Ty A. Cooke,
CFP, FMA, CIM, FCSI, CSWP
Vice-president and portfolio manager, Orlic Harding Cooke Wealth Management, Richardson GMP Limited
In the business
About 75% of our book is physicians, whom we sought out 12 years ago when they became allowed to incorporate their practices. My partners and I had worked with doctors before, so we decided to focus on our niche and used targeted seminars and mailings to reach this demographic. We also wrote various articles focused on financial planning for physicians.
Our client base is very analytical and discerning, so our initial meeting includes a 63-question discovery process. We ask what money means to them and about their previous investment experiences, to gauge what’s disappointed them in the past, as well as what they’ve liked and disliked about previous advisors. Many clients say a firm’s ability to save them time is important, so we work closely with their other centres of influence to facilitate that. We also meet clients and prospects as a team of three specialists. I specialize in financial planning and investment proposals; another partner in insurance and estate planning; the third in investment research and portfolio construction.
Physicians tend to be highly accredited, so they pay attention to our designations and qualifications. A couple of our clients found us when they searched for advisors with a CSWP designation or read our articles.
We encourage clients to introduce us to family members. For example, we’ll ask, “How’s your son doing? We remember he graduated from the University of Guelph’s bio-med program last year. What’s he doing now? We’d love to meet him.”
Another example: a new client has a 10-year-old daughter with a penchant for investing. We’ve set up an in-trust account where she’s picked companies she likes (e.g., Walt Disney, Lululemon). She receives regular shareholder communications, and we email her performance updates.
We also did an in-person review this past summer, once school was out. That’s helped cement our relationship with the parents, and lay the groundwork for a future relationship with the daughter.
Kanupriya Vashisht is a Toronto-based financial writer.