- TAYLOR STRANAGHAN
SCOTT WALLACE B.P.E., B.Ed, CFP®, CLU®, CEA, Financial Planner, Sun Life, Edmonton, Alberta
Scott Wallace, B.PE, B.Ed, CFP®, CLU® , CEA
Financial Planner, Sun Life
“Being a successful Financial Planner is about patience.
It’s more of a slow and steady marathon, rather than a sprint”
Scott Wallace, Financial Planner at Sunlife, is a highly skilled and dedicated professional whose 30 years of expertise have earned him a reputation for delivering exceptional results to Clients.
“I work with Clients, helping them manage their money and make informed decisions about insurance and investments,” he says. Holding several certifications, including Certified Executor Advisor, Financial Planner designation, and Chartered Life Underwriter designation, Scott is a tremendous asset to Clients, providing them with the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate complex financial situations.
Scott’s primary focus is on retirement planning, which takes up about 90% of his time. He helps Clients set up plans and portfolios that generate steady income during retirement. His expertise in managing risks and achieving long-term financial goals helps ensure that Clients can achieve lifelong financial security and peace of mind.
Following in his father’s footsteps
Interestingly, Scott never planned on becoming a Financial Advisor. “I remember being in my dad’s office once as a kid and he was explaining to me what he did,” Scott says. “I told him that I would never do this for a living – it was too hard!”
Despite his initial reluctance towards the profession, Scott’s career began in 1994, when his father inspired him to take over his business.
“My dad was an Advisor up in Grande Prairie,” he says. “When he was planning on retiring, he called me up to ask if I would move to Grande Prairie to take over his business.” However, he and his wife, Jen, have grown fond of their hometown in Edmonton and passed up the offer to move north. “My dad then says to me, well, have you ever thought about opening up your own business in Edmonton?”
Though, at the time, Scott was on a different professional path. “I had a permanent teaching contract at the time, so I had the opportunity to take a leave of absence,” he explained. “So, I thought to myself that if I did take the initiative to become an Advisor and didn’t enjoy it, worst case scenario, I could go back into the classroom.”
The decision was made even easier when around this time the provincial government announced a 5% pay cut for government employees. “This made me think that if I am going to be making 5% less, I should try something else,” Scott explains. “By August 2, 1994, I started with THE MUTUAL GROUP.”
Within six months, Scott realized that he had found his true calling and never looked back. “I really enjoyed what I did and I still love teaching, but I loved being my own boss and setting my own schedule more,” he says. Scott went back to the school board and resigned and continued with THE MUTUAL GROUP.
“Fast forward, and I will be starting my 30th year in August as a financial planner,” Scott says.
It’s all about strong communication and transparency
Growing up, Scott always knew he would become a teacher. Even his parents reinforced this idea from an early age. Though he ended his teaching career early, his background in education has given him a unique perspective on financial planning, allowing him to educate Clients on complex financial concepts in a way that is easy to understand.
“Currently, I still think I am an educator,” Scott mentions, “only in the less traditional sense now. Even though my vision was to be in a school setting, I believe that I can use the skills I gained over those years to help guide and educate Clients to make better financial decisions for themselves and their families.”
For Scott, communication and transparency are two pivotal values that he practices regularly. He believes in always staying in touch with Clients and ensuring they know what’s happening. “I strive to communicate clearly, and explain the big picture to Clients,” he says. “My background in education has given me a head start on this.” Scott’s emphasis on the big picture and long-term planning has helped him build strong, lasting relationships, as Clients understand how everything works together and what their future may look like.
The importance of sticking to a plan
“I feel I earn my keep in volatile markets,” Scott mentions. “Since most people are happy when they are getting great positive returns, they have very few questions. However, when they are getting negative returns, that is where I come in to provide reassurance and guidance.”
Scott offers advice on why Clients need to hold onto their portfolios and how to minimize volatility in retirement. With this, Scott emphasizes the importance of having a plan, sticking to it, and adjusting when necessary. “My role is to educate Clients and explain the reasoning behind their investment decisions,” he says. “Ultimately, this can help reinforce their confidence and make for a successful retirement plan.”
Financial planning success
On the retirement planning side of the business, Scott takes pride in helping Clients retire comfortably. “This means that the plan is working accordingly, and Clients are not concerned that they’re going to run out of money at any point.”
On the insurance side, Scott recounts one meaningful story that he was proud to share. “One of my closest friends that I have known since the age of six passed away suddenly in his 50s, he says. “He was a Client of mine, and though this was a difficult time for me on a personal level, I was proud to provide support to my friend’s family by processing his claim within 48 hours.” This experience highlighted the importance of his work and the impact it can have on other people’s lives.
This experience has reinforced Scott's dedication to his work and Clients, and he expresses gratitude for his employment with Sun Life. “I feel very fortunate to work for a company like Sun Life,” Scott mentions. “I run a small operation with my wife, who manages the office. Through the use of Sun Life’s impressive tools and technology, we have discovered great success with our Client base.”
Continued Learning and Mentorship: Key elements for financial advisors to stay ahead of the game
Financial Advisors have to ensure that they’re knowledgeable about the latest technology and how it can be used to enhance their Clients’ portfolios. Scott emphasizes that continued learning and professional development are both fundamental components in the world of financial planning. “Education is a must right now,” he says. “The business is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends so I am better equipped to help Clients.”
Another way Scott stays up to date in the financial advising world is through mentorship. “I was fortunate to have my father as a mentor,” he recalls. “Having been in the business for 22 years, my father taught me a lot of the fundamentals from an early age.” Scott also had supportive colleagues, including Brian Kjenner and Jack Wenaus who were always available to offer guidance and advice.
Scott also believes that mentorship is a two-way street, as both the mentor and mentee can learn from one another. As he learns from the best in the business, he shares his knowledge with up-and-coming Advisors eager to begin their careers. “I mentored two young Advisors who were fresh out of university,” Scott mentions. “Since then, they have gone on to have excellent careers. I take pride in knowing I played a small part in their journey.”
Balancing work, life, and future endeavours
“It’s always a challenge to try and find the perfect balance in life,” Scott mentions. “You’re either not working enough or working too much.” While he admits that finding the perfect balance is elusive, he tries to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle by staying active and enjoying downtime with his family and friends. “I am very protective about my calendar – when I’m off, I try to take the time to work on myself.”
Scott keeps himself busy by participating in IRONMAN races and ultra-marathons. He believes that these endurance events translate well into his work life as they both require patience and a ‘big-picture’ perspective. “Currently, I am training for a 160 km Gran Fondo bike ride in July and a 33.3 km, 2,900 m elevation gain mountain run in June,” he says. “I also play piano in a Classic Rock band.”
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 A. Wallace B.PE, B.Ed, CFP®, CLU® , CEA
Financial Planner, Sun Life
Suite 100 8657 51 Ave,
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6A8
780 - 408 - 5480 (ext. 2207)