Overview

Jim Lao

What is your role at TvH Group?

I work closely with clients to help them set short and long-term goals and then create a financial plan for them. It is a very important process, and must reflect the client’s goals and aspirations.

Once their goals are set and the plan is in place, I bring in the other experts within TvH Group to help make the plan a reality. I liken myself to a general contractor who has responsibility for a home’s construction. I am responsible for identifying and working closely through each phase with the best professionals for the job.

How did you get into the financial advisory and investment business?

I have been in the business for 23 years and went out on my own 12 years ago as an insurance specialist and financial advisor. I have never looked back.

At 16, I was the youngest teller in the history of one of the large Canadian banks. I attribute this achievement to my passion for finance and helping people succeed. I have experience in the insurance arena, which enhanced my understanding not only of the value of insurance but of financial planning and the importance of establishing clear life goals.

What do investors seek most in their financial advisor?

They want to first trust their advisor, who must listen well and possess deep knowledge and experience. Many investors seek an educator and objective consultant versus a sales person who is tied to product and personal sales target to earn their livelihood. I am definitely in the former category.

How do you meet and exceed client expectations?

I preach what I practice. My colleagues and I invest along side our clients and share the same investment and risk management philosophies, which leads to consistent service for our clients.

Before I offer any solution, I ask whether I would recommend it for myself. I do not want to be a salesperson and may consult one of my partners if I sense my solution might position me in this way.
I am an advisor, not a trader who is commission-driven. Clients work with me because I am consultative and work in collaboration with them.

My non-proprietary, collaborative approach is rare in the financial services industry.