Who are your investing heroes?
Those with whom I’ve worked in my career—some of the brightest, most practical and sensible people, both in life and in their approach to investing. The lessons they taught me were to always keep a perspective on what is happening around me when everyone is losing theirs. Tune out the noise. Also, to have a discipline—mine is diversification—and focus on your process and stay committed to it through markets’ ups and downs.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Travel foremost, and spending quality time with friends and family. Sports, like skiing, snowboarding and physical fitness, are a big part of my routine. I’m committed to volunteering. I sit on the national board of directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities. It’s very dear to my heart. Our work enables families to focus on their children’s health rather than financial stresses. And I’m the co-founder and an investment committee member of the Black Opportunity Fund. It’s a long-term endowment fund committed to combatting issues of systemic racism by empowering Black community-focused charities and entrepreneurs for success, through investment of capital and lending options. Our goal is to empower the Black businesspeople, philanthropists and leaders of the future.
If money were no object, what would you be doing right now?
I love what I do for a living—I wouldn’t change that. I love who I work with and the clients I have. More money would mean the freedom to do more of what I love: volunteering, travelling, eating well, spending time with friends and family—and in exotic destinations.
What’s your first memory about money?
My maternal grandparents were strong influences. I believed they would be in my life forever, and in many ways they have. They taught me important and practical lessons: how to save money, only pay for what one can afford, how to have a great relationship with money and control it. That left an impression. I try to share this advice with clients.
What’s the first thing you remember buying with your own money?
I bought a go-cart. I was so proud when I drove it for the first time around the high-school track, and I felt like a Formula 1 racer. I learned it’s never about the money; rather, what money will allow one to do. I take the same approach with clients—money is the freedom to attain goals or manage circumstances.
What was your first job?
I had a paper route for The Toronto Star, allowing me to buy and collect Marvel comic books. After reading them, I stored them in comic book bags, thinking one day they’d be collectibles. I still have them. I was an investor even then. That’s foresight: Start early.
What was the biggest money lesson you learned as an adult?
Time is on our side—use it wisely. Diversify. Do not have all your money in one basket and take on too much risk. This key lesson kept me from trying to find the “home run” investment win. Diversification and time are on our side.
What’s the best money advice you’ve ever received?
To have a plan, focus on the goal and block out the noise distracting me from my plan.