ROGER TAYLOR: Finance Guru Garth Turner Discovers ‘Little Seaside Bank’ in Lunenburg
LUNENBURG, NS – Many people in Atlantic Canada still remember Garth Turner in his weekly column on investing in the Chronicle Herald.
A prolific journalist, author and speaker, people may be surprised today to discover Turner, 72, living and working in Lunenburg, with offices in a historic building – formerly a Bank of Montreal – which he acquired in 2018 and renovated. Today he lovingly refers to the building as his “little little bank by the sea”.
“I still get ‘I used to read you in The Chronicle Herald’ every now and then,” he said with a chuckle, explaining how he ended up living in the heritage town. of UNESCO.
For many years he traveled the country giving financial lectures, Turner said.
“So I ended up in Lunenburg on a rainy night, where some guys brought me over for a speech and I did.
“I went around town the next day, I had my wife (Dorothy) with me, and it was great. We liked it. We actually ended up buying a house here and spending time here, seasonally, and then we transitioned (creating an office) later. Yes, we’ve been around Lunenburg for some time.
Turner’s official title is Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor, Private Client Group, Raymond James Ltd. – Turner Investments.
Its main offices are still in Toronto, but the Lunenburg operation manages investments for clients across the country. He said about 35 percent of his clients are based in British Columbia, 35 percent are in Ontario and the rest are spread across other provinces.
“I am so happy to have passed the pandemic in Nova Scotia rather than Ontario,” he said.
“I think we (in Nova Scotia) have handled the pandemic better, we have recovered faster and society is more normalized, and I think Atlantic Canada has opened our eyes to people across the country a lot because that in general it was so much better managed here. “
Turner said he is proud to employ a small group of financial advisors and portfolio managers in Lunenburg in jobs that would traditionally be based on Bay Street in Toronto.
The decision to buy the old bank, which sat vacant for a few years, was a good investment in “a wonderful place,” he said.
“We’re in the business of wealth management, helping people with TFSAs, RSPs and RESPs. . . . We help people organize themselves, reduce their taxes.
Thanks to the technology, “we can be here in a little bench by the sea in Lunenburg. We live in paradise and take care of our customers across Canada.
The building, Turner said, has become a symbol to people of how you can have a great and interesting life and not live in Toronto or Vancouver.
“I think it worked really well. So that sort of helped our business in the sense that there is a kind of ‘little seaside bank’ attitude towards all of this, but yet we still provide the same services that we would if we were. were on Bay Street. This is a good thing.”
It’s an interesting time for investors, Turner said. Due to the rise in house prices, people are tempted to invest their money in land and buildings, but he said that might not be such a good idea with the next rise in prices. interest rate.
“I think they will regret it. (tax-free savings accounts) are huge; the TFSA is going to be a very important step in an investment portfolio. We make sure our customers are at their best.
As things start to normalize after the pandemic, Turner said there will be a significant increase in interest rates in 2022. Rather than common stocks, he has shifted client money to preferred stock. that offer good returns with less volatility.
A visit to Turner’s office is like stepping into a small art gallery. His office sits under a domed ceiling and his art collection is tastefully distributed. It’s hard to miss the steel moose silhouette of Charles Pachter and the large Pachter portrait of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau adorning one of the walls.
There are other interesting sculptures, including an original bust of Captain Bluenose Angus Walters by artist Chippie Kennedy, who owns a studio in the historic Lunenburg Academy building.
Formerly Minister of Revenue in Kim Campbell’s short-lived Progressive Conservative government, Turner was defeated in 1993. Following his defeat, Turner returned to his pre-political career as a financial journalist and wrote a series of books on the real estate and personal finance. He went on to become a popular orator, a unionized newspaper columnist and a radio host.
Turner returned to politics in 2006 as a Tory MP for Halton, Ont., But the Red Tory was kicked out of caucus by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his criticism of the government. He briefly joined the Liberal caucus in 2007, but was defeated in the 2008 federal election.
Although not currently involved in politics, he said he was still a fiscal conservative but a liberal on other issues.