With low interest rates and government manipulation of money supplies affecting a wide range of local and global economies – from Vancouver’s housing market to China’s slowing growth – the financial world has been forced to adjust to a new set of rules.
Youssef Zohny, director of wealth management for StennerZohny Investment Partners, said since the 2008 global economic crisis, market instability has become the new normal.
“This new monetary policy regime is affecting economies and markets differently,” said Zohny. “And as any good investor does, he has to adapt to the new environment.”
Holding a bachelor of arts in economics, as well as a bachelor of science in physics and mathematics, both from the University of British Columbia, Zohny has risen fast through the world of investment banking and asset management.
He said Canada’s economy is unique, in that the economic policies of other, larger nations can have more of an effect here at home than our own interest rates.
“Canada has always been heavily influenced by what goes on in the U.S. economy, and conversely the U.S. exchange rate. But over the last few years, we’ve really tried to diversify to have a lot more exposure to the Asian economies through oil and gas and commodities.”
Zohny said Canada will likely remain an “export” country for a long time, and, regardless of market fluctuations, British Columbia is economically well situated.
“B.C. seems to be in a sweet spot,” he said. “In the past there has been a lot of growth in Alberta and jobs and migration there. Now you’re starting to see a little bit of a reversal of that because B.C. is not as exposed to oil as much, which is a different type of marketplace.
“And, obviously, the currency has been a huge boon for the B.C. economy; after so many years of languishing with the Canadian dollar over par, it’s been a bit of a windfall.”
Birthplace: Vancouver, B.C.
Where you live now: Vancouver, B.C.
Highest level of education: Two degrees from UBC (B.Sc., physics and mathematics and BA, economics)
Currently reading: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Currently listening to: French Express, Tropical House Mix
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Astronomer
Profession you would most like to try (outside your current one): Journalist
Toughest business or professional decision: Wealth management is a great responsibility and every day is faced by tough decisions with imperfect information in the face of uncertainty. A challenge that I cherish
Advice you would give the younger you: Trust yourself and have the courage to act on your convictions
What’s left to do: Everything. Life is too short to waste, and there are so many people to meet, help and share in life, business and experience. Investing is about learning, adapting and going against the crowd; this is a lifelong journey
Join us to celebrate the 2015 Forty under under 40 Awards January 27, 2016 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.