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Clients like that younger advisors will be around to advise heirs during the wealth transfer process, one advisor says.courtneyk/Getty Images

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The youngest advisors on Canada’s Top Women Wealth Advisors ranking say their age has never been a deterrent to gaining new clients. Quite the contrary, they use their age to their advantage with their younger and aging clients.

Rosemary Horwood, a 34-year-old portfolio manager and investment advisor with Rosemary Horwood Wealth at Richardson Wealth Ltd. in Toronto, has found younger clients relate better to someone who isn’t that far off their age.

Ms. Horwood remembers her post-secondary days vividly and recalls her attitude and values at the time.

“I remember the challenge of just being able to afford life and things costing more, in general,” she says. “I think one of the big things at the time was determining the best timing of major purchases.”

She also says younger clients appreciate a professional who’s encouraging and eschews fear-mongering.

“I’m not an advisor who is going to send out headline update e-mails with things that will scare people,” Ms. Horwood says. “As much as it’s about being open and honest on what’s happening in the world, it doesn’t mean I need to be telling stories with a negative viewpoint.”

Instead, Ms. Horwood devotes extra time in her schedule to working with young clients on investor education and various financial concepts.

“That’s simply something many advisors are not prepared or willing to do,” she says.

Ms. Horwood’s client roster includes not only younger clients such as high school and post-secondary students but 90-year-old seniors and every generation in between. She says older clients value having an advisor who won’t outlive them or up and retire, leaving them to adjust to a successor. They also like that the younger advisor will be around to advise heirs during the wealth transfer process.

Younger clients looking for a connection

Megan Deeks, senior wealth advisor with The Deeks Financial Group at CIBC Wood Gundy in Toronto, says younger advisors may be more adept with intergenerational planning, especially when communicating with younger clients. Ms. Deeks, who is 39, and her husband helped a grandmother host a luncheon for children and grandchildren. They conducted a financial literacy session for the entire family.

“There was a beautiful marriage of transitioning assets from the generations,” Ms. Deeks says of the family gathering. “But there was also some mentoring of the young people to be more financially literate and involved with their money.”

Doing these events also gives us a greater opportunity to build deeper relationships with our clients, she says.

“It really solidifies that relationship when you’re connected to so much more of their life than just their investment accounts,” she adds.

Ms. Deeks says she finds younger clients are especially looking for that connection. They want to work with someone who will meet them where they are with their goals and not ingratiate them with their own beliefs.

“Not all clients are the same and we have to cater to what works for them and what they need,” she says.

Ms. Deeks took over her retiring father’s practice and bought another book from a retiring female advisor, who wanted a younger female advisor specifically as her successor.

Taking a multigenerational approach

Lili Hao, investment advisor with Brezer, Vos, Mandell, Reems and Hao Wealth Management Group at BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. in Vancouver, built her book by tapping into what she says is an underserved market. She serves new immigrant families from mainland China, who have international taxation and legal nuances and need to transfer their wealth from one generation to another in their new country of residence.

“These clients require a lot of multigenerational planning as things are so different in a new country,” says Ms. Hao, who immigrated to Vancouver when she was a teenager. Now 40 years of age, she met many of her clients from her days working as a bank teller at another financial institution.

Ms. Hao also has a multigenerational approach to her personal life. She grew and ran her business after a three-year maternity leave. To help manage her home and business, her mom moved with her and her husband to help with the kids.

Technology also assisted her in making client communications more efficient. Ms. Hao notes that younger advisors often gravitate to newer technologies more quickly and may be more at ease in teaching their clients how they work.

She says she had adopted more digital practices long before the pandemic made electronic signatures and video calls more commonplace.

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