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What is an Expert Anyway?

There is a saying on my dad’s old coffee cup, ‘Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad’. The great dads need years of experience to hone their craft and become experts. Author Malcolm Gladwell told us that 10,000 hours were required to be an ‘expert’. But broad and diverse learning will not produce one; it takes a focused approach. It is said that you can be really good at only one thing, so finding an investment expert can be tricky. Here are a few examples.


1-Writers and Speakers. A recent section of a newspaper was entitled ‘Money advice from the financial experts’. I noticed they were all writers and bloggers that were telling us how to save and invest for the future. These same papers also regularly feature columnists with investment advice. But you can’t get to be an expert without actually doing the work. There is no success here. No track record. They just talk about it. 


2-Planners and Insurance sales. Both require different levels of knowledge. Planning is usually required in two areas – retirement and estate. Insurance is often used in conjunction. Although these are separate buckets they tend to get combined by one person, further diluting potential expertise. The selling component comes when more insurance is almost always suggested in order to implement the plan.


3-Investment Advisors. Now we are talking about focus. Their goal is to nurture your investments for safety and growth. Results can be measured. Expertise is solely in the realm of portfolio management.  Continuous learning is essential. This is what we do at Salute Financial Entrepreneurs and we are very good at it. After 16 years of sole dedication to this field, the title of expert may be applicable.


Be careful out there

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The information provided here has been prepared by Randy Cleary, Portfolio Manager at Salute Financial Entrepreneurs/Aligned Capital Partners Inc. and is provided as a general source of information. Some of the information provided herein may come from sources believed to be reliable, however, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Aligned Capital Partners Inc. Furthermore, this material is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities that may be mentioned here. The securities mentioned may not be necessarily be considered to be suitable investments for all clients. Please contact your investment advisor to discuss your individual investment needs. Aligned Capital Partners Inc. is a Sponsoring Investment Dealer and Member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund and of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.