by Tom Bradley

An unmistakable feature of the market’s run over the last year has been the surge of new and mostly young investors. Millions of millennials (and other categories) have opened investment accounts and got involved.

I say ‘got involved’ as opposed to ‘invested’ because a large portion of the new money is going into speculative, moon shot bets. I’m referring to things related to cryptocurrencies, cannabis, short squeezes, options, IPOs, SPACs, and the latest mania, NFTs (non-fungible tokens, which include digital art and, yes, basketball clips). The possibilities are endless for people wanting to do this kind of thing. I make the distinction because it’s not investing in the sense of building wealth by taking ownership stakes in a portfolio of companies and giving them time to grow and pay dividends.

As our regular readers know, we much prefer the ‘ownership stake + time’ approach. The good news is, there are also lots of alternatives for young investors going this route. In a recent column (available to Globe and Mail subscribers only), Rob Carrick named two — using a robo-advisor or buying ETFs through a discount broker.

I wanted to add one to Rob’s list: Steadyhand. We also invest for the long term, charge reasonable fees, and have portfolios specifically designed for the task, namely our Builders Fund. But that’s where the similarities end. We have way more to offer a young investor than the do-it-yourself providers.

The biggest difference is that Steadyhand clients can get help from an approachable, skilled person. Yes, our Investor Specialists work with clients of all shapes and sizes. They differentiate by need, not size or age. If you don’t believe me, phone 1-888-888-3147 and see what I mean. Unlike the other options, we’re easy to get a hold of (average wait time: 4 seconds).

We do have a higher investment minimum ($10,000) than robos, discount brokers and bank branches, but we make an exception for children of clients. They can open an account for as little as $1,000.

If you know an up-and-coming investor who wants to get started, encourage them to check us out. We may not be what they’re looking for (right now), but 10 minutes on our site will help them be a more informed consumer, which will be useful wherever they go.