Brian Canning, CFP®, AIFA®

Director of Wealth Management
Professional portrait of Brian

My Story

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.

How I’m expanding what’s possible with money

I’m building 401(k) plan solutions to help companies and employees align retirement money with their values and financial needs, while also helping employees without access to financial planning utilize employee wellness programs. Personally, I recently leased a 2019 Hyundai Nexo, a hydrogen fuel cell car that not only helps reduce carbon emissions and purify the air, but saves me a ton of money over the next few years.

Outside of work, my passions include

Since visiting Sedona, AZ, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the outdoors and hiking. With a background in music, I enjoy being creative and have found hobbies in travel photography and woodworking. I also love spending time at the beach or park with my 2 year-old son.

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