YPDaily: Andrew Stulberg

Andrew Stulberg is a 29-year-old York University business grad and currently a Division Director and financial advisor for Investors Group. He’s tasked daily not only to service his clients and help them with their wealth management, but also to lead and inspire a team of individuals to be the best they can in their roles. Find out more about this ‘consistently performing’ YP in today’s feature.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Myself and my team offer full service asset management to Toronto’s high net worth community. We focus on all disciplines of wealth management. From investment planning to tax planning my philosophy is: It is not about how much you make but how much you keep. That being said, my practice is predominately focused on three main groups of clientele: Retirees and those nearing retirement, medical and dental professionals, as well as successful business owners.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Considering both market volatility and the state of the global economy over the past decade, brand awareness was very important to me when I began my career in the financial services industry. Long gone are the days where an investor can place his/her money (and trust) just anywhere, with just any financial advisor. Investors Group is an industry leader; it is the largest financial planning firm in Canada. The strength, stability and security of this company, along with its focus on financial planning (as opposed to just investment planning), weighed heavily on my decision to join the company. As a financial advisor with Investors Group, I place a primacy on building a relationship with each of my clients – this aspect of my career has become extremely important to me. Over the years, I have become acutely aware of how banks and other financial institutions service their clientele. I saw and continue to see a huge opportunity for myself to build a professional practice using the Investors Group model of relationship building and full service financial planning.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my day, by far, is meeting with both prospective and existing clientele. I very much value and enjoy the opportunity that I have to meet with people and potentially shape the next 30 to 40 years of their lives. In my role as a financial advisor, I meet a wide variety of people and as I get to know them better I obviously begin to understand what their goals are, both personally and financially. Even more, if I am privileged enough to be given the opportunity to consult with these individuals on their financial affairs, I begin to strategically plan how to meet these goals – how to save enough taxes one year and be able to send the entire family on a vacation the next year. As an advisor, I find this part of my career extremely rewarding.

The biggest challenge, I believe, is managing my energy. To be there for my team, my clients, etc. means that I have to be in a million places at once sometimes, giving each person I see my full attention. I believe that the average person manages their time but successful people manage energy.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself leading the top advisory team within the company. What does a top advisory team involve? A lot! The building phase of the industry in which I work is very time consuming and involves a lot of man power. Two and a half years ago I hired an associate to assist me in the building of this team and the building of my brand. In five years from now, I see myself in a position where all of our hard work has paid off. That is, the foundation has been laid where each individual participating in my wealth management practice is not only aware of the vital role they play on the team but also happy and confident in the work that they do. I am only as successful as the team I put together.

What does success look like to you?
I could rhyme off a million material items that I would love to have but quite honestly real success, I believe, is being completely comfortable in your own skin. However, that type of comfort is merely a byproduct of the self-satisfaction that you have done everything you can do to put yourself in the best position possible. That being said, when you are confident in the advice and the decisions you have made, the rest will follow. This applies not only to the clients you have and the growing professional practice you hope for, but also for the team of individuals you work with daily – the team that you have built, grown and continue to lead.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
In 2008 I was promoted to the role of Division Director wherein I manage a select group of financial advisors. Ever since I was given this opportunity, it had been my goal to win the Ted Oscar Peterson (TOP) award – given to the top 1% of all Division Directors in the company. In 2010, no more than one and half years in to the Division Director role, I received my first TOP award, placing #7 amongst over 450 Division Directors. So why is this the most memorable milestone in my career thus far? Because I am not only receiving recognition for my efforts as an advisor, but as the leader of one of the most successful advisory teams in the company.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Seize every opportunity that is given to you and never look back.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I have been donating to the Hospital for Sick Children for many years now. I have been grateful enough to be have been given many opportunities in my 29 years. I can attribute my success to my tenacity or to my education or whatever. However, I couldn’t experience a thing without my health. Life is about what we do with the opportunities we are given and there are, unfortunately, many kids out there that don’t ever get a real chance to follow their dreams or seize opportunities. This foundation allows me the chance to do my very best to give back to kids and hopefully put them in a better position so that they can hopefully, one day, take advantage of their dream opportunity – whatever that may be.

What to you is notable?
Consistency. The worst thing someone can be in business, in sports or in any facet of their life is a “one hit wonder” or a “flash in the pan.” To be consistent may not always bring excitement, but it earns respect. The greatest compliment you can receive as a man or woman in business is when someone asks what you do for a living, you tell them, and their response is: “Oh wow, you’re still doing that?” It’s harder to successfully keep at your career than it is to change your career path. Doing something once is great, but the arduous task is in consistent performance.

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