LANCE SCOTT, CFP®, CIM® Portfolio Manager, TD Wealth Private Investment Advice, London, Ontario
LANCE SCOTT,CFP®, CIM®, Portfolio Manager,
Senior Investment Advisor, TD Wealth Private Investment Advice, London, ON
"Achieving your goals means thinking about what’s next"
Lance Scott knows a thing or two about goals. He’s been a financial advisor for nearly 15 years, but his focus on goals began years earlier – and in the most Canadian of ways – as a goalie on community and junior hockey teams.
True, the role of a goalie is to prevent goals. But years of keeping his eye on all aspects of the game while anticipating what’s coming next seems to serve him well in his role now as a Portfolio Manager, Senior Investment Advisor at TD Wealth Private Investment Advice holding the Certified Financial Planner, the Trust and Estate Practitioner and the Certified Investment Manager designations, in London, Ontario.
A main focus of Lance’s practice is helping busy executives plan for life beyond work, something he often sees being neglected by clients who are hyper-focused on their careers and leading their organizations. “They’re very good at running a business, but we often find their personal finances are in disarray,” says Lance. “We do a lot of work to help them get completely organized and help them transition from the work/life aspect into retirement.”
This includes collaborating with specialists across TD Bank Group to look at the major areas of wealth, including tax planning, retirement planning, financial planning, estate planning and legacy planning. It’s looking at the big picture and making sure all the pieces are in place for a stress-free transition from work to retirement – not necessarily a simple thing for busy business owners.
“I helped a family put together a succession plan for them to pass on their business to their children,” says Lance. “We worked diligently with all the current owners to set up and structure things like a shareholders’ agreement, making sure everyone's wills were in place, having multiple wills. When the time came, the transition would be done as smoothly as possible.”
Helping someone get their financial life in order and take the necessary steps to retire in the way they want to retire is no small process. It involves multiple dedicated professionals and many meetings with a client’s accountants, lawyers and others. Lance continues to expand his own skills and designations (he recently successfully completed his trust and estate planning exams) in his strive to provide the highest level of service and knowledge to his clients.
It also includes encouraging his clients to take a step back; pause the busy day-to-day and recognize what’s important aside from their career. For Lance, it’s about getting his clients to think about their values and priorities and envision “what’s next”. Lance believes that one of the most important steps is really quite simple: have a conversation about the future.
“Sometimes I joke that I’m more of a psychologist than an investment advisor,” says Lance. Putting on the therapist hat helps him draw out dreams and goals from people who have been so busy in their careers they’ve never stopped to think about what the next chapter may hold. “They lose sight of their personal financial freedom goals, then unintentionally end up working more years than they planned to before they retire.”
“I work with a number of executives and other individuals who are in different jobs or businesses and their finances are all over the place,” says Lance. “They want to get to that retirement point, but they don’t really know where they’re at. They might be debt free but don’t really know what that means for them. So we put all the elements together for them and ask, is this what you want to do? And if not, we need to build another strategy and walk them through it.”
While having that conversation is critical to planning for retirement, talking about what retirement is actually going to look like is equally important.
“Everybody needs purpose”
“A lot of people don’t have a purpose and really struggle with it,” says Lance. “We have that conversation about what you’re going to do during retirement, and it comes out that they have no plan. ‘Maybe I'll golf.’ Seven days a week? What are you going to do the other days or when it snows? How will you fill your day when it’s always Saturday? You can't cut your lawn every day,” he laughs. “You’re going to drive your neighbors up the wall!”
The real payback for Lance is seeing the relief that washes over clients when they realize everything is going to be ok. With the right conversations, followed by the right actions, they finally know where they’re at, where they’re going, and they have a plan in place to get there.
Getting into the industry
How did Lance get here? As a goaltender for a number of hockey teams, including a Junior B hockey team in Stratford and the Varsity team at the University of Guelph, Lance admits that he had a brief NHL dream, but it wasn’t in the cards. He got his first taste of the financial industry in high school, when his accounting teacher entered his class into a stocks model contest. “My dad had always looked at stocks in the newspaper, as they did way back in the day. I started to get engaged and followed some of the different stocks we were using in the contest. At university, I met a professor who was a huge fan of Warren Buffet. We talked about portfolio management and it piqued my interest. I changed my major (from kinesiology) to a bachelor of commerce in management economics and finance.”
He soon realized that wealth management was a great fit. “Helping people manage their money and then manage their overall wealth aspect – I just started to develop it.” He took the courses he needed to become a financial advisor – and he continues to take courses. “I’m continuously trying to learn to be a better advisor for my clients.”
“Keep calm and carry on”
His first foray into financial planning was a step right into the frying pan. His career began in 2008, in the midst of a world financial crisis. Being new to the business, it was trial by fire, and learning how to ease the fears of people worried about their investments. “Coming in at 2008 definitely put a perspective into what I do,” he says. “I focus on minimizing the downside and maximizing the upside as much as possible. We look at investments and what's going on in the investment world, then relate everything back to their goals and objectives.”
Beginning his career in the chaotic marketplace of 2008 – along with, perhaps, the catlike agility he honed in his years as a goalie – has enabled Lance to pivot quickly, even in (or maybe especially in) uncertain times. As the pandemic brought new challenges around the globe, Lance saw the opportunity to serve his clients even better.
Knowing that many people were struggling with the isolation of following public health restrictions, Lance and his team created a list of COVID-friendly activities in the area that his clients could take in. They also made a point of checking on clients’ wellbeing regularly, holding WebEx meetings as a way to both connect and educate. And recognizing that, for many, the pandemic was also a time of change, Lance undertook “rediscoveries” will all his clients. “I had clients who decided to retire, some who decided to go back to work. People were looking for different things in their life. We went back and we re-evaluated with all of our clients to see if anything had changed – and not just their finances.”
With many of his clients being business owners, Lance also coached them through the pandemic. This meant helping them navigate the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and supporting them in finding creative ways to keep their businesses alive.
Coaching comes second nature to Lance, who, outside of his professional life, also coaches youth hockey. With two of his three sons in hockey, he’s the head coach of one team and an assistant helper on another. Lance also runs a youth goalie school for goaltenders in London and surrounding areas. He also manages to still play hockey himself, golf a few times a year, participate in slow-pitch and serve as a member of the Ingersoll Rotary Club.
Lance intends to continue building the business. At some point he plans to add to his team or partner with another advisor as a way to offer more expertise and an even higher level of service to his clients.
In the meantime, like any good goalie, he’ll keep his stick on the ice and his eyes on the action. His goal is to keep his clients on track through the ups and downs of the market and see the relief – and the joy – that comes with achieving their dreams.
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.
Lance Scott CFP, CIM
Portfolio Manager, Senior Investment Advisor
TD Wealth Private Investment Advice
380 Wellington Street 18th Floor, Tower B
London, ON N6A 5B5
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