Andrew Smart is the Vice President of New Outlook Wealth (NOW) – a Winnipeg-based wealth & advisory firm that focuses on portfolio management with a commitment to providing unbiased advice to clients. With a strong passion for helping people, Andrew has been able to successfully contribute to building a firm that separates money management from financial planning in order to center client’s financial wellbeing.
In this edition of advisor spotlight, we speak with Andrew Smart to learn more about him and New Outlook Wealth’s approach.
Where did you grow up?
Waskada MB, a small town of approx. 30 people
As a child, what profession did you want to get into?
Accounting, I went to Assiniboine Community College (ACC) in Brandon MB and was initially quite passionate about it. However, I then found the day to day work of an accountant to be quite reactive and very behind the scenes. I thrive meeting and talking with people and helping to be proactive.
What inspired you to become an advisor?
I personally had accumulated some savings while going to College and working, when I reached out to many major financial institutions I was simply handed a brochure about Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA’s). I then was referred to a large financial services firm to which a Senior Advisor walked through a goal discussion and never talked money until 40 minutes into our 60 minute meeting where he then drew out illustrations of possible outcomes. This intrigued me a lot as I knew I needed this and likely many friends and family.
How do you think the insurance industry has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic?
It’s changed for the better in my opinion. Technology was quite absent in the processes pre Covid-19; it’s great to see companies like Finaeo bring such a unique value to our businesses. It takes me minutes to run a series of competitive quotes and determine which insurer and product is the best value for our clients.
What do you feel is New Outlook Wealth’s greatest competitive advantage?
At New Outlook Wealth (NOW) we’ve deliberately created a wealth management platform that separates the advisor (myself) and the portfolio manager role for the clients. This allows all of our advisors to give unbiased advice to clients; all while having access to many various investment and insurance partners.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about Financial Planning?
I believe the biggest misconception that clients have towards Financial Planning is that us advisors are directly selecting the investments ourselves. This is very much not the case, this is the role of the Portfolio Manager at the various firms we’ve partnered with. These individuals and teams have access to a wealth of knowledge and information to build and modify portfolios on a day in day out basis that best meets our clients risk levels.
What do you think the insurance industry will look like in 10 years?
In 10 years I believe the industry will be 100% technology based from the initial discovery of what is needed all the way through application and delivery with no paper or need to meet in person (unless wanted by the client of course). The companies that don’t adapt and change with the tech will likely not be around for long.
How do you think digitization is changing the insurance industry for clients and advisors?
It’s giving us access to more solutions as well as training on various products that we may not have otherwise had. I personally can speak to how the time for me to plan for a client meeting and develop a plan has dropped by at least 50% with the full use of Zoom/Teams with Finaeo and the proactive insurance carriers. This allows me to spend more time with my family and friends or with other pressing client needs.
How do you stay up to speed on changes and trends in your industry?
I follow many companies in the industry on my social media platforms as well as attend as many webinar/seminars I can. As an advisor you need to be aware of what is happening in industry and a general idea as to where it is going to be in 1, 3, 5 and 10 years out to best prepare your own business but also for the clients best interests.
What was one of the most meaningful moments of your career?
Fall of 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, my team and I left a large financial services company that we’d been well established at for over 9 years to launch New Outlook Wealth. With this change we saw just over 90% of the assets we were previously managing reach out to come with us in under 6 months as they saw the value in what we at NOW have to offer. We were able to handle this workload thanks to technology; I don’t believe it would have been doable to onboard that many families in a conventional face-to-face meeting.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your career what advice would you give yourself?
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Each little step out of it you will learn something new that will bring a tremendous amount of value. Not just to yourself but to all the families you help with achieving their goals and managing their investments and insurance plans.
It is Andrew’s dedication to client’s financial wellbeing and the drive to stay up to date with industry trends that makes him an ideal Advisor and New Outlook Wealth, a firm that clients and advisors can trust.