In 2019, this financial education enthusiast founded Code F, a company that offers financial coaching to individuals and businesses.
In July, he joined the Investor Advisory Group formed by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). This group, made up of specialists in law, securities and consumer protection, was established to identify the needs of investors, especially regarding their protection.
The businessman wants to take advantage of this mandate to highlight the issue of simplifying financial regulations for ordinary mortals.
The industry fell behind
“We are witnessing a great democratization of autonomous investment. So it is important that regulations follow this trend. Otherwise, the risk is that it will fail to reach the people it seeks to protect,” he said.
Autonomous investment platforms very early adopted a more direct approach to address Mr. and Mrs. Everybody. In comparison, the traditional industry is lagging behind, says the businesswoman.
According to him, it is necessary to popularize the jargon used in financial information documents, but to better explain and inform the public of the mission of the regulators.
Urgent action is needed, he said, because high-risk alternative investment vehicles, such as crypto-assets and the foreign exchange (Forex) market, are popular with do-it-yourself investors.
“Self-investment is sexy, but people don’t know what they’re getting into or where to find the right information to protect themselves.”
The egg or the chicken
Where do we start? It’s the egg or the chicken, Annick Kwetcheu Gamo recognized. Is it up to investors to find information designed for them or is it up to the industry to make sure the regulations are available to those who need them?
The answer lies in the middle. On the one hand, it is necessary to offer awareness campaigns and create popular content on sensitive topics, such as the series of videos produced by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) on the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.
On the other hand, investors should be exposed to this information and have easy access to it. “To send the message, we need a strong partnership between groups of investors and financial education organizations”, estimated the businessman.
Educate, support, equip
Next October, Code F will finalize its 2022-2026 strategic plan, which will focus on three areas: educating, supporting and equipping citizens to help them move toward financial autonomy. This triple mission is ensured through coaching, financial education workshops, guides and tools to help citizens become informed investors.
Financial health is at the heart of this plan, in accordance with the principles of social economy and impact investment dear to the founder of Code F.
“Financial health has an impact on the psychological health of individuals, but also on the performance of society as a whole,” he said.
From Cameroon to Quebec
Born in Cameroon, Annick Kwetcheu Gamo lived in France before setting foot in Quebec City in 2010 as part of a university exchange. Then he felt a real crush on this city, and never thought of leaving it.
During his studies in international management at Laval University, he created Mon code F, a platform to improve financial security. The student project turned into a business ten years ago.
Before embarking on entrepreneurship, Annick Kwetcheu Gamo was destined for a career in insurance. He cut his teeth at iA as a pension plans analyst. “I developed a real passion for individual savings strategies,” he reports.
At the same time, he saw that there were major flaws in financial education. “When I bought my first duplex, I was often asked about the financial methods I put in place to get it. It made me want to democratize this knowledge by helping people take control of their finance,” he explained.
A committed woman, Annick Kwetcheu Gamo is involved with the conviction of economic development and entrepreneurship, within the Association des femmes entrepreneures du Québec (AFEQ), where she is vice-president of the regional division, and on the board of Directors of the business center of the social economy in the Capitale-Nationale region.
As a young immigrant woman from the black community, she knew a role model. “I have a role to play as an entrepreneur that represents diversity in an industry sector where we are few. I try to incorporate this concern into my business every day,” he said.