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Take risks on your investments and yourself: Gary Ng [BComm (Honours)/07]

February 20, 2019 — 
Gary Ng

Gary Ng

In late November, Gary Ng [BComm (Honours)/07] acquired PI Financial Corp., a western-Canadian-based wealth management firm, for $101 million.

At just 34-years-old, the Winnipeg native from humble beginnings is now the Executive Chairman of the company.

Some might think this acquisition would be life-changing, but the investor and entrepreneur says his day-to-day has not changed much since the deal went through, besides some recent press which included an interview with BNN Bloomberg.

On his success, Ng thinks being a relatively young investor “allows me to not worry about the month-to-month variance and instead focus on the long-term investment.”

He takes Thomas Edison’s approach toward failure: “Thomas Edison said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work’,” says Ng. “I think failure is an attitude. The first time a young entrepreneur fails, they might be marred from taking a risk next time.”

Ng says that this is a behaviour some young investors and entrepreneurs learn very early, but in order to be successful, you must overcome this attitude. “Young people can be too cautious. It’s both surprising and disappointing.”

He’s not only talking about investment, but about taking risks on yourself. The alumnus says recent grads can think too linearly when it comes to their careers.

“That’s why places like the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship are so important – they encourage entrepreneurship outside the classroom.”

Along with an entrepreneurial attitude, you must be willing to put in the work to succeed, even if it means letting your personal life take a back seat.

“I remember waking up at three in the morning because a client wanted to make a trade. You have to put in the work.”

Ng prefers working for independent wealth management firms opposed to the big banks due to the freedom and flexibility they offer customers.

He believes we will see a shift in the future, where more Canadians will be more inclined to trade with independent firms rather than big banks.

 “Big banks force everyone to become a square peg in order to fit a square hole. At independent firms, we sit down and figure out your goals, then search the market for the best product based on your needs.”


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