Brian Canning

The reason I got into this profession:

I remember I was nine years old and racing into my house, ready to open the case that held the instrument I have continued to play to this day, the clarinet. I had no idea how to put the instrument together, which fingers covered which keys or what a reed was.

Flash-forward: I am 22 years old, anxiously waiting to get on the stage of Carnegie Hall to perform with an orchestra. In that moment, I remember telling myself, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” It was a night of music that I will never forget. My dream was to someday be the principal clarinetist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. By age 24, however, that dream began to quickly fade away. After finishing my master’s degree in music, I got rejected from a doctoral music program, lost clarinet auditions for jobs and found myself making very little money to support myself. I felt embarrassed knowing I had to rely on my parents at age 24 to support my dream of being a musician. For the first time in my life, I felt completely lost and defeated.

I remember the turning point for me was when I was at home watching a movie based on a true story called The Pursuit of Happyness. What resonated with me was how the main character, Christopher Gardner, overcame poverty, having his wife abandon him and his son, and having no work experience in investments to eventually become a very successful stockbroker. His perseverance to protect his dream was truly inspiring and would inspire me to find and protect my own dream.

After watching that movie, I immediately enrolled in as many business courses as I possibly could. Within three months of completing some business courses, I landed an internship in 2008 with the financial services firm TD Ameritrade. Within a year I would go on to become a successful investment consultant where I would help clients align their financial goals with independent investment management firms. As I have grown into the business, I have desired to become more of an expert for my clients. I set out to find a firm that supported my values and would support my growth for knowledge. I would discover Abacus while I was still at TD Ameritrade. For over two years, I tried to pursue an opportunity to work with Abacus because of my belief in their core values and how they help their clients. Eventually, in December 2011, I would be given that chance. Since then, I have successfully passed the CFP®certification examination.

One thing I’m doing to help the planet

I drive a hybrid car to help reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Outside of work, my passions include

Playing the clarinet and traveling the world.

One goal I’m saving for

I’m saving for a trip to France.

The primary way I’m advancing my career knowledge

I have successfully passed the CFP® certification examination and I am currently expanding my knowledge on college planning.