There are many challenges our world is facing today, from climate change to affordable housing, the desire for many professionals to get involved and create a positive impact in their hometown is real, but it can be difficult to figure out where to start. This is where people like Mark Bertoli come in.
Mark has been a prominent figure in the Kamloops business community for years through his work as an Investment Advisor for Abbott Wealth Management and from owning many successful businesses throughout Interior BC.
Throughout his professional career, Mark has been an active player in the local community being given Presidential Citation from Rotary International for his work as President for a local Rotary chapter; as well as being awarded the Steve Meehan award for community service at the national conference for Investment Planning Counsel.
We recently had the opportunity to connect with Mark, a thought-leader, who shares advice to those aspiring to get more involved in the local community.
Mark, you are a former President of Kamloops West Rotary and served six years on the Board of Directors. For young professionals looking to get more involved with the local community, what advice can you give them to get started? Why is it important to be actively involved in the local community?
For young professionals looking to become involved in our local community and charitable organizations, I think networking is the key. Getting involved in mixers like the Chamber events can help you can find people with similar interests, and you can ask for advice as to how to get involved in their organizations. Networking and community involvement are unbelievably important as you develop your career. You will have opportunities to meet people in other professions whose values align with our own. You’ll find people who you will be able to work with, or who can refer you to other people throughout your career.
You have been a partner of Abbott Wealth Management since 2003. How would you say the industry has evolved since then, and what impact has that change had on the way you do business and how you advise clients?
Over the last couple of decades, the financial services industry has evolved considerably. I believe that access to information and technology has brought both positive and negative changes. The key is to focus on the correct information to make informed decisions. Technology has allowed us to act on decisions sometimes without the correct consideration for the result. There are also continuous changes to tax codes for both personal and business situations. In recent years, there have also been significant changes to estate law, and the advice given surrounding different circumstances. There are, however, a few things that have not changed in the financial services industry. I think the number one fundamental principle is that of caring for your client. Despite the ever-changing landscape of the financial services industry, an advisor needs to understand their client and provide advice to improve their lives. No amount of technology can overcome understanding and caring backed up with experience and advice.
Why should I consider getting an investment advisor? When is the right time to engage with a wealth management firm like Abbott?
With respect to the question of “should I” or “when should I get an advisor” the answer is simple. If you don’t have an advisor today, then you should get one tomorrow. There is overwhelming evidence showing that families that work with a financial advisor substantially increase their wealth over families that do not seek advice and guidance. I also believe that you need to find an advisor that is aligned with your stage of life and the degree of advice that you require. There are families in wealth accumulation mode, there are families in pre-retirement or retirement mode and there are families that need to have very specific advice about intergenerational wealth transfer. Aligning yourself with an advisor with the experience that can help you in your particular stage of life will be of great value.
What trends are starting to emerge in the wealth management industry that you are watching closely?
With respect to trends emerging in the wealth management industry, I have been an advocate for holistic wealth management for more than a decade. I believe that an advisor needs to take a broad look at all of the dynamics of a family. It isn’t just about the growth of the money; it’s about asking what the money will be used for. There are so many dynamics that families deal with. A holistic approach means considering how we can provide security in the present and also to future generations.
I am also asked a lot about the types of investments to look at. There have been a number of major trends over the last few years. I believe the key is to develop an investment discipline-based in logic. Discipline will allow you to avoid trends or emotions in the market. Over the long term, in my opinion, business fundamentals lead the way. I often ask our clients why they invest. It’s our belief that we want to make sure they have enough to retire comfortably and pass wealth and security on to future generations. Our belief is that we will grow their investment at the highest rate possible without risking permanent loss of capital. We also believe that we can achieve this with the ownership of sustainable, durable, growing, profit-generating businesses that we acquire at advantageous prices. Long-term investment success is quite easy as long as you let logic lead the way.
In 2007, you and your family were instrumental in raising funds to help save children from the drug and sex trade industry. Tell us why this cause is important to you and your family? What can the community do to champion this cause?
Our family has been involved with many organizations that improve the lives of others. I believe it’s our fundamental responsibility to help others. In Canada, we have been blessed with the mere fact of being born here or having moved here. We enjoy an incredible quality of life. There is a saying that is always lurking in the back of my mind: “To those who have been given great ability comes great responsibility.” We all have passions and I think the key is to take action. I often talk about a ripple in a lake. When you drop a rock in the lake you have no idea where that ripple will end up. I also believe that if you help or lift somebody up you will have no idea where that kindness will end. That person you helped make be the catalyst to change the world for the better.
What is your favorite thing that you tell out-of-town guests to discover when visiting the River City?
I was born and raised in Kamloops and although I have worked across Canada and the US, I always returned. I believe our most enduring quality is the kindness and the open nature of our residence. This community, both its people and businesses, step up when needed. Few areas boast the number of volunteers that Kamloops has.
Over the years I have been involved in many charitable events. It absolutely astounds me how much our local businesses and residence are willing to give. I think the people and businesses of Kamloops truly care. I also believe they appreciate the lifestyle and natural beauty of our area.