Robert Kolenc, CIM®, CFP®, FMA, FCSI® Portfolio Manager

“I am a ‘seize the day’ kind of guy.”

“I do all kinds of crazy stuff because I have so much respect for the gift I was given to have life on this planet, and live in this country. I am a ‘seize the day’ kind of guy.”

Case in point: in support of a colleague with cancer, Robert decided to raise funds by riding his motorbike north of the Arctic Circle in winter, all the way to Tuktoyaktuk, making him one of a small handful of people in the world ever to have ridden the world’s longest ice road by motorcycle.

And so it should be no surprise that for Robert, the element of our manifesto that resonates most deeply is this one: Life is good.

As a young man, he played in a rock band, became a pilot, and took up martial arts and scuba diving. As a science student at the University of Waterloo (he attained his B.Sc and M.Sc), he created a bacteria that eats oil at near-freezing temperatures, addressing the problem of oil spills in the Arctic Ocean. As a Ph.D student at McMaster, he studied women’s cancers.

“The math in solving cancer is about separating the signal from the noise. And the math in uncovering investment trends and picking stocks is the same: you are looking for a needle in a haystack. I didn’t finish my Ph.D, but I was very lucky because I have used those statistical techniques every day since in my investing career.”

Robert has been in the wealth management business since 1999, but his interest in investing actually began much earlier. Born in Zagreb, Croatia, his family was very poor. They escaped war and arrived in Canada penniless when Robert was three years old. At age 12, he got the “investing bug” from a family friend who was a professional futures trader.

“It has always been my strongest passion. I have studied hard for all of these years and if I retired now, I would still put hours into it every day.”

Robert’s work ethic comes directly from his parents, who worked hard their entire lives, holding multiple jobs and going to night school in a bid to get ahead – which they most certainly did. “I got to witness and experience the progression from poverty to affluence,” Robert says. “I am so grateful for it, and for the understanding it gives me of our clients’ efforts to succeed. That’s why I also identify strongly with this manifesto element: We will work as hard looking after your wealth as you did earning it.”