And the winner is ……..

While reading our last issue, an advertisement caught my eye – The Great Canadian Sales Competition.  So, I did a bit of digging to learn more and satisfy my curiosity.  I was pleasantly surprised!

So what has this got to do with our RRSP issue?  Surprisingly quite a bit … but I digress.  The brain-child of the folks at the Sales Talent Agency – a specialty recruitment firm with offices across Canada – the idea is to showcase a career in sales to everyone attending any post-secondary educational institution in Canada.  Some people have the attitude: “well, if all else fails, I can go and sell something.”

I have never subscribed to that philosophy but I see it regularly.  This competition is designed to counter that out-dated image by demonstrating the outstanding opportunities and rewards for committed sales professionals.  Students compete first at a local level and then move towards national status.  The experience allows people to get a fuller understanding of how businesses operate and the critical role of sales for success of each enterprise – except government.

As explained to me by Jamie Scarborough, one of the principals at Sales Talent Agency, as part of the program, students are exposed to the entire sales and marketing process to learn how sales drive business profits.  Major sponsors include such well-known businesses such as Google, Dell and Facebook and more than 20 universities and colleges have a formal process for involving students – and age it not the issue!  Any student at any post-secondary institution can enter.  Everyone has the opportunity to learn, to practice and then master the skills and abilities necessary for success in a sales career – any sales career.  The Grand Prize of $5,000 certainly doesn’t hurt either!

So what does this have to do with RRSPs?  When people are better informed about how businesses operate and how businesses generate income and then profits, the people are more informed and as a result make better decisions for themselves and their families.  Elsewhere in this edition, particularly in articles by Steve Nyvik and Don Shaughnessy, you will hear their views on being properly informed and how to take control and responsibility for your own investment decisions.

People in The Great Canadian Sales Competition will have a big step-up in furthering their own financial literacy.  Regular readers of Money Magazine and are already familiar with our commitment to helping Canadians better educate themselves about all things financial.  The work being done by the Sales Talent Agency is a perfect dove-tail and we are proud to be able to support them and all of the competition entrants.

If you are a student, use this outstanding opportunity to learn about great career opportunities while expanding your practical knowledge about the Canadian economy.

Ian Whiting

Ian R. Whiting CD, CFP, CLU, CH.F.C., FLMI (FS), ACS, AIAA, AALU With more than 40-years of experience in the industry, Ian has qualified 3 times for MDRT, completed LUATC in 1979, the LUAC Financial Planning Skills Course and attended numerous Schools in Agency Management and Sales Management through LIMRA. He obtained his CLU in 1987 while also completed his IFIC qualification and completed his Fellowship in the Life Management Institute with a specialty in Financial Services in 1988. In 1989, he completed qualifications for his Chartered Financial Consultant designation. In 1992, he qualified as an Associate of the Academy of Life Underwriters (Head Office underwriter qualification) and in 1993 he completed his Associate, Customer Service designation program through LOMA. In 1997, he qualified as a CFP and also completed his courses and exams to obtain the Associate, Insurance Agency Administration designation. In 1999, he completed the study and examinations to qualify as a Trading Officer, Partner and Director for Mutual Funds with the BC Securities Commission. As a result, he is also qualified as both a Branch Compliance Manager and Head Office/Provincial Compliance Officer. He served for nearly 18 years with the Canadian Forces (Air) Reserve (reaching the rank of Captain) primarily working with Air Cadets and was award the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) in 1982. Long known as a maverick and forward thinker in the financial services world, Ian enjoys the challenge of learning new material and planning for the future evolution of his chosen profession.