PAM KATUNAR, Wealth Manager, Heart Wealth Management Group of Raymond James Ltd.
“Making Wealth Management Understandable”
When it comes to her client’s money, retirement specialist and Wealth Manager Pam Katunar compares handling a portfolio to growing a garden. Coming from a farming background, Pam likes to use this type of analogy with her clients to help them easily understand more about investment management.
Pam and the Heart Wealth Management Group of Raymond James help their clients through:
*Legacy and estate planning
*Life insurance and annuities
*Business owner and corporate executive services
*Investment management and research
*Tax-efficient income planning
There are not many female Wealth Managers in Canada. “Being a woman and a Wealth Manager, gives me a unique perspective. The majority of our clients are retired and a large portion of their retirement income comes from the investments that we manage,” Pam adds.
A Retirement Specialist and Wealth Manager, Pam uses her considerable financial know-how to make finance more approachable to her clients. The daughter of a banker and a primary school teacher, Pam learned early on how to meld her talent with numbers with her ability to speak, teach, and explain complex topics in plain language.
“I got into this business to help people,” she says. “I really do care about my clients. I can’t control the markets, the global situation, or the interest rates, but I can commit to my clients to do the best job I can in current market conditions for their situation and where they are in life.” We have a wonderful team in place at Heart Wealth Management Group of Raymond James, which makes my job even better.
Pam’s down to earth, jargon-free approach is what makes her advice so valuable.
“Before I can do my job, I have to understand what my client’s money needs to do for them and what they want it to achieve. Helping them understand the importance of this, I often use a gardening analogy, asking them if their money can be like a beautiful, fragrant flower garden that can be enjoyed for generations, or do we need to have veggies in there to provide you with food right now?”
After a brief stint at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Pam worked in computer programming and technology until she had children when she made the decision to give up full time work and teach various computer courses for a local college. When it was time to return to the workforce full-time, Pam let her talent with numbers — and her passion for caring for and helping others — take her into the world of investment management. She has also obtained specialized certifications related to divorce and helping seniors. “I didn’t even know what this field was about.” she laughs. “It was all new to me, but I knew I wanted to do something that helped people, especially seniors. Little did I know what a wonderful career opportunity wealth management was going to be.”
Pam’s motto has always been “where there is a will, there is a way.” I had the will to make this career successful for myself and my family and here we are!
Before joining the Heart Wealth Management Group of Raymond James, Pam worked at a bank- owned financial services firm for over seven years. She got tired of hearing about profit margins for the bank and never the word “client” so she moved to Raymond James. She now feels better able to personalize and customize her services for her clients.
Although Pam says she is “super happy with the way things turned out,” the path wasn’t always easy. As a busy mother of two young children, Pam studied for her Canadian Securities courses over the steering wheel of her car at soccer practice. She completed the quizzes in the stands of the hockey arena where her son played goalie, and once fully licensed, spent the next seventeen years putting her knowledge to work.
A passion for helping her clients learn is something Pam has practiced for years. However, when it comes to retirement planning, she brings her personal experience to the table as well. Having cared for her own parents in their later years, Pam has been through the journey of downsizing their home to a condo, a condo to a retirement community, and the retirement community to long-term care. Being so well versed in the stages of retirement helps her see the big picture of not just her client’s finances, but their lifestyles as well.
“I've worked with quite a few couples and statistically, it's the gentleman who passes away first,” she says. “He may or may not have been the finance guy, but now his wife is left on her own and doesn't have her life partner to talk about money with anymore. In cases where I knew the husband, then I can step in and assist her knowing how he's dealt with their finances.”
And for Pam, this goes beyond finances.
“I have a special place in my heart for widows, because I saw what my mom went through as a caregiver for my dad for many years and then left on her own,” she says. “When I know somebody is living at home alone, I try to go to their house to meet with them and see how they're doing. I know what the signs are when someone starts to fail. I saw it with my mom. They try really hard to cover up the fact that they're struggling, but you can see it once you have been through it.”
Statistics suggest that 80% of widows leave their Advisor when their spouse dies. “Not a single widow has left us because we engage and work with both men and women.” It often means working with family members to keep everyone on the same page, and doing regular check-ins with the families we serve. “Clients love our team’s energy and enthusiasm and feel comforted knowing that the team will be able to care for them for decades to come. They often recommend their friends and family because they know we have succession plans in place.”
“As for aging in place, we recommend that you live at home for as long as it's working for you and you're independent. Financially it makes sense. However, you also need a retirement projection ahead of time so that when it is time to move, you know your options and can have peace of mind about your future. When we meet with clients going through the various stages of retirement, we know what questions to ask and likely what stage is coming next. We can also help their family get more involved if necessary. All of this is because of what I've lived through — this knowledge doesn't come from a textbook.”
It’s this kind of ‘wealth with heart’ that defines Pam’s caring, customized and personalized practice, and the foundation of what makes Heart Wealth Management Group of Raymond James unique.
With her children now in their twenties, Pam is no longer studying over the steering wheel or juggling hockey practice with her career. Although she remains “super involved” with her family and her work, she also enjoys reading, horseback riding, and fitness classes.
“I'm getting to the stage now where my kids are independent and I can do more for me. You know, just be physically active, take care of yourself, and continue to read, study and travel. I’ve been very blessed with good health and the capacity to live life at a pretty lively pace.”
The Heart Wealth Management Group of Raymond James is here to help make your life easier doing what’s best for you today and for your future.
With our consistently caring and conservative advice, we’ll help bring your financial future into focus by caring for your wealth with heart. Reach out to us today!
Kristen Campbell holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science from McMaster University and spent a year in the University of Calgary's MA Political Science program before completing her BComm in Accounting. She enjoys blending her research & financial background with her passion for telling stories and creating content that's as fun to read as it is to write.
Pam Katunar, Wealth Manager
Certified Professional Consultant on Aging
Heart Wealth Management Group of Raymond James Ltd.
#1000-1175 Douglas St
Victoria, BC V8W 2E1