Return on Investment
- Mark Witten
- Mar 4, 2019
David Jenkins, HBA ’84, runs an investment website that doesn’t charge adviser fees – instead, users are encouraged to donate to charity.
In 2016, David Jenkins launched TheAnswerIs.ca, an investment website targeted at millennials that gives back in two ways: “First, I give young people basic investing knowledge and help them get in the headspace to successfully invest. Second, I’m raising money for charity.”
Jenkins’ desire to give back stems from the opportunity he had to study business at Ivey due to financial support from the military. “My father was in the air force and died in the line of duty. My mother raised four boys on an air force pension, so I had a modest upbringing. But Veterans Affairs benefits paid for my tuition and books, and I even got paid to go to school. I attribute my success in business directly to the education I got at Ivey,” he says.
Jenkins has had an accomplished business career as former president of Altus Group, Canada’s largest independent real estate valuation company, and helped take the company public in 2005. He has participated in over 25 acquisitions and dispositions of public and private companies.
Motivated to provide his three daughters and their friends with the basic information and aptitude to invest successfully for the long term, Jenkins launched the TheAnswerIs.ca: “I didn’t want them to make all the mistakes I made starting out. I swung for the fences because I wanted that big return. Luckily, I didn’t have a lot of money to lose and learned quickly from my mistakes. The best source of knowledge is experience and I share mine with young investors,” says Jenkins.
About 400 registered users invested over $8 million in a portfolio of six exchange-traded funds through his site over the first two years. Instead of adviser fees, investors are encouraged to donate $20 to the Sanfilippo Children’s Research Foundation, or the charity of their choice through CanadaHelps.
Jenkins has attracted many young investors to the site by giving presentations to university students. “I’m happy the site raises money for good causes and that I can help educate young people to invest so they will be better off,” he says.
Photo: Nation Wong
Art Direction: Greg Salmela, Aegis