Knowing where the smart money is

via | Checkout My Business | June 2015


Financial guru Ralph Seger once said, “An investor without investment objectives is like a traveller without a destination.” This aptly describes the philosophy of Steven Belchetz, president and chief investment officer of T.E. Wealth.

As head of the 43-year-old firm, Steven leads offices across Canada in providing individuals and families with highly customized financial planning including personal tax, estate and retirement planning, and discretionary investment advice and portfolio management.

Having completed his MBA in 1989, Steven boasts more than a quarter-century of financial knowledge and expertise. In 1996, he was co-founder of Ernst and Young Canada’s investment consulting business.

He joined T.E. Wealth in 2003 as Chief Investment Officer, and took on the role as president just one year later, overseeing research, compliance and investment operations. When Steven initially joined, the firm had about $800 million in assets. Today, T.E. Wealth clients number in excess of 1,400 families coast to coast, overseeing some four billion dollars in assets.

Checkout My Business asked Steven Belchetz about what makes T.E. Wealth the right choice:

COMB: What are your company’s strengths?
SB: We oversee all of your financial affairs. This is done with careful attention to detail by experienced and accredited
financial experts, who can work side by side with our clients’ lawyers, accountants and other professionals.
What distinguishes our investment process from other financial firms is that we manage your risk – not your money. The process involves putting together a diversified portfolio for your assets, with a focus on preserving capital and growing your wealth over time. We formulate a long-term plan and fulfill that plan through the hiring of the right managers. Then, we regularly monitor those investments – and the managers that have been hired to oversee the portfolios. We leave the actual investment management to the best out there, which we find through our disciplined, meticulous research process.

COMB: So let’s talk about the investment managers. How do they come in?
SB: They’re carefully screened and selected with a proven record of performance and success, stability and experience. Each client is unique so we tailor their investment policy to their goals and objectives. This means we need the right structure of skilled investment managers, with diverse styles and portfolios, in order to reduce risk and ultimately enhance portfolio returns over time. The personal attention we provide our clients ensures that they’re continually informed and confident about their investment strategy. We also monitor the managers and portfolios over time, should any adjustments be needed to meet changes in organizational goals or needs.

COMB: What’s the typical client like, and what do they look for?
SB: Clients range in net worth from approximately $1,000,000 to $150 million + on the private side. They tend to be senior
corporate executives and/or business owners, who come to us looking for advice in organizing their overall financial affairs.
We conduct a comprehensive planning exercise, which includes financial and retirement planning, estate planning, planning for transitioning of their wealth to future generations as well as tax planning and tax return preparation. Our clients gain tremendous value with our overall planning services because they ensure a well-organized sound financial situation. The financial planning is, in turn, married to the investment planning to ensure their long-term goals and objectives are met.

COMB: Talk more about portfolios. How do you make sure they’re profitable?
SB: We take proactive measures to ensure portfolios are better able to weather economic tailspins and recessions. We do not place all of our clients’ assets with one manager – i.e. never have all your eggs in one basket. Risk is reduced when multiple investment styles and complementary managers are combined within a portfolio. We provide our clients with regular portfolio reviews and detailed reporting so they can easily evaluate the success of their plan in achieving their long-term goals.

COMB: You don’t actually manage any money yourselves, is that correct?
SB: That’s right. This lets us maintain objectivity and guarantees we’re acting in the best interest of the client. We do not collect any compensation from managers for referring clients which ensures our judgment is not clouded. The only revenue we earn is fees from our clients. Our investment philosophy consists of a rigorous and disciplined process to meet client’s long-term objectives. It’s that simple.

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These articles are for general informational purposes only. Please obtain professional advice before taking any action based on this information. No endorsement or approval of any third parties or their advice, information, products or services should be implied by any references to third parties contained in any article. Trademarks cited in these articles are the respective properties of their owners.

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