KEVIN PARTON, CFP®, Executive Financial Consultant, Parton Group IG Private Wealth Management
"A private wealth practice that prioritizes knowledge, family, and peace of mind"
Kevin Parton is not afraid of complexity. In fact, he embraces it, and Kevin’s propensity for the complex helps him guide clients through territory where some Advisors are hesitant to go. However, when it comes to how he leads his practice and lives his life, Kevin firmly believes in a few simple tenets: financial planning should be accessible to everyone; financial confidence lets you enjoy all other aspects of your life; and family is everything.
Family and relationships are key reasons Kevin became a certified financial planner and today leads a successful practice at IG Private Wealth Management.
When Kevin was 21, his friend’s father, a Financial Advisor, offered him a job in the finance industry. Kevin joined part-time and this opportunity provided him the valuable insight into the importance of communication and care in building long-lasting relationships with both your team and clients.
One of his roles was to gather clients’ financial information and turn it into visually impactful, clear, and meaningful presentations. “That was my first foray into finance, helping provide better value to his clients through data communicated clearly.” The ability to distill complex information into a clear and understandable strategy for clients is a skill that has stuck with Kevin throughout his career.
That first experience confirmed that his future was, indeed, in the finance industry. So, at the young age of 22, he dove right in to gain real-time experience right away. “I was acutely focused on getting an academic education within the financial world. I wanted to get as much accreditation within the industry as I could to demonstrate that I’m very much passionate about this.”
That passion led to Kevin acquiring, as he jokes, more letters after his name than in his name. Kevin holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and the Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC®) designations.
He also holds the Elder Planning Counselor (EPC™) designation, created primarily for people working with retired clientele. It felt even more relevant to Kevin, who was in his 20s when he acquired it, and working with more people approaching retirement. “I wanted a better understanding of what it’s actually like to live in retirement and to make those decisions,” he says.
Planning for the lifecycles of retirement
People’s financial and social needs change as they get older, so a good retirement plan must consider the different needs in each stage of the lifecycle. He builds a plan in three segments: early retirement, when people are still young and healthy, want to travel; mid retirement; when they’re not travelling as much but still want to get out; and later retirement, where they may need help with care, and there’s an increase in healthcare expenses.
He also understands that working with retirees, or near-retirees, requires a compassionate and hands-on approach, because it’s a time in life when many people feel most vulnerable. “It’s one of the biggest financial decisions people make and it can cause them anxiety and grief,” says Kevin. “The emotional component of going from working with an income to living on a passive income, there are a lot of feelings, a sense of helplessness.”
Guiding clients through complexity
Kevin also tailors his approach to his business clients, who make up the bulk of his clientele. Their financial situations are often complex – no company pension, self-insured, personal and corporate investments, multiple corporations. But again, complex is Kevin’s specialty. And as an entrepreneur himself, Kevin understands the business owner mindset.
“Business owners understand where they need to spend their time to generate the most profits and benefit in outsourcing the rest. We work very well together because of our unique value proposition as a practice: We are our clients’ financial partners.”
That means Kevin and his team are there for all things financial, but not limited to helping only with things like investments or estate planning. “We have strong relationships with accountants, business brokers, bookkeepers, marketers, so we can add auxiliary assistance. If a business owner wants to improve their website, streamline their accounting, all the way to developing an exit strategy or succession plan, we have cultivated these relationships that extend our services beyond standard financial planning. We operate as a team, so we can help business owners navigate the different stages of the businesses through to retirement.”
Kevin’s expertise in managing investment accounts for dual citizens is another financial planning area outside of many Advisors’ comfort zone. Kevin’s team works with U.S. citizens who reside in Canada, and they’ve had to figure out all the tax rules and implications around managing those accounts. “We have a pretty good structure and planning approach for them. A lot of institutions don’t know how to handle them.” Or they don’t want to because they’d rather avoid the complexities altogether.
Life is better when you’re not worried about finances
While Kevin enjoys the problem-solving that comes with his practice, the real reward
comes from easing clients’ worries about their finances. “People spend much of their time being stressed and that's distracting them from things they would much prefer to be doing: being present for their kids, enjoying other parts of their life, contributing to their relationships, contributing to their communities,” he says. “If we can limit those distractions by providing people the confidence in their finances, that's rewarding to me.
Kevin has always been interested in the emotional side of the finance industry. “There’s a lot of value to complex financial planning, but a lot of what we do is behavior management,” he says. “Now is a great example of that. Six months into a market decline and so many people are making emotional decisions that will impact themselves for the rest of their lives. When you don’t have someone in your corner providing context, providing the financial plan, letting you know things are ok or how to make the right decisions – people are gambling with their futures and, in many cases, it will come at the expense of their important goals.”
Financial knowledge is for everyone
Kevin believes that financial knowledge is for everyone, not just for the wealthy. Growing up, he says, nobody in his family talked about finances. His parents, both shift workers and union members, believed everyone fit within their current place in the financial hierarchy, and you didn’t move outside of that realm. But Kevin was always curious about the psychology of money and why it was such a taboo topic. “Why don’t we talk about it? Why is it only available to some and not others? It involves everything we do.”
An issue of real concern to Kevin is the number of people who will have no money saved as they approach retirement in the next 20 or 30 years – thanks, in a large part, to poor financial decisions, like chasing a big payday through the next big thing, like cryptocurrency or NFTs, or simply not having a financial plan, maybe because they don’t trust Bankor Advisors, or maybe because they don’t have enough knowledge – or don’t think they have enough money to employ the services of a Financial Advisor.
Kevin would like to change all of that. “I want to, as best as possible, provide tools and information on a platform that’s interesting enough for people to look,” he says. “They can get knowledge, use it to help themselves, and get to a place where they’ve maxed out their RRSP or realize that the habit of saving is working for them. When you find yourself asking ‘am I paying unnecessary taxes or fees on my investments’ or ‘are there planning opportunities that I don’t know about?’, it has become more complicated.” And “complicated” is where a financial advisor like Kevin can help, providing the expertise and knowledge to achieve those future financial goals.
A growing team and practice
Kevin knows that helping clients succeed also helps his team members succeed, and he intends to grow his practice to ensure the people he works with continue to have fulfilling careers.
“It’s over and above what we can do for our clients. It’s what we can do with the people we work with, which is help create a very healthy environment and career that's fulfilling,” he says. “The better I am at marketing who we are, the more clients we help, the more opportunity there is to bring people into this career and onto our team. Canadians seeking financial advice from our team create more amazing and lucrative job opportunities for existing or aspiring financial planners. With these careers they can also then pay more attention to their family, friends, and communities. They're not stressed about their job.
His practice is on the right trajectory. In 2019 and 2021, his practice qualified for President's Council, which is within IG Wealth Management, and recognizes the top 51 -122 practices across the country. It’s based on many of the same metrics needed to qualify for Private Wealth, which Kevin recently did. Private Wealth recognizes advisors who are consistently leading in areas of growth and satisfaction and excelling in areas like planning. It’s no small accomplishment – there are only 162 private wealth practices out of the more than 1,000 practices across the country.
It’s all about family
At the end of the day for Kevin, though, nothing is more rewarding – or more important – than taking care of his family. His wife and two daughters are everything. Working from home during the pandemic showed him that he could do his best for clients while also being there for his family.
“I love the business. I love working with people. I love helping people. But I wouldn't do any of this if it didn't provide me the opportunity to be present with my wife and present with my daughters. I want to make sure they grow up knowing there is nothing to me that was more important than them.”
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.
Kevin Parton, CFP® , CLU® , RRC® , EPC™
Executive Financial Consultant Kevin.Parton@igpwm.ca
Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
1800 – 666 Burrard S
Vancouver, BC, V6C 2X8
#120 – 2121, 152nd St.
South Surrey, BC, V4A 4P1
t: 604.560.0811 c : 604.805.4642