Lisa Bell’s interest in a career in financial and retirement consulting was triggered by a life event. When the consumer electronics business where she was employed as a Finance Manager, announced it was closing, the overwhelmed employees turned to Lisa for advice about their pensions, severances, and benefits. Like most of her family, Lisa was an Investors Group (IG) client. She reached out to her financial advisor for some advice and guidance.
“Although I was content in my role as Finance Manager, the work was not emotionally meaningful. I wanted to help people, not shareholders,” the senior financial advisor says. “I witnessed firsthand what a life event could do to a person. Like my advisor, I wanted the privilege of being the person people relied upon to help guide them through troubled times,” she adds.
This experience was a catalyst for a career change. Lisa joined IG as a financial consultant in 1997 and hasn’t looked back since. In fact, Lisa recently celebrated 20+ years in this role.
“Money is a very intimate and emotional topic. I encourage people to slow down and to not make financial decisions based on emotion. One of my key roles is to guide my clients through the emotions and to help them determine when the time is right to take action,” she explains.
It is not unusual for client conversations to drift beyond financial matters to more personal parts of their lives. “Sharing anonymous client stories and experiences with other clients is a very useful tool during client meetings. People can learn from others’ experiences.” Jokingly, Lisa adds, “When the time comes for me to retire, I will be very good at it. I’ve done it hundreds of times, vicariously through my clients.”
Philosophy & Approach
“Without exception, my integrity will not allow me to do anything but what is in the best interests of the client – I expect a lot from myself. Shortcuts or doing half a job is not an option for me.”
Clients and colleagues describe Lisa as wearing her heart on her sleeve. She has many testimonials on her Facebook page such as this one, “Our years with Lisa Bell Financial Consulting have been a positive, informative and successful experience. I highly recommend the services this team of intelligent, creative professionals have to offer.”
“Life is short. I do my best to cherish each day. If I can make someone laugh along the way, all the better. I work hard, and squeeze as much fun into life as possible!”
Client Service Team
In addition to the professional legal, tax, accounting and insurance advisors from the IG corporate team, Lisa is supported by Associate Consultants Samantha Werner-Mackeler and Janice Taite.
Associate Consultant Samantha Werner-Mackeler joined Lisa and Janice in 2015. Samantha has over 10 years’ experience assisting clients with RSP’s, TFSA’s, Insurance and the like. “Being an identical twin, I understand that you are unique, and your living plan should reflect that. Just because my sister and I share the same DNA, doesn’t mean we have the same goals and concerns for retirement,” Samantha says.
After four years as Lisa’s Executive Assistant, in 2016, Janice Taite moved into the role of Associate Consultant. The two have worked together for 6+ years now. “I take a genuine interest in our clients. My caring, energetic personality, coupled with my natural ability to put people at ease, helps set the vibe for client meetings,” Janice says.
“Our team works well because we all excel at different things. We refer to the team as “Girl Power.” We care about each other both professionally and personally. We like to have fun and keep the atmosphere lively around the office,” Lisa adds.
“We are not just order takers and believe in never-ending improvement. This means leaving our egos at the door and agreeing not to take any negative feedback personally. Samantha, Janice and I meet every week to celebrate what went right and to identify opportunities for improvement.”
“Where possible, we solicit client feedback via third party surveys or other means of communication. We have written operating procedures that are considered a work in progress,” she says. “We’ve also been known to take a road trip to other IG offices and spend the day learning from colleagues. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded consultants and their teams and to kick start our own creative ideas."
Lisa supports the 100 Women Who Care of the Thousand Islands (https://www.100womenwhocare1000islands.com/) organization. At each meeting, members listen to pitches from the chosen local charities before casting secret ballot votes. Lisa’s charity of choice is Girls Incorporated. Their guiding principle is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold by providing them the opportunity to develop and achieve their full potential. As a mother of three girls, Lisa sees the importance of this organization.
Lisa also regularly hosts private dinners at her home. Coming together with other high energy people to share ideas, connections, know-how and enthusiasm she believes will take you further faster than working alone. “I like to surround myself with generous, creative, big thinkers.” If you are interested in learning more or participating, please email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up Close & Personal
Lisa and Steve have been married for 18 years. They have four adult children, Hannah, Abbey, Whitney, and Spencer. Husband Steve plays guitar and sings and music has always been a big part of their family life (a couple of their kids also play instruments and sing). The couple has taken in countless live music events including a recent trip to Nashville. They have a travel trailer and spend much of the summer travelling to outdoor music festivals. “When the kids were young, we always brought them with us. Now that they are adults, their love of music is just as strong as our own.”
Lisa’s family has been hugely supportive to her career – her kids were very young when she joined IG. Lisa considers it a win when her kids refer to her as “Mother of The Year,” because this demonstrates that she and Steve have managed to build a close, loving family together, at the same time as a successful financial career.
As a last word, Lisa says, “I stay focused on my commitment to perform to the best of my abilities. Our clients are everyday people, that are willing to act on good financial advice. In the words of the great John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Lisa’s advice: “Get a financial plan started, let us help you keep it alive, and then, let’s all go live life to the fullest.”
Suzen Fromstein is the author of Suits and Ladders, Ten Proven Ways to Keep Your Job Safe - with a few jokes thrown in. Suits and Ladders was an Amazon Best Selling Book in the Career Guides Category
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