Financial Consultant, Sam Guillemette proudly wears his grandfather’s ring as it serves as a reminder about what is important - hard work, integrity, trust, and service to others.
One of Sam’s favourite expressions, coupled with his grandfather’s favourite saying is this, “There’s only one thing that you truly own in life; and that’s your name…You’re a Guillemette…Sainte Barbe! My grandfather believed in always being there to help, whomever, wherever, whenever, because it was the right thing to do. His integrity and unshakeable selflessness has always inspired and motivated me, in my roles as a husband, father of two, volunteer firefighter, and Financial Consultant,” he says. “My parents have also been instrumental in weaving these values throughout my life…and I will forever be grateful for their guidance.”
Philosophy & Approach
Sam primarily works with pre-retirees and retirees at IG Wealth Management (formerly Investors Group). He joined the company in 2008. “In a 24/7 information society, everything is moving at what I like to call ‘the speed of life’. I feel a deep responsibility to educate clients to ensure that they do not jump off of the proverbial ‘financial cliff’ because they have reacted emotionally to the latest crisis du jour.” According to American author and businessman, Stephen Covey, clients won’t listen to your advice if they don’t trust you. Covey says, “…the ability to establish, grow, extend and restore trust is not only vital to our personal and interpersonal well-being; it is the key leadership competency of the new global economy…”
“I work diligently to earn my clients’ confidence and respect the individual decisions they’ve made in building their net worth, regardless of what that number may be,” Sam says. “I can relate to them because my family and I have similar goals - to pay-off a mortgage, education savings, family vacations, and retirement. I also realize that decisions have to be made along the way to delay instant gratification to focus on medium and long-term goals.”
When I sit down at clients’ kitchen tables, I quickly get a good sense of their reality. In this comfortable environment, I’ve had lifechanging conversations as I’ve gotten to know their story. It’s kind of like dancing a waltz with a new partner, you try and not step on each other’s toes, and if that happens, you get through it. That’s where confidence is built over time,” Sam explains.
Perhaps that is why clients, young and old, describe him as trustworthy, relatable and kind. “I advise younger clients as if they were my little brother/sister. With mature clients, I approach the conversation as if they were my own parents.”
In addition to his Economics B.A. from Laurentian University, Sam has his Certified Financial Planner® designation. “I made the decision to obtain my CFP®, the industry’s ‘gold’ standard because it identifies me as someone that was in the financial advice profession for the long haul; focused on creating multigenerational relationships,” he adds. Sam also has his Registered Retirement Consultant credentials. “I‘m often told that one of the things clients appreciate is my ability to simplify the complicated and to provide a sense of calm, clarity and confidence amidst the everyday whirlwind.”
American born author and financial statesman, Nick Murray, says, “The two most important things in a retired lifetime – and these have to be purchased every day with your retirement income – are dignity and independence, as you define those values.” Sam explains, “At the core of the entire financial planning process is a heart-to-heart discussion about what’s important in clients’ lives at this very moment, while taking intentional steps towards achieving and maintaining longterm financial independence.
Sam believes that a CFP® designation can be most effective when acting like the quarterback of the financial plan. For example, it isn’t uncommon for both spouses to have pension plans, and their mortgage, insurance and investments with a number of different providers. “With a comprehensive look at the client’s financial picture, I identify any duplications, cost-saving and investment opportunities, as well as shortfalls. Done properly, the financial planning process is fluid and adapts to life events while continuing to make progress towards the end goal(s).”
“The holistic, Living Plan serves as a tool/roadmap to get to the client’s financial ‘destination’ on time and on target. Life doesn’t play itself out in a straight line. It’s important to have a plan to provide direction, checkpoints for progress, and mileposts to celebrate. It is equally important to assess/re-assess on a regular basis. “It’s surprising how things actually change even though it appeared as if no significant progress has been made. We sometimes can’t see progress until we remove ourselves from the whirlwind that is our busy lives.”
Sam is supported by a team of specialists, including Wealth, Mortgage and Insurance, and Estate Planning Specialists and world-class head office Legal, and Succession Planning Specialists. This team-based approach is critical in ensuring that clients have the information they need to make informed financial decisions. He often consults with clients’ own legal/accounting representatives to ensure nothing falls through the cracks and to provide a cohesive approach to building, preserving, and sharing wealth.
Equally important within the financial planning process is a thorough risk management review that looks at both the probability and the possibility of life events. “Anything is possible. The secret is getting a handle on what is probable. It’s important to have an open discussion around those events that can have an important impact on short/long term goals and ensure that we protect ourselves and those we most care about.”
I once heard, “The amount/type of insurance you have isn’t right or wrong until you compare it against what you would want to have happen if, God forbid, you didn’t make it home yesterday.” There isn’t a nice way to have this discussion. Just because it is uncomfortable doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary.
Up Close and Personal
Sam has been married for 27 years. The couple has two adult sons, Alexandre, a journeyman carpenter and his younger brother, Daniel, who is also pursuing an apprenticeship in carpentry. “We are very proud of both of them. They are both respectful young men who are now building their own reputations around commitment, trustworthiness and dedication.”
Sam was a volunteer firefighter for 5+ years. He resigned in 2009 when the growth of his practice and family commitments made it challenging to meet his firefighting obligations. Although he has left the service, he remains a strong advocate for the work of all first responders.
In fact, he received the Civic Award for Volunteerism from the City of Greater Sudbury for his involvement with the Sudbury Volunteer Firefighters Choir, the only one of its kind at the time. The money they raised helped support a camp for children battling cancer. Over the last few years, Sam has been a member of Campaign Cabinet for the United Way Centraide NE Ontario raising awareness of the #unignorable struggles of the most-vulnerable citizens and promotion of the 211 service.
As a last word Sam says, “My grandfather believed in always being there to help, whomever, wherever, whenever, because it was the right thing to do. I agree. My greatest reward is in creating real, honest, trusting human connections and facilitating a process where the individual has the freedom and the security to share their goals, dreams and concerns. Life doesn’t get any better than being of service, with integrity and trust.”
This is a general source of information only. It is not intended to provide personalized tax, legal or investment advice and is not intended as a solicitation to purchase securities. The information in this article was gleaned through a telephone interview with Sam Guillemette. For more information on this topic or any other financial matter, please contact Sam Guillemette. Insurance products and services through I.G. Insurance services Inc. Insurance license sponsored by The Great-West Life Assurance Company.
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
Sam Guillemette, B.A. Econ, RRC, CFP
Suite 101 – 144 Pine Street, Sudbury, ON, P3C 1X3
705.674.4551 Mobile 705.562.0127
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