Alan Cranfield, CFP, RFP

Title

Principal, Stonegate Private Counsel

City

Toronto and Muskoka, Ont.

In the business

30 years

Minimum assets

$1 million

Book size

32 households


Philosophy

Our practice focuses on value investing and we use 11 asset classes in a typical portfolio, including short-term income, Canadian and global bonds, Canadian and U.S. equities (large and small cap), international equities and REITs.

We sign quality value managers for rolling 30-to-90-day contracts, and we’re prepared to fire them if they deviate from mandates. If a value manager outperforms the market by 5%, he could be fired for taking on too much risk. We’d also fire a team if the lead manager changes firms, or ceases to manage the pool where we’d placed capital.

Process

Our first interaction with prospects is a discovery meeting. We ask questions like, “What’s important about money to you?” and “What are your most important relationships?” In the second hour-long meeting, we identify gaps in their existing portfolios. During the third, two weeks later, we decide if we’re a good fit. All three meetings are complimentary. Sometimes we agree not to continue after the first or second meeting. But more than half the time, we cement the relationship.

My ideal clients are retired or active business owners with bases in Toronto and/or Muskoka. I keep my book below 50 households because I balance busy workweeks with small vacations. It also allows me to personally cater to everyone in my book. Earlier in my career, I managed around 125 families and it was a struggle to keep up.

I’ve had some clients more than 20 years, and many are now close friends. I love taking them out in my 1929, 34’ 6” deck launch made by Minett-Shields named CHIMO, and they’re thrilled because there aren’t many such boats left.

Life lessons

When I was 10, my father told me he wouldn’t be able to put me through university. So I got a job as a newspaper boy and have worked ever since. It’s the biggest favour my dad ever did for me. This is how I introduce myself to clients who wish to know how I got where I am today.

Kanupriya Vashisht is a Toronto-based financial writer.

Originally published in Advisor's Edge

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