Q&A with Cameron Langlois: Revolutionizing the Canadian Wealth Sector
Based in Vancouver, Origin Wealth is a firm specializing in portfolio management, with a strong focus on enhancing human performance and providing Canadians with an empowering investment experience. The firm's primary objective is to shift people's relationship with money from scarcity to abundance. To achieve this, they employ a disruptive approach to experiential learning, rooted in Nobel Prize-winning economic science, to educate individuals on investment strategies. Origin Wealth partnered with Advisor Solutions by Purpose in September 2022 to leverage Purpose’s technology platform, allowing them to simplify their operations and concentrate on implementing a disruptive approach to experiential learning, to educate individuals about investment strategies, and to modernize the Canadian wealth sector.
Recently, we had the chance to sit down with Origin Wealth’s President and CEO, Cameron Langlois to discuss his motivations to take his advisory business independent, his partnership with Advisor Solutions by Purpose, and his advice to advisors looking to do the same.
Can you give a bit of background on yourself?
Sure, let me tell you a bit about myself. I've been working in finance since 2015, but I've been exposed to it my whole life since my dad and his partner, James, have been in the industry for a long time - my dad for about 38 years. I've always been around finance, and after doing some other jobs, I started working with my dad's firm. They're actually one of the biggest teams at iA Private Wealth in terms of assets under management, so I got to work with a lot of high net worth clients. I was trained to focus on planning and to have an independent mindset - being able to run my book the way I wanted and provide the best service to clients. About four years ago, I started traveling to the US to see what advisors were doing there. As you may know, Canada is a bit behind the US in terms of financial planning.
What was your motivation to go independent?
I was really curious about what the future held and what I could bring back to Canada to better serve my clients. During my travels, I had a complete shift in how I understood investing. The traditional way of choosing stocks, timing the market, or selecting managers who have a history of outperforming the market doesn't work consistently over time. There's actually a scientific way of constructing a portfolio that doesn't rely on predicting the future. When I returned home, I wanted to implement this new approach, and I realized that I didn't want to be just one of many advisors at a dealer doing different things. Instead, I wanted to create a brand and organization that had a clear philosophy around investing and planning. I wanted to be part of a brand that stood for something and was defined by its approach to helping clients grow their wealth.
I had reached a point where I knew I had to take action, so I decided to start the process of going independent. I was 27 at the time and had never started my own business, so there was a lot of trial and error involved. After some research, I found that the best option for me was to register with the provincial regulators as an ICPM. That's when I came across Purpose. My chief compliance officer, who used to work at Raymond James in the US, had heard about them and suggested I check them out. I didn't even get an introduction - I just submitted a request for more information on their website. Shortly after, Jared gave me a call. When I shared my story with him and talked about what I wanted to build, it was amazing because he really understood and was on board with our vision.
What is the mission and vision for Origin Wealth?
Our vision is that people should be free to create and have the power to do so. For us, having a vision means ensuring that whatever business you're in, your vision is aligned with your purpose. Our purpose is to help people achieve financial independence, giving them the freedom and ability to create and contribute to the world. That's our vision. Our mission, on the other hand, is to transform people's relationship with money. We want to help people achieve a sense of freedom and abundance by changing the way they think about and interact with money.
How did Advisor Solutions by Purpose align with your mission and vision?
So basically, the financial industry is known for being a bit behind the times when it comes to technology. A lot of advisors have been in the game for a long time and haven't necessarily kept up with the latest tech advancements. But I'm a bit younger and grew up with technology all around me, so I saw the value in using cutting-edge tech to provide the best possible service to our clients.
I believe that to truly transform the industry and provide an educational-first approach to investing, we need to have amazing teams and technology supporting us. That's where Purpose comes in - they offer a great platform that aligns with our vision and goals of transforming the industry.
Plus, it's really important to us to work with partners who share our values and want to drive positive change in the industry. Overall, I think it's all about using technology to help us achieve our mission of transforming people's relationship to money and helping them achieve financial independence, so they can have the freedom to create and pursue their passions.
So basically, the first thing that was really important to us when we were looking for strategic partners was to find someone who was fully aligned with our vision and what we want to achieve. And luckily, we found that alignment with Advisor Solutions by Purpose. It was a no-brainer for us to team up with them. And since we've joined forces, we've been able to make incredible progress towards our goal of managing a billion dollars or more within five years. With Purpose's technology and services, we're able to accelerate that growth at a much faster pace than we ever could have on our own. It's been a game-changer for us, especially since we started from scratch. Without Purpose's support, I honestly don't see us being able to reach that level of success.
What’s your advice for advisors who are considering independence?
You know, one thing I've noticed is that a lot of people don't even know that going independent is an option. When I was working at iA Private Wealth, which was already one of the more independent sides of the dealer industry, I had heard a little bit about the ICPM route, but I didn't really know what it was or how it worked. I only found out about it because I was familiar with the RIA model in the US and realized we were the closest equivalent. So my advice to anyone thinking of going independent, especially young people just starting out in the industry, is to do your research and be open to having conversations outside of your current institution. Don't just assume that what you have now is the best thing available to you. Once you start looking around and seeing what's out there, you'll find that there are multiple options to explore.
Basically, if you want to succeed in the industry, you need to figure out what you want to achieve and create a plan for how to get there. Don't just follow what everyone else is doing because it's easy or familiar. Talk to people, explore your options, and find the best path for you. It's common to fall into the trap of just going with the flow and not realizing all the opportunities available, so take the time to really think about what you want and how to get there.