber.ca



One of the ways Doug and his team make life easier is by helping clients define their end goal. “We try to boil it down to this Number,” says Doug. “What’s the dollar figure an individual or family would need at retirement to be able to say they are financially secure for the rest of their life? Far too many people we meet say that retirement is almost undefinable.” The team’s approach and their website is called “findyournumber.ca”. Through this process, Doug gains a deep understanding of a client’s life and what’s important to them, then determines what they need to so the client can become financially secure for the rest of their lives, whether they continue to work or not.


Doug is driven by a strong work ethic that brings long hours and the huge responsibility of managing somebody’s life savings. But Doug wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves the responsibility because he loves the feeling of knowing he’s making a genuine impact on somebody’s life.


While his love for what he does doesn’t leave Doug a lot of free time, he makes a point of staying active. When he’s not out biking, hiking, playing tennis, or zipping down a ski hill, you might also find him with his nose in a book – mostly likely a memoir – and getting inspired by others who have pursued their own path to success.


As Doug continues to follow his path, he intends to carry on in a career that is making such a positive impact on the lives of his clients and continues to bring him so much joy.


“What I really truly love about this business is that although I work with a variety of personalities, individuals, and families, I get to see them through milestones in their life path. And get to work with them on a continuous basis as opposed to a project basis. I very much enjoy the aspect of building relationships with my clients and look forward to seeing what’s in the future for them.”


“I can see myself in this role for the rest of my life.”



Janice Tuff is a professional writer and communicator who got her start in radio copywriting.

Three decades later, she continues to draw upon the valuable lessons learned in her radio days: grab your audience’s attention quickly and always tell an engaging tale.






Douglas Lai, CFA, CFP, CIM Wealth Advisor, Portfolio Manager

Rideau Wealth Group Scotia Wealth Management/ ScotiaMcLeod,

a division of Scotia Capital Inc.



350 Albert Street, Suite 2100

Ottawa, Ontario K1R 1A4, Canada

Tel: 613.782.6742 Cell: 613.986.6742

Fax: 613.782.6737 Toll Free: 1.800.267.7684

douglas.lai@scotiawealth.com


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