Three people in formal business wear meeting and looking at a laptop in workplace setting.
Corey Butler
CIO – Chief Investment Officer, Wealth Advisor, Ecivda Financial Planning Boutique

Building a Future—Brick by Brick

For more than 20 years, I’ve made a successful living in financial services, with most of that time spent as a Wealth Advisor. But it might surprise you to know that when it comes to operating a business and servicing clients, some of the most important lessons I’ve learned came from my first career: bricklaying.

I began working in construction in my teens, and it was during that time that I learned the value of taking initiative. In order to best contribute, I knew that I should always be doing something; my hands should never be empty. I also came to understand the importance of paying attention to detail. Measure twice, cut once was the saying—or, to put it another way, always do your due diligence.

There has always been something about building things from the ground up that has appealed to me—laying brick on top of brick to create a solid foundation. This is just as true now in my career as an Advisor, in which I construct customized wealth management and retirement plans for my clients, as it was during my time as a tradesman.

“Never Stop Learning”

After several years as a junior Advisor, I shifted into a role as a wholesaler with a boutique asset management company. My current firm, Ecivda Financial Planning Boutique, were valued clients, and when I made the decision to return to Advising in 2017, that longstanding relationship served as the perfect bridge to the next stage in my professional development.

If there’s one big take-away for Advisors that I can share from my personal experiences, it’s this: never stop learning. There are always new skills and knowledge that you can add to your toolkit, and that will ultimately improve the level of service that you can deliver for your clients. For instance, it was during my time as a wholesaler that I became well acquainted with structured notes, an asset class that was equally appealing and time-consuming. The notes offered value to clients’ portfolios, both because of the above-market yields and the contingent downside protection that buffered against potential drawdowns. However, as an investment representative registered to sell mutual funds, I was unable to access them.

That’s why I welcomed the introduction of the BMO Strategic Equity Yield Fund (SEYF), an actively managed fund that replicates exposure to a diversified basket of autocallable notes.  It’s a standard mutual fund, which means no additional licensing, and a huge time saver—one I only found because I’m always on the lookout for innovative strategies to help my clients meet their investment goals, based on their individual investment profiles.

A Foundation for Success

Over the past six years, Ecivda has more than doubled its assets under management (AUM). That type of growth doesn’t happen by accident. My business partner, Shawn Todd, and I have purchased two small books of business from departing Advisors, and on the referral side, we benefit from word-of-mouth within the Ottawa business community. Our sizable group benefits and pension department also helps drive interest in our services.

Just prior to the pandemic, we also launched a podcast, Mind and Money, which features market commentary and interviews with business leaders from across the country. Though recruitment is not its primary purpose, it does help prospective clients envision what it would be like to sit across from us and have a coffee—in other words, to establish that we’re people they can trust.

BMO Strategic Equity Yield Fund: The Right Building Block for Client Portfolios

As my years in construction taught me, a solid structure requires the right building blocks. Building client portfolios is similar—your foundation is only as solid as the strategies used to put it together.

Structured notes have long been a tool available to IIROC Advisors, but they’ve been out of reach for MFDA professionals. The BMO Strategic Equity Yield Fund (SEYF) fills that gap, offering contingent downside protection with a steady 8% target yield1. That’s pretty attractive for a wide variety of clients, especially at a low-to-medium risk rating2 and an MER of 0.73.3 For Advisors, it’s as simple as adding the Fund to your model base portfolio.

The BMO GAM structured products team is composed of highly tenured professionals with a combined 100+ years of experience in capital markets. That provides a lot of confidence and reassurance for both me and my clients.

To learn more about the BMO Strategic Equity Yield Fund, contact your BMO Global Asset Management Regional Sales Representative.

1 Hypothetical Distribution Yield: For the F Series – The hypothetical distribution yield was calculated by using the most recent regular distribution, or expected distribution, (which may be based on income, dividends, return of capital, and option premiums, as applicable) and excluding additional year end distributions, and special reinvested distributions) annualized for frequency, divided by current net asset value (NAV). Distribution yield is not an indicator of overall performance and will change based on market conditions, NAV fluctuations, and is not guaranteed.

2 For the F series. Risk is defined as the uncertainty of return and the potential for capital loss in your investments

3 For the F Series. The listed target Management Expense Ratio (MER) are estimated. As the series of funds are less than one year old, actual MER costs will not be known until the fund financial statements for the current fiscal year are released. Risk is defined as the uncertainty of return and the potential for capital loss in your investments

Quadrus Disclosures:

Financial advice, financial planning in the areas of financial management, risk management, asset management, estate planning, tax planning and retirement planning, are offered through Ecivda Financial Planning Boutique/Ecivda Financial Group Ltd. Investment Representative Corey Butler offers mutual funds and referral arrangements through Quadrus Investment Services Ltd.

BMO Global Asset Management Disclosures:

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Distribution yields are calculated by using the most recent regular distribution, or expected distribution, (which may be based on income, dividends, return of capital, and option premiums, as applicable) and excluding additional year end distributions, and special reinvested distributions annualized for frequency, divided by current net asset value (NAV). Distributions are not guaranteed, may fluctuate and are subject to change and/or elimination. Distribution rates may change without notice (up or down) depending on market conditions and NAV fluctuations. The payment of distributions should not be confused with a BMO Mutual Fund’s performance, rate of return or yield. If distributions paid by a BMO Mutual Fund are greater than the performance of the investment fund, your original investment will shrink. Distributions paid as a result of capital gains realized by a BMO Mutual Fund, and income and dividends earned by a BMO Mutual Fund, are taxable in your hands in the year they are paid. Your adjusted cost base will be reduced by the amount of any returns of capital. If your adjusted cost base goes below zero, you will have to pay capital gains tax on the amount below zero.

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