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Why I Became A Financial Advisor

By Shamez Kassam, CFA, MBA

There’s no denying it: money, and how you handle it, can make or break your life (and your stress levels). I saw firsthand the importance of financial planning and the difficulties created by poor plans when a family member passed away and his wife suddenly had to manage her family’s finances with little guidance.

There’s nothing more overwhelming than trying to learn new skills and muddle through financial matters in a time of grief. I saw the incredible value a financial advisor could bring to people’s lives, helping them rest easy no matter what life or the stock market throws their way. That experience was a turning point for me in my career and is the primary inspiration behind my decision to become a financial advisor.

Starting Out

After earning my bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta and working as an occupational therapist for 5 years, I obtained an MBA in accounting and finance from Columbia Business School and made a career change. I spent a handful of years in various roles within the financial industry, working with both institutional and individual investors. I started working as a financial advisor in 2010, striving to make pension style investments typically reserved for the uber-rich available to anyone. During this time, I also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and used my passion and knowledge to author Your Money’s Worth: The Essential Guide to Financial Advice for Canadians to help people navigate their financial lives and feel empowered to make wise decisions. I am currently a financial advisor and partner at Northfront Financial, one of Calgary’s leading boutique wealth management teams.

What I Do Today

Now, after more than 15 years in the industry, I spend my days bringing pension-style investing to my clients, using high-quality alternative assets to reduce volatility in their portfolios. Northfront’s proprietary platform gives our clients the opportunity to access the same quality of investments that are used by the Canada Pension Plan, investments you won’t find at banks or traditional financial firms.

Not only does this allow my clients to relax when the stock market goes through a rough patch, but it also gives them the financial margin to make an impact with their wealth and feel confident about reaching their financial goals.

I prioritize relationships, taking the time to understand my clients’ needs, apply my battle-tested industry knowledge, and lead my clients to their goals. I educate my clients so they are equipped with everything they need to avoid preventable financial mistakes and pursue success.

While I serve a broad range of clients, I specialize in working with women, professional athletes, and retiring business owners. Regardless of their differences in age and profession, my clients tend to have one thing in common: they’ve received significant sums of money in a short amount of time and want to delegate wealth management to someone they can trust, someone who will help them preserve their wealth, avoid mistakes, and create a pension-style stream of income that will last the rest of their lives. I am also proud to consider myself a women’s investing advocate, walking alongside women who have found themselves suddenly single and dealing with the financial repercussions of their life events.

The Best Part

I got into this career because I had a desire to help others. That’s why there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing my clients live the lifestyle they dreamed of and achieve financial security because of our work together. I work hard every day to make that a reality for more people and guide my clients from point A to point B.

If you are ready to see your options and partner with someone who will be your financial advocate, I’d love to help. Call 403-571-8960 or email to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation. I look forward to meeting you!

About Shamez

Shamez Kassam is a financial advisor and partner at Northfront Financial with over 15 years of industry experience. He earned a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation medicine from the University of Alberta and worked as an occupational therapist for 5 years before making a career change. He received an MBA in accounting and finance from Columbia University’s graduate school of business and obtained the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation from the CFA Institute. Shamez spent the first several years of his finance career working with institutional investors, including BNP Paribas and Alberta Investment Management Corporation, and then began working with individual Canadian investors in 2010. Shamez firmly believes that all investors can be successful by following key principles, managing their emotions, and avoiding big mistakes. He is passionate about improving the financial literacy of Canadians, with a focus on improving financial education in the Canadian school system. As a person who stutters, Shamez serves on the Boards of the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research Foundation. He lives in Calgary with his wife and son. To learn more about Shamez, connect with him on LinkedIn.

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