Embracing the Details to Capture a Niche Market
A closer look at the comprehensive planning services Kyle Richie and Andrew Feindel provide to a niche market of doctors and dentists, and the proven success of their process-driven approach
A now out-of-print board game is what set Kyle Richie down the path to a financial planning career.
He was 12 and at a friend’s house playing Stock Ticker for the first time – the Monopoly-like game where players buy and sell commodities instead of real estate.
To say he had fun that afternoon is an understatement.“Instantly something clicked in my brain and I said ‘I’m going to do this for the rest of my life,’” he explained. And so it became for him a childhood passion, like dinosaurs or Pokemon. “In high school, kids would do projects on the environment, and I would do mine on insider trading on Wall Street. However I got wired, this is what I was meant to do.”
As the IG Private Wealth Management top achiever in Canada for the past seven years, in the Oakville region office and now with Toronto Downtown, Kyle has turned his calling into a business that is rewarding both for him and clients. In 2013, his sales numbers were higher than anything previously achieved at the company.
“He has an incredible work ethic and is the consummate financial planner.”
SENIOR VICE- PRESIDENT, ONTARIO
With so much drive and talent, he could have made it anywhere. So, 15 years ago, why did he choose IG?
Armed with an economics degree from Western University and having worked in corporate banking and finance, Kyle interviewed at a number of brokerages and financial institutions in Vancouver. Only at his IG interview – with Division Director Rick Floer – was the topic of integrated financial planning discussed. “No one else even mentioned the concept,” recalled Kyle. “I didn’t truly understand it, but I thought there was something to it that was going to catch on. And now everyone claims to offer it.”
Kyle and his Associate Consultant Andrew Feindel offer truly comprehensive planning services for a niche market – doctors and dentists. It’s a natural market for them: Kyle’s father is an orthopaedic surgeon; his mom, sister, and mother-in-law are nurses; and his uncle is a dentist. Andrew’s wife is a nurse, his dad is a cardiac surgeon, and his grandfather is a neurosurgeon (and a Canadian Medical Hall of Fame laureate).
Kyle realized early on that doctors were relying on advice that wasn’t optimal, and, like many investors, “they didn’t know that they didn’t know.” He changed his business model in 2003 to make them his sole market. “Kyle is an absolute master at working with doctors and dentists in the high- net-worth market,” said Bill Charles, Senior Vice-President for Ontario. “He has an incredible work ethic and is the consummate financial planner. The more complex the case, the better it is for Kyle.”
Kyle agrees that the intricacies of each case are what he likes best. “Where we truly shine is corporate tax,” he said. “Whether it’s determining salary versus dividends, who in the family should be shareholders and how they should get paid, how future money in retirement should come out of a corporation, how insurance should be held, whether to have a family trust – these are the types of issues we solve for clients.”
He and Andrew are now so specialized that they are entirely comfortable in this market. When they started out they sought assistance from the company’s Advanced Financial Planning team (Myron Knodel gets special mention), who provided ongoing expert help. Bill also credits Kyle’s success to his “process driven approach” and his use of PFP to confirm and build creative solutions for clients. Kyle uses PFP for each and every client. He doesn’t know how or why a Consultant wouldn’t, and he employs – appropriately – a medical analogy to explain why.
“Let’s compare it to a knee replacement. Unless you’ve done an X-ray, how do you really know that your patient needs one? You just think you know. The X-ray proves it. I think it would be exceptionally time consuming and difficult to provide integrated planning without the tools to prove what your thesis is. If your thesis is that a client should be taking dividends instead of a salary to save tax over the next 15 years, then PFP shows you the actual savings. It removes the sales side of it and operates with the facts, as long as the assumptions are correct.” Kyle could soon be in a position to retire, “but I don’t think I’m ever going to,” he said. He enjoys mentoring other Consultants, and he and Andrew want to keep getting sharper at their craft.
“We want to become the Wayne Gretzky of the industry; we want to do things the way the perfect theoretical model could do it. The sky’s the limit.”