Gary Ng is an investor and financial entrepreneur from Canada. For over a decade, Gary led a fleet of independent financial firms working in the areas of commodities, equity, debt and trading.
Prior to that, Gary worked in commodities trading and, during the 2008 financial crisis, used the opportunity to execute an absolute return strategy that netted his clients millions of dollars.
Having served in the military, Gary continues to support and is an active member of organizations that include The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, St. John Ambulance and The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada.
A University of Manitoba graduate, Gary Ng is still proud to call Winnipeg his home.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Horror stories of client frustration regarding dealer and bank bureaucratic red tape along with major gaps in products and service offerings within the industry are rampant. Ask any entrepreneur and they will tell you trying to raise money either through equity or debt is extremely difficult even if you have a great product and plenty of assets to back. As our team began interacting with hundreds of clients, we realized that they were all missing an independent dealer that was truly full service and able to “cut through the mustard”. From there, we knew we needed to create a space where institutions and investors could raise debt, equity, market, and trade all under one house.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day begins at 4:30AM ET. I don’t set an alarm. The mission every day is to provide solutions for our clients. The trickier the problem, the more value add we are. We always aim to give our clients a response, even if that’s a quick “no”, which our clients do appreciate. However, more often than not, we will figure something out. We believe that any deal can be done, it just depends on the structure.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Just do it. There’s always a tipping point where an idea becomes real. We try to get to that point as quickly as possible. If we find ourselves talking about it for too long and nothing has materialized, it’s probably not going to happen. We won’t expend too much more energy on it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
As cliché as this sounds, technology. It’s amazing what innovators come up with every day. But, really, we are just like them, seeing problems in our every day and looking for solutions.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I get to the point. My yes is always a yes, my no is always a no. When your team and clients know exactly where you stand, everyone stays on mission.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t waste time on unproductive things or activities.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That there are 25 hours in a day. Anything can be done with the application of enough force, conviction, time, money or a combination of the aforementioned.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be curious. Take the path uncharted. Turn over the rocks. Have an open mind. You never know.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Be aggressive. Conquest is a lot like a good video game – if you’re encountering tougher and more numerous enemies, you’re probably heading the right direction. Don’t slow down just because there is greater competition. Remember Newton’s third law. If there is a super strong opposite force against you, that means you’re applying that same force the other way. Keep it up!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We fail all the time. The trick is to make our failures quickly and as cheaply as we can. I suppose it’s more of a mindset to not allow failure to bring your spirit down. I personally overcome it by seeing failure from another perspective – not so much that I failed, but I found a way that didn’t work. Take note, don’t do it again – at least not that particular way.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Universal communicator for dogs. I have a dog and I’d pay big bucks to find out what he’s actually thinking about all day. Not a gimmick, but actually to be able to communicate with him would be neat.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a pair of boots for a homeless man that I see on our block downtown all the time. I had read the forecast that snow was coming in a week or two. As I’m answering you, Toronto had a record snowfall. I’d like to think I did some good.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use notes a lot. There’s always so many tasks in one day I try to stay focused by writing down what needs to be done and aggressively checking everything off as I go.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Eat the Frog. My mentor sent me this book when I was 18 and it was stupid at the time. Now, it makes a lot of sense.
What is your favorite quote?
“Ground and money I can make up, but time I cannot.” – Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Bringing a new idea to life means just doing it
- We fail all the time. The trick is to make our failures quickly and as cheaply as we can.
- Be curious. Take the path uncharted.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.