As an Investment Funds Advisor at Encasa, Mike Ames play a vital role in the management of Encasa Funds and account management for investors in western Canada. With over 10 years in the financial services industry, Mike’s role includes relationship management, providing investment advice and business development. Find out what one piece of advice he would give to a new investor and get to know Mike Ames, Investment Funds Advisor at Encasa Financial.
Q: Tell us about your background, education and experience. How did you get into the financial services industry?
I started out as a Service Representative at a Credit Union (CU) while I was in university, working part-time while continuing my studies. After graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Entrepreneurial Leadership, there was an opportunity to move into a full-time role as Senior Financial Advisor at the CU. During this time, I worked towards completing various investment certification, including, the Canadian Investment Funds Course (CIFC), Canadian Securities Institute Financial Planning I & II, and most recently, the FPSC Level 1 Certification in Financial Planning. Over the course of an 8-year period, I continued to advance through more senior positions, up to and including, Assistant Branch Manager, before deciding to make the switch to Encasa Financial. Currently, I am working towards the completion of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certification.
Q: Where do you go to stay up to date on trending issues and investment news?
Most mornings, I start the day with BNN Bloomberg Radio during the commute into the office. Once I get to my computer, I’ll quickly visit the following sites for any major headlines: The Globe and Mail Globe Investor, BNN Bloomberg, Investing.com, Yahoo and Google Finance are also good resources. For broader investment trends and research, Morningstar is an excellent tool. Through Encasa’s distributor, Worldsource Financial Management Inc., we also receive a weekly Market Close News & Numbers, Quarterly Economic Outlook, Monthly Canadian Highlights, and other various Macroeconomic / Capital Markets commentary.
Q: If you weren’t working as an Investment Funds Advisor, what would you be doing?
If we’re talking hypothetically, my childhood dream was to be a golf professional. Given the odds of going pro, this was always going to be an unrealistic aspiration. However, that being said, I could certainly see myself working in the golf industry. Realistically, given my education background and experience, I would most likely still be in the financial services industry in some capacity. Encasa Financial has provided me the opportunity to gain experience in the community housing sector, for which I’ve developed a keen interest. Being able to work closely with non-profit and co-op housing providers has allowed me to get to know a number of committed, amazing, and hardworking individuals. Their dedication and passion to the work they’re doing strongly appeals to me, I would definitely consider being involved with a non-profit or charitable organization.
Q: If there was one thing that you could tell a new or inexperienced investor, what would you say?
It’s not as scary as you think. In my experience, people tend to shy away from investment and financial conversations, especially if they feel they’re not knowledgeable in the subject. They fear sounding stupid or asking something that might be considered basic information. My advice; don’t be afraid. It’s never too early to start considering your investment options, regardless of the amount or knowledge level. The most important part is developing a plan that is suitable for the individual/entity. A well thought-out strategy is the basis of working towards a financial goal. It takes into consideration a number of factors that help ensure the right portfolio is selected to meet a specific investment objective. When you simplify the approach, making sound financial decisions is often a lot easier than people think.
Lastly, stay the course. In today’s information age, we are constantly bombarded with financial and market “noise” on a daily basis. It’s important to understand that there will always be market fluctuations. With a proper financial plan designed with a certain goal in mind, investors can avoid being reactive and rest assured that their portfolio is positioned to achieve their short/long-term objectives.
Q: What is your fondest memory from 2019 and what are you looking forward to in 2020?
The continued growth and interest in Responsible Investing (RI) has been one of the biggest positives from the year for me. I think the continued pressure towards governments to stay true to their climate change commitments has forced people to take a look at what they’re doing in their own lives to help make a change. This isn’t solely done by lowering our individual consumption, making greener choices, or increasing our climate impact considerations. Consumers have the ability, now more than ever, to speak with their wallets, whether it be through purchasing decisions or their investment choices. Institutional and retail investors alike are holding the corporations they invest in to a much higher level of Social, Environmental, and Governance (ESG) standards than ever before. This forces companies to look at ways in which they can improve their operations on all levels. Incorporating these aspects and factors as part of their strategic planning process. Getting corporations to strive for cleaner operations is a major step in the right direction to making any progress towards improving climate change. I look forward to this trend continuing in the year to come.
Thanks, Mike! To get in touch with Mike, send him an email at email@example.com.
The information provided here is general in nature and is provided with the understanding that it may not be relied upon as, nor considered to be, the rendering of tax, legal, accounting, or professional advice. Readers should consult their own subject matter experts for advice on their specific circumstances before taking any action. The opinions expressed are those of the investment funds advisor only. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees, and expenses may all be associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values frequently change and past performance may not be repeated. Please read your fund facts before investing. Worldsource Financial management Inc., sponsoring mutual fund dealer.