Steve Syrett

Steve Syrett, CFP, CEA

Retirement Planner | Estate Planner

Kingston, Ontario

My journey into the financial services industry dates back to the late 1990s, where I had a front-row seat to the “Dot Com” financial situation, followed only eight years later by the “Sub-Prime Mortgage” financial event. Both of these events highlighted my fundamental investment philosophy: Adequate knowledge, proper diversification, and patience will be rewarded in the long term.

Over the years I have had a number of different roles, with a number of different companies, including a private investment company and a “Big Five” Canadian bank. Although I enjoyed and excelled at these positions, I ultimately reached a point in my life where I felt the need to explore the possibility of aligning myself with an organization that was more compatible with my client-focused tendencies and was more willing to place their clients’ interests ahead of pure corporate profits.

In 2014, I began the transition to Freedom 55 Financial – at the time the financial planning division of London Life. In 2019, our parent company – Great-West Life Financial – announced a merger of Great-West Life, London Life, and Canada Life. Freedom 55 Financial became the financial planning division of this combined company called “The Canada Life Assurance Company,” and are managing more than $1 trillion of our Canadian clients’ assets.

Towards the end of 2022, Canada Life asked all of their Freedom 55 Financial advisors to “rebrand”, either as solo practitioners or as a financial services firm affiliated with Canada Life. After many discussions with a number of fellow advisors, I decided to team-up with two other Freedom 55 Financial advisors and we created our own firm called Kingston Financial Inc. We continue to be affiliated with The Canada Life Assurance Company, and our relationship with Canada life has not changed. We are provided with a team of technical and administrative support to help us serve our clients as well as we always have. With support from this team, my partners and I have the freedom to base recommendations on what will best serve our clients, and are given the flexibility to use a vast array of resources and financial partners to achieve this.

Agent or Broker?

When I worked at a bank, I was an “agent” of that financial institution. As such, my job depended on me doing as much business as possible with my clients at that bank only. As the saying goes, “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

As a Financial Planner for Kingston Financial Inc., I am a “broker,” which permits me to partner with as many different financial companies as I choose. No single company can possibly be all things to all people. Every financial company has a specialty, and it’s my responsibility to ensure that I am matching my clients’ specific needs to the best possible company for those needs.

My primary responsibility is to my clients, not to the companies that I represent. I take this responsibility very seriously and have taken great care to align myself with companies that support me with this philosophy.

As a Financial Planner in Kingston, Ontario, I specialize in Estate Planning and Retirement Planning for my clients and their families. Life is better with a plan!

Qualifications and Education

As a financial professional conducting business in Ontario, I am required to maintain two different regulated licences. I am licenced with the Canadian Securities Administrators as well as the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario. I am also a member of FP Canada (part of the Financial Planning Canada Standards Council), and the Canadian Institute of Certified Executor Advisors.

Through the Advocis Continuing Education program, I completed four courses required for the Certified Financial Planner designation: Financial Planning Foundations, Taxation and Investment Planning, Retirement Income Planning, and Insurance and Estate Planning.

Through the FP Canada Institute Learning Platform, I completed the CFP Professional Education Program, as well as the six-hour exam required for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. The CFP designation is an internationally recognized professional certification mark for financial planners.

Through the Canadian Institute of Certified Executor Advisors, I completed the Certified Executor Advisor Program, as well as the exam required for the Certified Executor Advisor (CEA) designation.

These licences and designations have extensive Continuing Education requirements that help ensure I remain informed and up to date on all aspects of the financial services industry.

Volunteer Work

I have been actively volunteering for a number of animal rescue groups since early 2009, including Loyal Rescue, Great Dane Rescue, Lab Rescue, Kingston Humane Society, ElderDog Canada, and Dogs and Cats of the Dominican Republic, to mention a few. The volunteer work that I have done for these, and other, animal welfare groups over the years includes dog fostering, home inspections, dog transportation, adoption application processing, lost dog searches, and website technical support.