Fun-damental lessons from Bud Salloum, the 91-year-old full-time IA (and retired clown)
When asked about his title at RBC 91-year-old "Bud" Salloum proudly declares that he is a full-time investment advisor (IA) and more importantly, a "simple Lebanese peddler."
"I take after my grandfather who came from Lebanon before the 1900s with a pack on his back, and peddled from farm to farm," he says. "I like to say that I'm now following his footsteps with a suitcase of investment and wealth advice."
"My son, David, has all these fancy designations, but me, I have an LP - Lebanese Peddler."
Bud began his career with Richardson Greenshields for 25 years before the company was acquired by DS in 1996. 25 years later - and 50 years into his career - he's still going strong in the Dominion Securities Edmonton branch where he works with his son. While the landscape of financial business has changed dramatically since his early advisor days, the unpredictability of the market remains the same.
How do you remain successful as an IA throughout all sorts of market volatility? There are two major factors, says Bud - his commitment to honestly with his clients and the support of his team.
"Wealth management is a people business," he says. "It's crucial for advisors to 'be level' with their clients at all times." He's proud to say, David, now taking over the reins of the business, has that same approach with the clients while still bringing many new ideas to the table. Moreover, Bud says his team of associates and administrators help him stay on top of his work and are especially patient with him when showing him the latest application updates in his branch.
"We used to mark quotes and price changes on a board as it came through this really old machine," says Bud. "Now with all these fancy electronics...it's definitely a different world."
Outside the office, Bud takes on a whole new persona within his community where he has dedicated his time to several charities and fundraising initiatives throughout the years. One of his proudest contributions was the founding of the Edmonton Caring Clowns Society. For 25 years, he brought warmth and humour to those in need as Buddy the Clown.
For his tremendous community involvement, he was awarded the Sage Award and the Citation Award from the City of Edmonton.
His recognition announcement for the Sage award reads: "His lengthy list of contributions to the community groups is impressive, but to know Mr. Salloum is to know that the positive energy and laughter he shares is what truly makes his impact remarkable."
Buddy the Clown is now retired but not Bud the IA who says he "plans to retire about one minute after I 'fall off the perch' - so to speak."
Advice for new advisors - don't stop at the KYC
"If I could convince new IAs of one thing, it would be on the value of knowing your client," says Bud.
"The KYC (Know your clients) doesn't even begin to scratch the surface."
When speaking with his clients, Bud likes to listen carefully to their interests - uncovering everything - from their taste in music to their kids' hobbies. If he ever stumbles upon an article or event that may be of interest to a client, he's sure to share it with them.