Having recently turned 30, I paused to reflect on my personal and professional accomplishments. Completing two professional qualifications, working in three different countries, and travelling the world, I set my dreams as my goals and made them reality. By making the right choices and working hard, I progressed quickly in my career to hold strategic roles at a relatively young age. Yet I began to realize that my career path was falling short of where I wanted it to lead. Given my strong interest in finance and investing, my dream was to help others create a better investment experience and I therefore decided to become a private client portfolio manager.

ruben-antoineI first discovered my passion for finance while auditing active investment managers at Deloitte. Following this, I moved to London in the UK to work for an alternative investment firm before returning to Canada to work for a fund administration firm in Montreal.

As the years went by, I had the opportunity to work with many ex-investment bankers, private equity and hedge fund managers. I was surprised to discover that although most hedge funds and similar money managers would charge inflated fees (such as a 2% management fee plus a 20% performance fee) they could not outperform a simple passive and inexpensive index like the S&P 500. These various work experiences made me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in finance, but I found that most areas in this field were focused on closing multi-million dollars deals, trading risky securities and increasing profits, often to the detriment of investors. Although my goal was to work in finance and earn a decent living, I could not reconcile ‘business as usual’ with my personal ethics.

I was raised in a poor country by parents who have always been involved with charities. They have passed on their values and given me compassion for those in need. I feel fulfilled when I see that I have made a difference in someone’s life. I want to pursue a career in the field I am passionate about while deriving the satisfaction that comes from helping people. Therefore I decided to leave my job in the institutional financial services sector to work in wealth management.

This was a risky decision, but I believe life is about finding yourself. My previous work experiences were a journey toward self-discovery. I think working with clients and helping them achieve their financial goals will prove to be a reward worth the risk. I am now convinced that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

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