An expert’s advice can mean the difference between a thriving business and a struggling one and between having a financially stable retirement and outliving your savings.
One expert who is quickly becoming influential in the areas of wealth management and entrepreneurship is Faisal Karmali. He always brings his passion for helping people succeed, whether it be in their retirement or in their business, to his interviews and advice.
Karmali wears many hats: portfolio manager, author, media personality, business and market expert for 770 CHQR and CTV Morning Live, partner with the Popowich Karmali Advisory Group, and the entrepreneurial mind behind The Karmali Exchange.
As a portfolio manager, Karmali stays up to date with the ever-evolving world of finance to provide best-in-class advice to his clients as they prepare for retirement. He believes that his unique investment strategy and emphasis on financial planning can truly make a difference in the lives of clients who put their trust in him.
As a dynamic speaker and interviewer, Karmali strives to be a voice for entrepreneurs. He shares the expertise he has gained through his own experience during the talk shows and community events that he hosts regularly. He hopes that his advice, and the advice of other experts he brings in, will save entrepreneurs from some of the pitfalls of starting a business and set them up for long-term success.
We had the opportunity to interview Karmali about his career journey and the insights he has learned along the way.
Tell us about yourself and your professional journey so far.
I am a portfolio manager, author, media personality, business and market expert for 770 CHQR and CTV Morning Live, and an entrepreneur.
Growing up, my father owned his own auto body business, and I was interested in entrepreneurship even before I knew what that word meant. At 16 years old, I had a summer job working for a financial advisor, and something clicked. I knew I wanted to spend my career making a positive impact on people’s lives by helping them improve their financial security.
After many years of education and experience in the wealth management industry, my business partner and I started the Popowich Karmali Advisory Group with the purpose of helping people plan for the most vulnerable stage of their life: retirement. We are now one of the most well-regarded investment teams in Canada.
Together, we have written a book entitled Bulletproof Your Retirement, hosted the More than Money radio show where we discuss a variety of financial and lifestyle topics, and helped hundreds of clients have a fulfilling and financially stable retirement.
I started the Karmali Exchange to use what I’ve learned from decades of studying successful companies from an investment standpoint to help entrepreneurs take their own businesses to the next level.
What was your inspiration to venture into the business talk show hosting profession?
I saw a gap that needed to be filled: business owners didn’t have a voice in my city. I decided to use my platform to promote and encourage local businesses. In speaking to entrepreneurs, I recognized that many are good at their craft – they make a great product or they provide a unique service – but very few are actually good at running a business.
Because of my experience analyzing and reporting on publicly traded companies as a portfolio manager, I know what it takes to make a business successful. I started The Karmali Exchange to share my knowledge and the insights of other experts with entrepreneurs so that they can build thriving businesses.
Tell us more about More Than Money and The Karmali Exchange and what makes these programs unique.
More than Money is a radio show that, as the name implies, is about more than finances. My business partner and I wanted to share what we have learned through our years in the wealth management industry to empower our audience to make wise decisions in retirement. But we also realize that retirement is about more than just money. It’s about the lifestyle you want to lead and how you want to spend your time. On our show, we discuss everything from financial topics like inflation and tax to lifestyle topics such as travel and hobbies.
The Karmali Exchange is a monthly web show and podcast featuring successful entrepreneurs telling their stories about how they made their businesses successful and some of the challenges they have faced along the way. They share valuable advice that can help other business owners grow their own companies.
Brief us about the seminars and webinars that you host. What are all the benefits people can gain from joining them?
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely endeavor. My live and virtual events are designed to create a community of business owners who are not in competition with each other, but who genuinely want to help each other. These events are a forum to share ideas, advice, and insights. Attendees get access to some of the most successful people in their industry who have already gone through what they’re experiencing and can give them tips and strategies to overcome obstacles and grow their own businesses.
What business specialties and qualities set you apart from other business analysts in the market?
As a portfolio manager, I understand how to analyze and invest in publicly traded corporations. As an entrepreneur, I know the challenges facing private business owners, and I have experience in overcoming these obstacles. This makes me uniquely qualified to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of companies and give business owners the tools they need to be successful.
How are modern technology solutions and digital media enabling you to enhance your business operations and services?
My business started off locally, but technology has allowed me to expand my reach beyond my city and even my country to connect with people from different nations, industries, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
I use a combination of conventional media and social media to engage with my audience. Everyone learns in a different way, and technology allows them to access my content, however, whenever and wherever is convenient for them.
What were the major challenges in your career, and how have they helped you to become an influential leader? What are the challenges you still face to this day?
I am a first-generation Canadian, and growing up as a visible minority was difficult. As a child, I was very fearful of the racism my family was experiencing, of being the only person of color in my classroom, and of not fitting in. I got into hockey when I was younger, not because I knew anything about the sport or even how to skate, but because I wanted to be part of a team. That feeling has driven my passion for creating a community for entrepreneurs, a safe space where they can ask questions and learn from like-minded people.
Today, there is so much information readily available that it’s challenging for individuals to determine what is the news and what is just noise. This has inspired me to curate information that will be useful to the business community and bring it home to my platforms.
As an experienced host, what advice would you like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who wish to venture into the business show hosting space?
I would ask anyone aspiring to be a business show host, “What is your purpose?” If you are getting into this space just for the followers, the views, or the money, you will most likely fail. But if you build your platform with a purpose and a genuine desire to help people succeed, the rest will follow.
My advice to entrepreneurs would be to go into business ownership with eyes wide open. It can seem like hell. Owning a business is not just a job; it’s not 9 to 5. There is no such thing as a work-life balance. You have to work longer and harder than anyone else. But when your passion becomes a viable business, it’s all worth it.
In my career as a portfolio manager, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with a lot of executives and learn how they run their corporations, and through these conversations, I’ve come to realize that there are five ingredients to a successful business. I call them the 5 Ps: People, Product, Process, Passion, and getting paid. If entrepreneurs can master these five things, their businesses will succeed.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Also, how do you envision scaling your professional opportunities and outreach in the coming years?
In 2020, my business partner and I sat down to set goals for our practice. We decided that we wanted to reach, impact, and make a difference in the lives ofone million people worldwide. This may sound like an outrageous goal! But through platforms like our More than Money radio show and The Karmali Exchange, I believe it’s achievable.
If I can leave a legacy of giving entrepreneurs the tools and advice they need to succeed, as well as helping retirees not only survive but thrive in this chapter of their lives, I know I have done my job.
Awards and Recognition
Wealth Professional’s Top 50 Advisors
The Globe and Mail’s Top 150 Wealth Advisors