- Suzen Fromstein
TED WILLIAMS, B.Comm, CPA, CA INVESTORS GROUP FINANCIAL SERVICES INC., ALBERTA
“It’s Not How Much You Make, But How Much You Keep”
Ted Williams is a Consultant with over 30 years of boots-on-the-ground experience. He is both MFDA and insurance licensed in the Province of Alberta. “Tax is a big driver to financial independence. As a CA (Chartered Accountant), I have been a finance professional all my life. I understand tax and its implications for individuals and their corporations. The strategies I recommend for clients, are the same things I advise my parents to do, and that I implement for my own family,” Ted Williams says.
Clients often say they already have an accountant. But, is that person a tax planner? There is a difference. It is important to work with tax professionals that are on top of current tax planning strategies. People with large portfolios often have equally large tax issues. “Let’s put it this way, you wouldn’t take your Ferrari into Jiffy Lube to have the oil changed. Clients need advice tailored to their specific situations. I take the time to understand people and that learning about them results in better advice. One of the things I like best about my work is that I can show people I care about them, not just their money,” Ted explains.
A native Albertan, Ted has held a number of senior financial positions with the likes of PwC, Deloitte, TSX Venture Exchange and in the oil patch. “I once did the tax returns for Number 99, Wayne Gretzky, known by hockey fans simply as “The Great One,” in the early 80’s, in my accounting days in Edmonton. His salary back then was nothing like hockey stars make today but seemed pretty good to a young CA.”
After 20+ years he got tired of the cycle of corporate accounting and reporting and longed for a career that offered more personal satisfaction, where he could continue to put his extensive financial knowledge to use. Ted also had a son that was a nationally ranked junior golfer and who needed a parent to accompany him to tournaments around North America.
Since he had always been interested in personal finance, a second career, as a financial planner, fit the bill. “I like to work with people on situations that leverage my tax knowledge and finance skills that can actually help them and their families achieve their long-term goals.”
Ted became a Financial Planner when he was in his early fifties. “When I started, I didn’t need clients to pay my rent. I was already established myself and concentrated on families that needed longer term solutions to enhance family wealth.” He now has over nine years of personal financial planning experience with IG Wealth Management – an organization that has been helping Canadians accumulate, manage, and protect their wealth for over 90 years.
In 2018, Investors Group went through a re-branding and transformation to IG Wealth Management. As part of this processing IG implemented internal steps to better work with high net worth clients. Prospects are taken through a thorough on-boarding process and review of their financial affairs.
“This includes utilizing our nation-wide advanced financial planning experts which include CA’s, CPA’s, lawyers and CFP’s. There is no direct cost to the prospect and various possible recommendations are provided as a takeaway. IG has also outsourced much of the investment decision making by utilizing well-regarded third party providers such as Black Rock, J.P. Morgan, PIMCO and others. The end result is that wealthy clients are getting very personalized, targeted advice.”
A comprehensive IG Living Plan ™ consists of six components including cash and risk management and investment, retirement and estate planning as well as tax minimization. Ted utilizes these six pillars in analyzing each client’s situation and artfully combines financial protection strategies with asset accumulation.
“My practice is focused on developing tailored solutions for individuals and families. We partner closely with clients to simplify their financial lives. We proactively adjust your plan as opportunities are identified, and deliver tax efficient strategies across all aspects, creating peace of mind and improved financial well-being.“
His financial planning experience includes professionals and business owners (with and without private corporations) to employees and retirees. “Our synchronized approach to financial planning provides a broader, deeper view of your financial life and well-being. We take a personalized approach to addressing: managing cash flow efficiently, optimizing your retirement, preparing for the unexpected, planning your major expenditures, sharing your wealth, and if relevant, evolving your business.”
Examples of client situations Ted has successfully dealt with include excess holding company cash and investments to purchasing second properties, changes in family situations, modelling retirement income as well as a myriad of other situations. He often helps clients use participating life insurance to fund estate and retirement needs, bequests, and estimated CRA obligations. Using participating insurance is very tax efficient. Clients appreciate this.
One satisfied client said, “Ted has provided financial advice to our family for nearly a decade. What we value is his “big picture” approach to overseeing our entire financial profile - from tax advice, financial planning, and insurance options to market analysis and savings strategies for our adult children. Ted’s hands-on expertise combined with integrity are highly valued.
Up Close & Personal
Ted is very active in the community including past positions with Big Sisters and Big Brothers of Calgary, the Canadian Progress Club, Trails West Hockey, Rangers Soccer, and the Pinebrook Golf Club. He coached hockey for eight years, soccer for seven, and also ran his club’s junior golf program for seven years. “I think it’s fair to say, that at the heart, I’m a coach.” Ted also works with a visually impaired friend to get soccer strip, balls and nets to two schools in Tanzania and is a long-time member of his church’s finance committee.
He and his wife, Caroline, just celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary. When they aren’t working, you will find them on the golf course or hiking. The couple has two adult children. Son, Matt (23), is taking his Masters in Accounting, on a golf scholarship at the University of Houston. Daughter, Erin (20), is studying Business at the University of Calgary. Their Labradoodle, Hogan, who is named after Ben Hogan, the golfer, provides hours of entertainment and joy.
Ted has always been a big reader and has read every James Michener, Harry Potter, and Hardy Boys book he could get his hands on. He is currently enjoying books by Michael Lewis, Amos Tversky, and Daniel Kahneman on how we think and make decisions. He is also an Able Toastmaster and to date, has emceed ten weddings.
As a last word, Ted says, “To me, money means having the freedom to do whatever you want to do, with whomever you want to do it with, without having to worry about where your next meal is coming from. Although money isn’t everything, at the end of the day, it sure helps. It is personally gratifying to help clients articulate what money means to them, to identify their financial aspirations, and to organize the jigsaw puzzle of their financial affairs. I also like the fact that the only people I have to respond to are clients, the guy in the mirror, and of course, my wife.”
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 C
Ted Williams B Comm, CA Consultant
Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
#100 - 37 Richard Way SW
Calgary, AB T3E 7M8