How an Ex-financier Turned Creative Keeps One Foot in the Business World


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Scotia iTRADE is here to let the multi-hyphenates and entrepreneurs of today’s world live on their own terms. Learn more about it here. Check out more stories with Chef Brandon Olsen explaining how he’s taken control of his own finances here, and photographer Tristan O’Brien talks his journey with self-directed investing here.

Artist / Trader / Creative Consultant 

“Financial confidence means that I’m aware of what I have and what I can do with my money.”

Pursuing your passion takes courage, that’s true. But it should also involve a plan, especially when it comes to managing your money. Amy Patel is an expert on the matter. An artist and creative consultant living in Toronto, Patel worked in investment banking where she helped syndicate deals into the market for her clients. After ten years, she decided to leave Bay Street in order to focus on her art and cultivate her lifestyle brand, LesBest, full-time. That’s not to say she ever lost a grasp on her finances. Here, the ex-financier describes how she’s keeping one foot in the business world through self-directed investing and trading to complement her new independent lifestyle. 

You have a background in finance and now work as a creative consultant. Have you always had that self-motivated initiative?
Yes, I think it comes from having immigrant parents and their journey into business. My brother and I, we didn’t really have normal summers or weekends. We always worked at our family store ever since we were little. I think for me, seeing them be their own bosses and self-starters without having anyone really tell them what to do in a new country where the language was foreign was always something that I admired and understood. 

Given your familiarity of the business landscape, did you feel comfortable getting into trading and investing?
Jumping into the world of investing can be intimidating for people. The cool thing that I learned about Scotia iTRADE is that there is a lot of information within the direct investing platform that made it easy for me to understand how to invest my money with confidence. There’s news that’s refreshed by the minute, as well as commentary, videos, and webinars. You also have access to research reports, which I remember from working in banking, is something that you have to pay for. There’s a lot of tools that can personalize your experience based off of how much or how little you know. 

Why is Scotia iTRADE a good fit for you?
I feel like it’s for people who view themselves as not just one thing. You can be so many things and wear all the hats without feeling intimidated by it. Each of us can be a trader with the platform. 

How does it work with your lifestyle?
One thing that is really cool about the platform is that if you do a trade after the market closes and buy 500 shares of something, and then later in the evening decide that was a big mistake, you can cancel your order without any issues. It’s great because if you had a broker and you wanted to do the same thing but couldn’t get a hold of them, you’d be out of luck. They also have a mobile app, which is cool. A lot of us have multi-faceted jobs where we aren’t always sitting at a desk. You can check your investments and make trades on the go. Having it at your fingertips is pretty cool. 

What does financial confidence mean to you? Do you have any advice for others looking to get into trading?
Financial confidence means that I’m aware of what I have and what I can do with my money. If you care about your financial future and don’t want your money to just sit around and get cheap interest at your bank, I’d try iTRADE. It’s very intuitive and has all the information that someone would need to invest their money with confidence in one platform. 

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