After a summer job in his 20s went awry, Shawn Fetter decided it was time to look for a new career path. With mentorship from his uncle, he started working as an insurance advisor.
“I thought I’d give it a year and see if it worked out. That was 17 years ago,” says Fetter, who is now an Associate Portfolio Manager at Alitis Investment Counsel.
The first step on his journey into financial services may have been happenstance, but the rest of his career has been full of thoughtful planning and late nights studying for extra accreditation. He quickly earned his insurance license and then the Certified Financial Planner® designation and enjoyed helping clients reach their financial goals.
“My first decade in the industry was good, but I always wanted to do more. So I started interviewing at a wide range of places — smaller firms, larger brokerages and banks — doing rigorous due diligence. That’s how I found Alitis, or rather, they found me,” Fetter says.
There was a lot to like about Alitis Investment Counsel when they recruited him. Fetter was excited to be part of a strong team environment where advisors with different skillsets could collaborate to help clients, and where everyone was motivated to grow and continue learning.
“The way Alitis services clients, the planning and portfolio design, the alternative investments — I hadn’t seen any other shop doing it this way. I could see how it would benefit people, especially living through the financial hardships of 2008 and 2009,” he says.
Continuous training to offer clients the very best
Not all advisors are the same. The first accreditation most study for is a mutual fund license, and some stop there. Other advisors take the Canadian Securities Course so they’re able to add stocks, bonds, and other securities to portfolios. For advisors at Alitis, that’s just the beginning.
“I’m motivated by the team I work with, and all the extra designations they have. I want to be better, to fill my role within the team and offer better advice to my clients,” says Fetter, who recently obtained the Associate Portfolio Manager license.
Every advisor must take professional development courses each year to maintain their licenses and designations, not just to reinforce ethics but also to keep up to date on changes to government programs, taxation and financial products. At Alitis, advisors are committed to much more professional development — seven employees have obtained the top securities-related license available in Canada — Portfolio Manager.
Obtaining the Portfolio Manager license is one of Fetter’s long term goals, as well as spending more time with his young family. It will be a lot easier to pursue both goals this September, when Alitis opens its new office in the Comox Valley.
“I drive past our new office when I take my kids to school. Once we move in, they’re going to be able to ride their bikes to visit me after school,” Fetter says. “Through the pandemic we broke down a lot of barriers and established that it’s possible to do business from anywhere, but it’s also really meaningful to get involved in the community. I’m looking forward to having more time for that in the fall.”
Find Alitis Investment Counsel in Campbell River at 101-909 Island Highway, in Victoria at 1480 Fort St., in the Comox Valley at 103-695 Aspen Rd. in September 2022, and at alitis.ca. For more information, call 250-287-4933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.