by Scott Ronalds

A few weeks back you got to know Lori Norman, one of our Investor Specialists, a little better as part of a blog series on our biggest competitive advantage — our people. Today, Jeff Stashuk gets the spotlight.

Jeff joined the firm in 2018 and works with our clients in helping them build and manage their portfolios. If you call our 1-888 number, there’s a good chance you’ll be speaking with him.

The “stash” started his career at Royal Bank in 2012 as a Client Service Representative, and subsequently joined MD Management in 2015 as a Client Assistant, and later, Team Lead. Jeff has a unique background, having attended Faulkner University in Alabama on a golf scholarship and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management. He was also the university’s head golf coach in his senior year.

Needless to say, Jeff’s an ‘automatic' for every charity golf tournament the company participates in. That is, until he moved to Salmon Arm this summer. No, we haven’t opened an office in this gorgeous corner of the Okanagan. Rather, Jeff is our first remote employee — a trend that’s gaining steam in this work from home period.

We’ve always thought of ourselves as a progressive company (Neil’s wardrobe aside) and agreed to accommodate Jeff when he raised the idea of moving his desk 460 kilometers away. With today’s technology, he’s able to easily stay connected with the mothership and serve clients as efficiently as if he were still working at our office in Kits. He just gets to wear slippers all day now.

Jeff’s got coaching in his blood and takes a lot of satisfaction in helping investors set up a suitable portfolio and keeping a level head when markets act up. He’s not afraid to pull out the rescue wedge if he thinks an investor’s straying off course. OK, last of the golf analogies. Promise.

Being in his mid-thirties, Jeff’s got a lengthy investment time horizon and is invested accordingly. His Strategic Asset Mix (SAM) is 90% stocks, 10% fixed income. He primarily holds our Builders Fund to get there.

In the two and a half years I’ve worked with Jeff, I’ve come to know that’s he’s a big outdoor enthusiast, which explains the move to the Okanagan. I thought I’d probe a little deeper on this though, as well as his thoughts on investing in general.

Why Salmon Arm?

“We took a nice road trip there last summer and have great memories from the area. It’s an hour or two drive from so many great spots. Also, I want to get back to playing more golf and there are some fantastic courses around (with cheap memberships). And of course, affordable housing played a big role.”

Do you think you’ll call the Okanagan your permanent home?

“To be determined. We’ve really enjoyed the small-town vibe so far. We go to the farmers market every Saturday and like the slower pace of after-work life. I’ve also had the chance to play Talking Rock and Shuswap National along with a few other golf courses in the area and they’ve been spectacular. We’ll get a better sense if this is permanently home, though, when life gets back to normal.”

What do you miss most about Vancouver?

“Sunday dinners with the family. Also, we haven’t been doing much socializing because of Covid and I miss my long-time friends. What we’ll probably miss the most is going to concerts. And I didn’t realize how much I loved just strolling down Commercial Drive.”

How do you think our industry will be impacted longer-term by Covid?

“We’re already kind of experiencing what the future may look like: more virtual interaction with clients; less business-related travel; and a high emphasis on data security given the increasing use of cloud services. I think our industry will adapt well to it all though.”

What’s the biggest concern you’ve heard from clients over the last six months?

“The dislocation between what’s happening in the economy and the markets has really thrown a lot of people off (although stocks have pulled back somewhat lately). In my conversations, I’ve tried to reiterate that this is not a new phenomenon and provide some context around it.”

If you’ve got any questions for Jeff of the investment kind, you can reach him via our toll-free number (1-888-888-3147), or you can schedule a time for a more in-depth phone or video call through the booking feature on our website. And please, let us know if it sounds like he’s taking the call on the 12th hole.