Title: Senior Portfolio Manager, TD Bank Group

City: Calgary

In the business: 11 years

Minimum assets: $1 million

Book size: $200 million

Personal philosophy

In my own portfolio, I focused on blue-chip Canadian dividend stocks for the past 10 years because of better fundamentals, and stronger currency. Now, there’s limited upside to the Canadian dollar. In 2013, I’ll focus more on U.S. blue chips because their valuations look more attractive. My decision will be based on the company’s earnings growth, P/E multiples, dividends, payout ratios and cash flow.


Twenty per cent of my book comprises Chinese immigrants. Many don’t speak English and haven’t invested before. They’re comfortable with me because I’m able to simplify complex concepts and provide a cultural context in their languages—Taishanese and Cantonese.

A lot of clients want guaranteed returns without the risk. Many of my Chinese clients insist on parking their money in GICs or buying property. I explain it pays to own shares in a sound company that pays a regular dividend. I commonly use analogies from real estate: “Just like rental values don’t dip with dropping condo prices, the value of dividends doesn’t fluctuate despite volatile stock prices.” Once they understand this, they realize they have a pretty good risk tolerance.

Good housekeeping

I respond to all emails before I wind down for the day. And I stay in touch with clients and centres of influence, such as private and commercial bankers and branch-level advisors who refer wealthy clients. I maintain a spreadsheet that shows whom I need to follow up with that month.

My aim is to become the primary advisor for all families I serve (I’m currently primary to most). I’ve started introducing myself to my clients’ children, explaining it’ll help if I have an early connection with their beneficiaries. Some have already opened accounts—and if something happens to their parents the assets can roll over. I’m also showing clients how they can save management fees by having everything under one account.

Kanupriya Vashisht is a Toronto-based financial writer.