Executive Financial Consultant, Ryan Metzger, has always been fascinated with money. The aspiring electrician was born and raised in Red Deer Alberta, right in the middle of oil country. Ryan assumed that after completing university, he would build his career and his life back in his home town. “My goal was to return to Red Deer and have a career in the oil industry, just like my father and grandfather,” Ryan Metzger says.
In 2004, however, after completing his Bachelor of Management degree at the University of Lethbridge, Ryan found it difficult to get a start in the oil and gas industry. Then, one Wednesday evening, he received an invitation to participate in a popular charity golf event. There was one major stumbling block - the entrance fee was $500 which he couldn’t afford to pay. The business owner that invited him said, “Donate $50 to the charity, meet some new people, and enjoy a wonderful day on the links.”
It is widely believed that the saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men,” evolved from Robert Burns' 1786 poem, “To a Mouse” in which Burns recounts how he accidentally upturned a mouse's house, while ploughing a field. Sometimes unexpected events inspire a poem. Other times, they inspire a career.
“Our foursome consisted of three gentlemen from IG Wealth Management (formerly Investors Group). They were great guys and we had a lot of fun. They must have felt the same about me because at the end of the round, one of them asked me to drop off a resume,” Ryan recalls.
“At this point in my job search, I felt as if I had nothing to lose by exploring other options, so I did. A career in financial services was so far beyond everyone’s comfort zone, I had to convince family and friends that this was a “real” job. That was in 2004. I have been with IG for almost 15 years now!
Unfortunately, things in the oil patch are worse today than they were in 2004. “Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. But, in good or bad times, financial decisions must always be made.”
Most people who start in the business do so because of family connections. As noted earlier, none of Ryan’s family members were in the financial advice business. What he did have however, was deep roots in the community. This meant people trusted him. “I understand clients because we share the same mindset.”
Philosophy & Approach
Ryan has his Certified Financial Planner, Elder Planning Counsellor and Registered Retirement Councilor designations and continues to take courses so that he can provide the best possible advice. “I was 25 when I entered the industry. Most people understand how to save money. I not only help them with that, but also to transition from savings to spending. This involves a huge shift in mindset. My education helps me help clients manage and deal with this.”
Today, Ryan helps professionals, retirees and business owners create, manage and protect their wealth. He likes to work with family groups,not just wealthy individuals with assets to invest. “I believe in people first.”
He also believes that financial decisions should be made by the family unit. “If only the husband approaches me, I ask that everyone be included in our discussions. Decisions about money can be emotional and it is my job to help clients recognize and overcome any emotional roadblocks. I believe in educating clients along their financial journey. I don’t like to tell anyone what to do.”
Ryan also encourages clients to look at their financial situation like it’s a small business and to treat him like their “Personal CFO.” “In a perfect world, clients would call me every time they made any financial decision, such as whether to lease or purchase a new car or to buy a recreational property,” he adds.
“I recently returned from a conference in Washington attended by the top 50 advisors in the firm. Only a handful of us were still in the early stages of our careers. Clients appreciate that our team has a range of ages and expertise and can handle every aspect of their financial situation.”
Ryan’s friend and mentor, Dave Oxley, retired in June 2017. Dave played, (and continues to play), the role of the wise senior counsellor. “If I ever need anything, Dave is there. He still participates in client events and stays connected to the team and clients.
“The reason Dave brought me in 15 years ago, is because he didn’t want to abandon clients when he was no longer there to look after them on a full-time basis. None of us are motivated by sales goals. I’m particularly proud of how well we transitioned the business - we retained over 98% of those relationships when Dave stepped back.”
Ryan currently has three Associate Consultants. Bill Mussleman has been with IG for 26 years and is very good with the IG Living Plan™ software and pension analysis. Greg Swenson got his start after graduating from Cornell University and landing a job in New York City. He spent 5 years trading securities on Wall Street before his future wife brought him to Red Deer. Greg continues to follow the markets closely and his background adds another dimension to the team’s portfolio analysis capabilities.
Michael Salmon has a business degree from Red Deer College and worked at ScotiaBank for a short while before joining Ryan’s team. “Michael is our energy. He helps with some of the existing client relationships, as well as with next generation planning through children and grandchildren of clients.”
Up Close & Personal
As a volunteer, Ryan has taught financial planning to grade 11 and 12 students (he also taught financial planning at the college level for one year). He previously taught financial planning as part of a Marriage Preparation course for 9 years and recently joined the Foundation Board for Red Deer College.
Ryan and his wife, Dianna, have been together for 15 years. They were married in 2010. The couple has two boys, Jake (7), and Jonas (5). Ryan says, “The boys make our world exciting, we love hanging out together. We’re all best friends. The minute I walk in the door the kids have figured out some activity for us to do together.”
“I just turned 40 in 2019, and that put a lot of things into perspective for me. Whether camping, skiing, hockey, baseball, or travelling, I am obsessed with having “experiences” rather than accumulating “stuff.” Two years ago we purchased a small acreage just minutes from town. There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than watching the kids enjoying the extra space. These experiences create life time memories for all of us.”
“I was born and raised in Red Deer and I want to retire in Red Deer. People know me, and know my family. I want to do the right thing and to ensure clients make good, educated, financial decisions. I am proud of the fact that I have one of the largest books in the city and I just turned 40! I’m so lucky to have a career that consists of dealing with great people making great decisions.”
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.
RYAN METZGER, CFP®
Executive Financial Consultant
(403) 406-0935, 1 (800) 465-5212, (403) 341-5450