- TAYLOR STRANAGHAN
SCOTT COCKBURN, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, IG Wealth Management, Investors Group Financial Service
“It’s coaching. Whether I’m in the financial world or on the soccer field,
at the end of the day, it’s all about communication.”
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER at IG Wealth Management in Ontario, Scott Cockburn has paved the path for so many clients to achieve greater financial security and stability over the long term. Similar to a sports coach, Scott educates clients on how to set goals, create a financial game plan for the future, and make room for adjustments along the way. Having a background in playing, reffing, and coaching high-level soccer, it’s safe to assume this career path was made for him.
The road to financial planning.
Coming from a background in Forensics, Scott has acquired a unique set of skills that sets him apart from most professionals. Using this expertise, Scott gathers all relevant information from clients while also asking questions and thinking outside of the box. “I take all the pieces of the puzzle, string them together on paper and then go yes, there’s the solution right there.”
Taking such a comprehensive approach gives Scott the upper hand not only in regard to investment management, but also in overall financial planning, guidance, and long-term growth. Seeing all the parts in one place offers a more holistic approach to financial planning which, in Scott’s professional opinion, is what sets him apart in the industry.
The sticking point. “I find people are trying to do it themselves,” Scott explains. “Whether they’re scared to reach out for support, or think their issues may be too small, they don’t want to bother a professional.
This is where Scott’s unique approach comes in handy. He calls it “looking into the window of your future”
Before any discussion over investments, retirement planning, tax strategies, and other major financial decisions, Scott begins his sessions by drawing a window. The top right window pane reflects years 1-5; these are the short-term goals. The top left window pane reflects the next 5 to 10 years of your life while the bottom left window pane is used to signify the next 10+ years; both of which are long-term goals. Finally, we have the bottom right window pane which covers everything that could go wrong. “I hand them the marker and say let’s do this together,” says Scott. “I think this approach makes clients realize that this is a unique process which is customized to them because they’re building their own future.”
Alongside this is the essential skill of knowledge translation. Rather than providing partial information, overcomplicating things, or creating scenarios where the client always feels like they’re going to need him, Scott simplifies the process. “If I were hit by a bus, you could actually continue on with your own financial plan,” he says. “I think clients value that trusted advice and are comforted in knowing that they have full control over their futures, given the right guidance and planning advice.”
Although Scott has a way of making sense of clients’ situations, no matter how complicated it may seem, the most important part of his process is delivering this information into bite-sized pieces. “I pride myself on my communication and taking the approach for full transparency as well,” he says. “When I come back to the client, I put together multiple options that make the most sense.”
You don’t need millions of dollars to seek financial planning.
Another feature that sets Scott apart from other financial professionals in the industry is his intention to work with people from any and all walks of life. “What happens is people think they need to have a massive amount of money to have a conversation with me,” he says. “I really want to help people who may not know anything about financial planning, rather than those who are already established.”
Scott has been involved with a diverse group of clients – from business owners to families, and even a combination of the two. “I used to work a lot with the retiree market,” Scott says. “However, I think the industry has shifted, now the senior populations seem to have a majority of the wealth.” Scott moved his focus to the younger, less financially proficient individuals. Some of the clients are in positions where they can start saving money in their 20s, while others may be 40 or 50 years old. “Whatever your goal is – whether you want to retire early, increase your real estate portfolio, or start a new career, I can help you create a financial plan that moves and grows along with your life.
“Stop looking backwards, you’re not going that way.”
Oftentimes, people will arrive at Scott’s door wondering about the difference between accountants, financial advisors, and financial planners, and more importantly, if there is a need for all three. Scott goes on to say “accountants will take today and go backgrounds, financial advisors will look at what your situation is right now and make recommendations, whereas a financial planner focuses on your future while considering both the present and past.
For Scott, it doesn’t matter where you came from or what your starting point is, “all I want to do is work with someone who is willing and wanting to improve their situation,” he says. “Forget about everything that’s happened in the past; we’re going to start today, set your goals, and move forward.”
In the initial consultation with clients, Scott will open up the conversation using a simple quote written on a poster in his office that reads “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. In other words, having an idea, a dream, or a desire to achieve something is not enough to make it a reality. As a financial planner, Scott teaches clients about the importance of creating a plan. “Like a roadmap, a plan helps make a goal more achievable,” he says. “I tie this in with clients when talking about creating a Living Financial Plan.”
Financial planning involves growing and evolving long-term client relationships
Scott takes pride in building strong relationships – both inside and outside of the job. Having gained his designation as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP), it’s given him the opportunity to provide further education about himself, his background, and the skills he is able to offer.
Over the past year, Scott has transformed his business structure to reach a larger audience of future potential clients. “Since COVID, it’s become more difficult to meet in person,” he explains. “Seeing that everything is digital, I found a way to introduce myself and my background using a short video recording. For those who want to learn more, we are able to book a coffee or meeting to chat more.”
Giving back to the community
Scott is also heavily involved in his community.
Currently, he is on the board of directors of the Greater Peterborough Family Health Services Team. “We do a ton of fundraising for health services in town, putting on concerts and other events,” Scott says. “We receive donations and gifts from our community and, as a board member, I help determine who or what program should receive funding.”
Alongside this role, Scott remains active in his contributions to the Peterborough City Soccer Association. “Soccer has been my main sport, and I’ve been a provincial/collegiate level player, referee and coach for 32 years,” he says. “I currently sit as the Vice President of East Central Ontario Soccer Association, which is the governing body for all soccer leagues, youth to adult, recreational to competitive,” he mentions. “I also coach a large group of Under 12 Boys for Peterborough City Soccer which makes up three full teams that I oversee.”
Scott also has a keen interest in bringing awareness to head injuries, leading him to become an active member of Peterborough Athletics Concussion Awareness (PACA). Collaborating with a group of healthcare professionals, Scott helps educate players, parents, coaches, and other sports administrators on the impact of concussions in the hopes of reducing the incidence across youth athletes.
Taylor Stranaghan is a skilled business content writer and editor who brings forth a wealth of knowledge and expertise. With years of experience crafting compelling narratives, she excels at producing high-quality, engaging content that informs, educates, and inspires readers.
Scott Cockburn, CFP®
Senior Financial Consultant
IG Wealth Management Investors Group Financial Services
246 George St N,
Peterborough, ON K9J 3H1