Crossgrove Blog

Best of 2022: Canada’s top financial advisors share their insights

Tue, Jan 3, 2023 5:00 PM GMT


When it comes to saving or investing, the sheer volume of choices can be intimidating for someone who has accumulated some money, wants to use it wisely but is unsure of where to start. 

If someone is debt-free and ready to invest, the most important consideration is timeline: Will the funds be used over the next year, or can they be set aside long-term for a down payment on a condo or to fund one's retirement?

If the timeline is unknown, I would err on the side of caution and place the funds in a high interest savings account or a cashable term deposit which are currently yielding three to four per cent.

It is also important to "shop around," as financial institutions will often match their competitor's rates.

Understanding 'market risk'

Having too much money in a chequing account isn't recommended due to the daily erosion of buyer power caused by inflation, which is currently running around seven per cent.

If you have longer-term goals and would like your investments to exceed the rate of inflation, consider speaking to an investment advisor.

Many new investors are hesitant to invest in the stock market because they worry about "market risk," which is the fear of a market crash, heightened volatility or, simply, the fear of losing money.

"Market risk" is not my main concern as it can be managed with proper asset diversification and time.

I won't go as far as to say that "time heals all," but history has shown that well-diversified portfolios and North American stock markets are resilient and recover after an economic downturn.

Finding the right advisor

What I'm most concerned about for Canadians is the risk of them running out of money.

We tend to be overly conservative and, often, emotional investors, who are prone to buying high and selling low — behaviours which greatly hinder the overall long-term returns of a portfolio.

Many new investors are further disadvantaged as it can be a struggle finding a good investment advisor who is willing to take them on as a client.

Finding the right financial advisor can help ease your mind, says Mark Ting. (Worawee Meepian/Shutterstock)

They often lack the minimum amount of investable assets required by many established advisors.

However, for some there is a workaround. Try leveraging the relationships of your friends and family and see if they can help you set up a meeting with one of their trusted advisors.

You probably won't end up being a client, but the advice is usually free and they can help steer you in the right direction.

Time is on your side

Young investors shouldn't worry too much about market volatility as they have time — literally decades — on their side.

Unfortunately, the proven "get rich slow" style of investing doesn't cut it for many, so they gravitate toward the very-risky-but-high-potential strategies.

My advice would be to implement a slow and steady investing strategy, adding to it monthly, over time, no matter what is happening in the markets or economy.

I don't have a problem with new investors trying something aggressive like crypto or a new tech stock, but the allocation should be very low as these investments will likely disappoint.

That said, I know from experience that we learn from our mistakes, so as long as most of their portfolio is being invested based on proven strategies, I don't mind if a new investor dabbles in some stock picking as it can be a very good learning opportunity.



Advisors are dealing with growing concerns among clients that another recession may be around the corner – an event that could erode the value of their portfolios and potentially delay some retirement dreams.

Whether it’s investing, tax planning or how to manage an advisory practice, financial advisors are always open and eager to hear insights and strategies from their peers. That information takes on special significance when those sharing it are recognized as the best in their business.

For the second year in a row, The Globe and and Mail in partnership with SHOOK Research produced the Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors ranking to acknowledge the most effective advisors in the country. Furthermore, an expanded Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors: Best in Province ranking was introduced for the first time to identify the most successful advisors in the country, by region.

Here are 10 articles in which advisors from both the 2021 and 2022 rankings shared their tactics with colleagues and investors alike:

How top advisors are positioning clients’ portfolios for 2022

Globe Advisor asked some of the advisors on the inaugural Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors ranking how they were positioning clients’ portfolios for this year, and which sectors, themes and specific stocks they were looking at to deliver alpha. Jay Smith of CIBC Wood Gundy in Toronto, David LePoidevin at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management in Vancouver, and Guy Côté with National Bank Financial Wealth Management in Montreal contributed their strategies.

Why these equities are the ‘most exciting trade’ for Canada’s top wealth advisor

David LePoidevin of Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, who was recognized as the No. 1 advisor in the second annual top wealth advisors ranking, has made a career out of going against the grain of traditional money management. He recently told Globe Advisor why his most exciting trade right now is reset, fixed-floating preferred shares.

How some of Canada’s top wealth advisors are approaching this RRSP season

Investors faced heightened market uncertainty during this past year’s registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contribution season, but there are different strategies they can take when putting new money to work. Nicolas Schulman of National Bank Financial Wealth Management, Rob McClelland at Assante Capital Management Ltd. and Rob Tétrault with Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management provided their investment outlooks and RRSP strategies before the March 1 contribution deadline.

How top advisors are navigating volatile markets to spot the bargains

Rising interest rates, surging inflation and recession fears have pummelled stock markets this year and spooked investors. Technology stocks have been roiled amid higher interest rates, while energy plays – the recent market darlings – have sold off on worries about an economic slowdown. Despite the volatility, three veteran top wealth advisors are seeing buying opportunities but disagree on whether to hold Canadian banks’ stocks.

Why investors are not fussed with top advisors’ fees despite shift to down market

Advisor fees are often top of mind for clients in times of volatile markets and economic downturns. But some top wealth advisors say that’s not the case because their clients know and value what they’re paying for, which goes well beyond investment performance. “We are not questioned in a down market because we have a value proposition that clients know and understand,” says Catherine Laurin at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. in Montreal.

Top advisors reveal what it takes for those starting out in the industry

Starting out in any established industry can be difficult when you’re new to the game, but there are strategies that advisors can use to get a head start – especially when they come from those who are recognized for excellence in the field. The three advisors who topped the inaugural ranking of Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors say those who are just starting their careers should make great service the priority.

How top advisors are managing portfolios with the threat of another recession

Advisors are dealing with growing concerns among clients that another recession may be around the corner – an event that could erode the value of their portfolios and potentially delay some retirement dreams. An-Lap Vo-Dignard and Jennifer Tozser of National Bank Financial Wealth Management and Cam Currie at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management shared what they’re telling clients about the threat of another recession and how they’re rejigging portfolios to try to lessen the blow.

How Alberta’s top advisors are handling an influx of new clients

Reasonable housing prices, low taxes and good jobs are fuelling migration to Alberta from other provinces. Angus Watt with National Bank Financial Wealth Management in Edmonton, David Popowich at CIBC Wood Gundy in Calgary and Trixie Rowein of Raymond James Ltd. in Edmonton gave their views on how they’re capitalizing on this new client boom and helping newcomers to the province navigate its peculiar economic cycles.

Taxes are a major concern for top advisors as many lean on specialists for complex strategies

Taxes are one of life’s certainties, even if many Canadians would rather not think about them – particularly when it comes to their investments. Yet, taxation is always top of mind for some advisors on the top wealth advisors – best in province ranking because it affects just about every aspect of clients’ investment portfolios and wealth management plans. “It’s integral to what we’re doing for clients, especially those in higher tax brackets,” says Eric Muir at Raymond James in Vancouver.

Why two top Black advisors see great opportunities for their community in the investment world

Black wealth managers remain underrepresented in the financial services industry; and while there’s been progress in recruiting and supporting the career development of advisors from that community, more can be done. That’s the message from Mark Miller at TD Wealth Private Investment Advice and Andrew McDonald at CIBC Wood Gundy in Toronto – the only two Black advisors in the inaugural ranking of top wealth advisors of 150 financial professionals.

Happy New Year!  Follow our Crossgrove & Company blog and social media platforms (Linked-in, Facebook, Instagram) for up-to-date financial advice to start 2023.  Better yet, contact us and let us tailor a plan specific to your needs!


Reference: Globe & Mail, CBC News