JASON WEINSTEIN CFP® CIM®, Senior Wealth Advisor, Portfolio Manager, Wellington-Altus Private Wealth
Jason Weinstein, Lions Gate Private Wealth Counsel,
a part of Wellington-Altus Private Wealth in Vancouver
“Creating exceptional and personal client experiences”
Jason Weinstein, Senior Wealth Advisor and Portfolio Manager at Lions Gate Private Wealth Counsel in Vancouver, has never been a risk taker. But he has always liked to challenge himself. And so, when he was 21, he decided to try something totally different. He left Canada – alone – to teach English in a small town in Japan.
It wasn’t a complete about-face – Jason came from a family of teachers. His mother was a primary school teacher and his father’s career included being a university professor teaching psychology. Jason himself attained a BA in psychology from UBC. But spending a year on his own in a foreign country was definitely an eye-opening experience. And it led him to a chance meeting with an English-speaking stockbroker, and the realization that he could use his desire to teach in another capacity: Helping people understand the complex world of personal finances.
In 1994, shortly after returning to Canada, Jason moved to Squamish, B.C. with his girlfriend (now wife, Deidre) and began working at the Royal Bank. He met a coworker’s husband who had just started a career in financial planning - a field quite different than the ‘stockbroker’ image he had imagined after completing the Canadian Securities Course. Jason learned more and was immediately hooked. A few years later he attained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® designation and began showing clients a new way of looking at their money.
In the early 2000s, Jason’s client list stretched from Whistler to Vancouver Island. He and his wife moved to West Vancouver to start a family, and he soon met Rob Taylor. Ever the team player, Jason joined forces with Rob and then, about a decade later, with Sheldon Gray. The three partners created Lions Gate Private Wealth Counsel, an independent planning team within Wellington-Altus Private Wealth.
Creating strong and long-lasting relationships
In 2022, Jason celebrated 27 years of marriage to his wife Deidre, and 18 years of being partners with Rob Taylor. Long-term relationships are important to him, and he’s built many lengthy relationships with clients – something he credits, jokingly, to the fact that they can’t get away from him. “It’s very hard to get rid of me. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small client or the largest client, you’re going to hear from me a lot. I want to make sure my clients succeed.”
That last part is not a joke. Jason and his team connect with clients several times a year. “As their lives unfold and their needs evolve, we want to be there,” he says. “We want to find out where they’re going, how they’re doing, and what their interests are so we can make their client experience even better.”
Learning what matters most to create a personal strategy.
That experience begins with a discovery process called the myGateway FORMula. “We discover what matters to our clients in terms of their family and the legacies they wish to leave, the occupation they have, and how they aspire to a work-optional lifestyle,” explains Jason. They also focus on a client’s recreational bucket list to help prioritize their goals and values around money.
“We incorporate those values into the strategy,” says Jason. “And once we understand what matters to our clients, we make sure our clients understand what aspects of our process we can control.”
Jason and his team are guided by philosophies around all financial topics, including:
*Investment: “The markets go up over time but can drop at any time for many reasons. We use strategies to help lessen the effects of big drops.”
*Risk management: “What happens if you’re sick or hurt and can’t work? You can’t always rely on your rich uncle Al.”
*Estate planning: “I ask, how do you want to be remembered? Sometimes they have no answer. Sometimes they do and I say, what are you doing about it?”
“Every client experience – birth, death, new house, or a lottery win – has a planning strategy and a process around it,” says Jason. “We take everyone from Step A to Z. We develop a strategy together, then we deploy and monitor it. We follow a six-step financial process, but we organize it, so clients understand what they need to do.”
Encouraging clients to do the right thing for themselves
Sometimes, what people need to do isn’t what they will do. “It’s human behaviour,” says Jason. Growing up with a father who’s an organizational psychologist, Jason is keenly interested in human behaviour. “I use some of the same concepts, just in a slightly different way as they relate to money, to help people do something I know will help themselves and their families. It’s truly rewarding to see clients do the right thing, like put money into their TFSAs or purchase insurance.”
About 15 years ago, a client, then 42, wanted to buy life insurance. Her husband said they didn’t need it because he made enough money, but she convinced him to buy a 20-year term plan. About seven years later, the wife passed away. Jason went to their home to deliver the life insurance cheque. “The husband said, ‘Jason, I didn’t need this money. But I’m glad it came because it allowed me to bring my parents here from South Africa. It allowed me to take time off to heal with the kids and go to therapy.’ It was one of those times I thought, wow – this really does matter.”
Those meaningful moments are not rarities. That’s thanks, in part, to years of working as an independent Advisor and always doing what’s best for clients. “Being independent is extremely important, making sure clients’ interests are put first before a product. Clients first. That’s a big deal.”
The independence to do the best for clients.
He credits Wellington-Altus with allowing his team to work independently, while providing the support they need. “One thing I love about the company is that they listen to us,” says Jason. “They call me and ask, how can we make this product better, the process better? What works best for how you run your business? They’re basically a support system for advisors.”
He also has a team around him that can look after clients’ needs that go beyond his scope of expertise. “I introduce them to other professionals if they don’t have them. I work with their accountants, their lawyers, other professionals. And we collaborate.”
Jason’s approach is equal parts process, education, and communication. “I like to make the complex simple,” says Jason. That includes making drier information more digestible. “I also help clients with group benefits, he says. “I’m a Chambers of Commerce group representative on the North Shore of Vancouver. People call and want to know about extended health and dental plans, I try to turn a potentially dry conversation about employee benefits into something a little more exciting by describing a process that everyone can understand.”
Jason knows the importance of understanding his audience so he can communicate effectively. But it’s just as important that he understands who he’s best suited for. His client list reflects what his team firmly believes: “We’re not all things to all people. We’re all things to some people.”
Jason works with professionals, business owners, people nearing retirement, or in retirement – but the common denominator is that their needs align with his abilities, his education, his professional designations, and his personality. Jason would rather meet up and play pickleball, like he does with one client, or tennis with another, than sit in an office and dissect pie charts, which he never does.
His personal style is thorough and professional. He uses experience, technology, and good old-fashioned sweat equity to create portfolios that meet clients’ individual needs. “My team has countless investment meetings. We spend countless hours making sure the investments we pick match our clients’ goals,” he says. “We create customized, personalized portfolios. We figure out what works best and run it through many different analytics tools so it’s not just our personal opinion.”
Technology has always been a passion for Jason. He uses innovative software regularly in his practice to inform clients about their portfolios, monitor their progress, and keep track of their activities, hobbies, and even their dogs’ names. “People used to make fun of me when I’d say, hey, what’s your dog’s name? But if I don’t ask about all family members like Nova, Oreo, Luna, or Echo, I won’t get the full picture. I’ve come to realize that now that I have my own!”
Jason’s dog is Hazel, a Mini Bernedoodle (part Bernese Mountain dog, part Mini Poodle) who has taken over his home life. When he’s not walking Hazel, he’s reading, exercising, watching NFL football, or playing pickleball or tennis. He’s also a dad to two busy, grown daughters and a husband to his wife Deidre, a realtor. He’s also a fan of the latest gadgets. He’s helped more than one client with technology in their own home. “I love technology,” he says. “And it’s fun to help them understand how things work.”
Always the teacher. And always providing an exceptional client experience, whatever the situation.
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.
Jason Weinstein, CFP®, CIM®
Senior Wealth Advisor, Portfolio Manager
Lions Gate Private Wealth Counsel
Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Inc.
1055 Dunsmuir Street, Suite 3224
Vancouver, BC, V7X 1L2
Office: 604.637.1137 Toll-Free: 833.227.3292