We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Travis Forman, a partner and senior vice president of Harbourfront Wealth Management and head of Strategic Private Wealth, one of Harbourfronts fastest growing wealth management practices in Canada.
In addition to his responsibilities in strategic private wealth counsel, Travis is also instrumental as the portfolio manager of two mutual funds. He manages the Rockridge Private Debt and Real Estate Pool, Canada’s first retail multi-provider alternative investments portfolio solution, as well as the Forsyth Private Real Estate Portfolios. Both are under Willoughby Asset Management. While his primary focus is on alternative investments, Travis explains that what he is doing has never been done before.
Tell us why you choose Harbourfront Wealth Management
Unlike most of the large investment firms, Harbourfront’s singular focus is on serving the best interests of our clients. We offer unbiased advice and work to prevent conflicts of interest between large company shareholders and management and between clients and financial advisors. For example, alternative investments have been around for decades and have been largely populated by endowment funds, pension plans, or institutions. However, they have never been bundled together for client retail because they are difficult to purchase. Fortunately, through the two funds I manage, clients are now able to get access to an institutional investment asset class. This has never been done before for the retail client.
Forsyth was launched in September 2019, and it brought $100 million by the end of the year quarter. In fact, both funds have achieved staggering growth from zero to $500 million in 23 months! Important to note is both funds have never seen a negative return.
To what do you attribute such rapid growth?
Although it may be surprising to some, the growth of the funds is not correlated to the stock market. It basically has to do with private loans that are heavily collateralized and heavily negotiated outside of the tier-1 financial system and private real estate.
Why are you using alternatives?
I use alternative investment strategies because I can reduce volatility of the portfolio without compromising returns. In fact, by using alternatives I can probably even increase them.
How do you reduce volatility?
Volatility of a stock is the amount a stock is likely to move away from the price at which it was traded at any given time. However, the asset classes themselves don’t trade on the stock market, so they don’t fluctuate daily.
What makes Strategic Private Wealth at Harbourfront unique?
Definitely my expertise in alternative investments sets us apart from other companies, and so does our focus on education. In fact, everything we do begins with education and the clients because we want them to feel comfortable with making informed decisions. Last year, I did 12 public education events for clients and prospects because I firmly believe that the faster we learn this information, the better we all will be.
We also have the right team. Currently, Strategic Private Wealth is a strong team of eight. On the team we have charter investment managers, certified financial planners, chartered investment analysts and the best infrastructure crew. We can scale without sacrificing the service experience, which is something we are proud of.
A unique aspect of Harbourfront as a national firm is that our company is a non-bank owned firm; it is partner owned. This is because we believe clients are the priority- not the shareholder. We genuinely care about the well-being of our clients more than our bottom line, and many of our long-term customers have come to recognize this in our team. They trust us, and we’re growing quickly because they want others to meet us. We are a 100% referral business, and our retention ration is incredibly high because of our clients.
What would you like to share with us about your background?
I graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts degree focusing on economics and philosophy, and I have over 21 years of experience in finance. I have always been passionate about what I do, and I devoted a lot of time earning my fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute, certified financial planner, and certified investment manager designations because I believe continued education is essential for adapting to the ever-changing conditions in wealth management.
Tell us about the awards you recently won.
Last year, I was voted one of the Top 50 Advisors in Canada, and I was also a finalist for Advisor of the Year: Alternative Investment’s Finalist by Wealth Professional Magazine. It felt great to be nominated and recognized. However, the most exciting reward was I became a new father.
What is your motto?
I firmly believe that we are changing people’s lives at Strategic Private Wealth at Harbourfront Wealth Management. So, my motto is “If you meet with my team, we’re going to improve your life.” I’m confident on that.
Travis Forman BA, CFP, FMA, CIM, FCSI
Senior Vice President, Harbourfront Wealth Management
Portfolio Manager, Rockridge Private Debt & Real Estate Pool
Portfolio Manager, Forsyth Private Real Estate Portfolios
Morgan Creek Corporate Centre
310 – 1525 32nd Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7