Holistic approach can help women advisors succeed


November 4, 2019


November 4, 2019


November 4, 2019

Ann Richards

Principal Consultant at Double R Consulting Group, Investment Advisor and Portfolio Manager (Retired), CIBC Wood Gundy

Women advisors have a huge opportunity in the wealth management industry and one way to take advantage of it is through a holistic approach to investments and financial planning, says Ann Richards.

That means working with clients to create a plan and offering investment options, says Ms. Richards, who recently retired after 25 years as an investment advisor and portfolio manager with CIBC Wood Gundy. It also involves understanding where the plan fits into the client’s family situation, lifestyle and aspirations.

“You have to focus on the overall picture; the emotional side of things,” she says.

Ms. Richards is now consulting to small businesses on account management and client relations and will be moderating a panel at the upcoming Women in Wealth Management Conference on November 26 at the Steam Whistle Roundhouse in Toronto. The conference is sponsored in part by Harvest Portfolios Group.  

“I’m thrilled that we are celebrating women in wealth management and pleased I can share my experience,” Ms. Richards says.

She has numerous professional designations, including Certified Investment Manager (CIM), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Elder Planning Counsellor (EPC) and Life License Level II designations.

Ms. Richards is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI). It is recognized as the highest honour in the financial services industry. This designation is reserved for financial services professionals who are experienced, have achieved the highest levels of advanced education and been endorsed by their peers and superiors.

Ms. Richards earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia and also   has a CPA designation. Before joining Wood Gundy, she globe trotted, gaining experience as a chief accountant for a Vancouver junior gold miner, working as a senior finance manager with an IT firm in Sydney, Australia, and later with an accounting firm in London, England.  

She says men and women tend to view financial planning differently. In client meetings, men tend to want to know how a stock is doing or hear about a new recommendation and the math behind that pick.

“Men are more data driven, while women are often more interested in having a conversation,” she says.

The conversation with both partners helps form an understanding of family needs, whether paying for an upcoming wedding, extended travel, or helping a grandchild with university tuition.

Her advice for women building a practice is that the first five years or so will involve a lot of long days. While social media is well and good, nothing beats the personal touch. That involves as many face-to-face meetings as possible with prospects – at the office, visiting them at home or at business and social events.

“It helps establish a connection,” she says.

The process involves a mental toughness, because reaching out to strangers and making a pitch means plenty of failures for each new client gained.

“You have to remember that you are in sales and to succeed you have to be able to pick yourself up after being rejected.”

You must also be a self-starter, she says. You have to accept that when it comes to managing other people’s money you may be right most of the time, but sometimes things won’t turn out as planned. Investments go down. You have to be able to weather the criticism and bounce back.

“You still have to be able to sleep at night,” she says.

Given the decade-long expansion for stock markets, a pullback lies ahead. Clients will be nervous and need reassurance.

“You have to be able to maintain your composure when things don’t go as planned.”

Ms.  Richards says the wealth management field offers a lot of opportunity for women and given that only 20 per cent of advisors are female, there is plenty of room for more advisors who are female. Once you have built a practice you are rewarded by being your own boss, setting your own hours and deciding which clients to work with.

Her number one piece of advice?

“Remember that this is a profession and you are doing something that others cannot. Take pride in that.



Harvest is proud to be a Gold Sponsor for Wealth Professional Women in Wealth Management (Toronto) Event 2019.   

For more on  Harvest ETF’s click here.

The views and/or opinions expressed in the blog are of a general nature and are for informational purposes only. Blog contents should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies. Investors should consult their investment advisor before making any investment decision.



For Information Purposes Only. All comments, opinions and views expressed are of a general nature and should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies.

You will usually pay brokerage fees to your dealer if you purchase or sell units of the Fund(s) on the TSX. If the units are purchased or sold on the TSX, investors may pay more than the current net asset value when buying units of the Fund(s) and may receive less than the current net asset value when selling them. There are ongoing fees and expenses associated with owning units of an investment fund. Investment funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. An investment fund must prepare disclosure documents that contain key information about the fund. You can find more detailed information about the fund in these documents.

Certain statements in the Harvest Blog are forward looking Forward-looking statements (“FLS”) are statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” or “estimate,” or other similar expressions. Statements that look forward in time or include anything other than historical information are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results, actions or events could differ materially from those set forth in the FLS.

FLS are not guarantees of future performance and are by their nature based on numerous assumptions, which include, amongst other things, that (i) the Fund can attract and maintain investors and have sufficient capital under management to effect their investment strategies, (ii) the investment strategies will produce the results intended by the portfolio managers, and (iii) the markets will react and perform in a manner consistent with the investment strategies. Although the FLS contained herein are based upon what the portfolio manager believe to be reasonable assumptions, the portfolio manager cannot assure that actual results will be consistent with these FLS.

Unless required by applicable law, Harvest Portfolios Group Inc. does not undertake, and specifically disclaim, any intention or obligation to update or revise any FLS, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Harvest ETFs Announces Increases to Monthly Cash Distributions

Harvest ETFs announced by press release on June 25, 2024 that certain ETFs will increase their monthly cash distribution amount for all classes taking effect for the July 31, 2024 record date with a payable date of August 9, 2024. For more details, please read the press release.