In 2001, while a community banking manager with CIBC in Timmins, I seized the opportunity of a corporate restructuring to be with my son by moving to Sudbury to lead a team of Northern Ontario investment specialists with BMO’s Private Client Group. My restructuring package was placed into mutual funds, right before the Dot.Com Crash in 2002. Like many others, I experienced a considerable loss that took years to recover.
After reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, I bought 3 commercial properties in downtown Sudbury between 2003 and 2007. In 2008 when stocks and bonds dropped 30-40%, my real estate investments continued to generate income. The importance in diversifying my wealth to include assets that do not trade on the stock market was reaffirmed.
I was a Certified Financial Planner with Dundee Wealth during the financial crisis of 2008. Unlike me, most of my clients had all their wealth in mutual funds. Many seriously reconsidered their retirement plans – including returning to work. I was left wondering if the unprecedented measures taken by governments and central banks would work next time. That drove me to seek additional solutions to help my clients protect their wealth during a market crisis.
I learned about Agcapita Farmland Trust from an associate who had joined Raintree Financial Solutions. I knew farmland was an asset held by some pension funds, such as the Canada Pension Plan. I concluded Agcapita represented a suitable risk-adjusted opportunity for me, so I transferred some mutual funds in my RRSP for Agcapita. In time, I increased my Raintree allocation to further diversify into different forms of real estate, infrastructure, and private equity.
Traditional financial institutions don’t generally sell private investments, so the average retail investor simply hasn’t been given a choice. It was important to me to offer my clients the choice to do with their money what I was doing with mine. So, after testing the waters and concluding that the ownership of private companies could benefit my clients as it did me, I joined Raintree.