- GENERATIONAL WEALTH WITH PERRY SHACK
ON MANAGING EXPECTATIONS, NURTURING RELATIONSHIPS AND GIVING BACK
From finance expert to multi-million dollar asset management deals, Perry is the top of his game for more than one reason, managing relationships, giving back and staying positive.
The first time I met Perry was with Leah Lipkowitz, the first official GOSS cover girl. Perry, an avid supporter of women in business, was also a big philanthropist. We connected instantly over those two points. A CFA charter-holder working under the wealth management arm of RBC Dominion Securities for the last four years, Perry’s trajectory in a “safe” financial environment was different than the average. It involved more grit, patience and risk. Yet just like investing in the stock market, high risk tends to lead to high reward.
We met at his office in the golden square mile of Montreal, tucked in between the CIBC Tower and Rene Levesques. I was greeted by his associate and right hand accomplice Raluca, who is Romanian just like my mother. The first thing I noticed in his office was the vast collection of books that ranged from children’s, to self-help non-fiction to classics. He loves sharing with his audience the knowledge he has absorbed. A giver by nature, in all its triumph. That’s Perry Shak.
Tell me about your journey that led you to the finance world.
I was 19 years old, when I thought I was going to go into Psychology, I was brought up by a single mom so my EQ was tapped into more than most. My best friend at the time who was very much a
When you were 25 what advice would you give yourself?
I would remind myself that it’s challenging to be 25 but it’s also challenging for everybody else - what’s going to differentiate me is going to be the grit, and keeping at it, networking and becoming the best I When you were 25 what advice would you give yourself?
From then on I was in the banking system, I started off in a branch, as Financial Planner while I was working on my CFA. While I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do - I knew I wanted to manage money and interact with people. How exactly I wasn’t sure, one thing led to another I got promoted to a higher division managing the wealth of High Net Worth families. Making decisions on a day to day for their investments and making sure anything that had to do with financial planning, they were getting the advice they needed with the team I provided. I worked in that division for around ten years.
What is the trajectory that brought you into stocks?
I finished my degree in finance I worked for two years at an independent firm where I was on 100% commission, foot in the door. I cold called someone who worked at a bank and he said “you’re really good, I can’t invest in this with you but you’re really good on the phone. Call me next year.” I followed up and called him a year later. He was no longer with the bank but by following through them I got my foot in the door a large financial institution. Just goes to show the importance of following up! I joked.
Explain to me how stocks work in terms of returns on initial investment?
When you’re investing you have an ownership in a company, you are acquiring shares (or stock) and become a partner in the profits. With stocks, the return is variable and not guaranteed. When you have a guaranteed return you’re a lender, you’re lending money to the bank they’re making money on your money. Or you’re lending the government money and you’re getting a bond.
How do you make money in investing in a company?
Either the company pays dividends, or as the companies’ grow, the stock goes up in value. Investors keep their shares and when they need money, we sell some. We’re always rebalancing and making changes. A few years ago we were more invested in Canada now we are invested mostly outside Canada. We invest largely in US, European and global companies in the infrastructure space. It’s extremely difficult to time the market. You’re always competing with imperfect information so in the short run it’s very difficult. In the long run, stocks should earn 6-10% range on the average.
What advice would you give yourself when you were 25? I would remind myself that it’s challenging but it’s also challenging for everybody else - what’s going to differentiate me is going to be the grit, and keeping at it, networking and becoming the best I can be and invariably, it will lead to good things. Like climbing a tall mountain it’s highly distracting to keep looking up, but if you focus on the next few feet, break it down, and what will be will be. We’re often our worst enemies from that perspective.
I would definitely say that make parallels between relationships and investing in the stock market. The most important decision that I made was to marry my wife (2004). Another huge decision was to go and rebuild my Wealth Management business is 2015. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, the most stressful, with a one year old at home, three kids, no safety net. However, the status quo was scarier than the unknown.
People look at GIC, savings deposits, that’s safe. That’s the scariest thing in the planet because if you’re making 1% or 2%, which means after tax you’re making at best 1% and the cost of living is going up by more than that. If you project that forward I can assure you that it’s terrible for your financial picture over the long-term. I would rather invest in the stock of good companies knowing that with time, I’m going to get more income, dividends and growth than I would ever get from the guaranteed bank account or deposit.
What inspires you?
My grandparents and how fortunate I am by virtue of living in this great country. Even though my grandmother was raised in Canada, she lived through the Great Depression. I sometimes get a man cold, and (we) complain, but really we’re so lucky and have all these opportunities. I’m inspired by people who like my grandfather, came to Canada with absolutely nothing and yet, was able to achieve. I believe that people like my grandparents who have suffered and pushed through their struggles, are often intrinsically the happiest. I’m inspired to give back as much as I am because I feel like along the way I’ve gotten a lot. I plan to emphasis more on philanthropy and giving back.
For more information visit perryshack.com