VP and Investment Advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy
In the business
I have a keen eye for capital preservation. I stick with simpler concepts—investment-grade bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and blue-chip dividend stocks—that clients understand and feel comfortable with. I avoid structured products such as preferred shares that are contingent on too many buts and ifs. I’m wary of yields that veer significantly from the rest of the sector (8% or more); the underlying risk is invariably higher.
I use stop-limit sell orders for more volatile sectors, such as technology and resources, or sectors that don’t pay many dividends—particularly for clients with lower pain thresholds and a higher need for income. I don’t shy from taking profits when, for example, a position doubles. And I use that money to further diversify the portfolio.
Women represent approximately two-thirds of my book, and growing. My business has evolved into a network of women from many walks of life—they include CEOs, homemakers, corporate lawyers, widows and rock stars. Couples like that I communicate equally well with both spouses.
I forge bonds by getting the personal details right (such as calling them on birthdays or anniversaries, rather than sending out generic mass holiday greetings once a year), responding promptly, moving at the client’s pace, meeting older clients and senior executives in their own spaces and being transparent with fees and services.
I have four young boys. When I step through the door at night, I become a hockey mom, soccer chauffeur and a mean cupcake baker. Periodically, I show up unannounced at their school just before the lunch bell and take one or more for a surprise lunch date. It gets busy at times, but I’ve created a team that supports me. They’re comfortable representing me at meetings when I’m having a full day. They know my thinking, strategy and opinions, and can say, “This is what Julie thinks.” My clients know and respect them equally.
Kanupriya Vashisht is a Toronto-based financial writer.