- Suzen Fromstein
TOD WOODWARD, SENIOR FINANCIAL CONSULTANT, INVESTORS GROUP FINANCIAL SERVICES INC. VANCOUVER, CANADA
Tod Woodward started with Investors Group (IG), as a Consultant, in 1992. Three years later, he was promoted to Division Director. In 2009 he was promoted again, this time to Regional Director. In the fall of 2019, his career came full circle when he left the executive team and returned to his roots – directing 100% of his time and energy to working with clients and to helping them build, protect, and manage their wealth.
“I’m what they call a “lifer,” the Senior Financial Consultant says. “Prior to joining the company, and while I was still going to school, I worked in the office for my dad, Rod, while he was building his practice as a Financial Consultant, coincidently at IG. This experience provided me with a wide and deep understanding of our philosophy, our products, and our processes. This foundational knowledge, coupled with my commitment to keep learning and growing, continues to help me deliver the focused, relevant and customized financial advice clients deserve and need,” Tod Woodward says.
Although Tod studied business in university, a career in financial services was originally his Career Plan B. His Plan A was to play with the Edmonton Eskimos after he was drafted in 1992. His Plan B, only became his Plan A, when he was cut from the team (his father also played professional football for 12 years before he joined IG in the eighties). Although Tod never received a Grey Cup ring, no one can argue that he made the right moves – after 27 years, he is still with IG, helping client families achieve their own financial success.
Tod’s Financial Success Strategies
There are many lessons Tod learned from football that inform his work as a Senior Financial Consultant:
• Preparation is key.
In football, you don’t just show up and play the game. “The coach develops a game plan, or strategy. This requires forethought. At IG, our practice develops a Living Plan, which is customized to reflect our clients’ specific situation, goals and financial needs.”
• Keep your eye on the ball.
Be aware of everything that is going on around you because there may be opportunities that materialize. “Our industry is constantly evolving. Markets fluctuate, tax rules change, and there are always new products and innovations. These can have an impact on our clients’ life plans. We consider it our duty to keep up to date on changes that could impact them.”
• Take a long-term view:
A successful season consists of successful games. Things, both positive and negative, can (and do) happen. “Never let temporary setbacks distract you from achieving your goals. A customized plan will help you manage risk and plan for unforeseen circumstances like disability or death or unplanned expenses.”
• Take action:
You need to do something if you want to move the ball. “We work hard to present our clients with different options and solutions to achieve their goals, taking into consideration their comfort zone and financial capabilities. Our clients need this information to make informed decisions.”
Vince Lombardi, whom some describe as one of the greatest coaches that ever lived, once said, “You have to be able to look yourself in the mirror and know you did a good job.” “We’re passionate about helping clients identify the strategies to achieve their financial and life goals and we like the person staring back at us when we look in the mirror.”
• Lifelong learning:
Tod is licensed in both investments and insurance and is constantly reading and upgrading his professional knowledge.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Author, pastor, and leadership specialist, John C. Maxwell, once said, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” In football, everyone works together to help the team win. The team is comprised of the players, coaching staff, nutritionists, physio and massage therapists, concussion experts, psychologists, dentists and back office staff.
The same is true of financial services. At IG, there are wealth planning specialists, insurance planning specialists, tax planning specialists, estate planning specialists, and cash flow planning specialists as well as head office tax and legal experts. “We know when to pass the ball if there is something we don’t know and our in-house team of experts are available to assist when required to do so.”
Together, Tod’s team brings clients the benefit of more than half a century of financial planning experience. The team consists of Associate Consultant, Michelle Hunter, RRC, QAFP, Associate Consultant, Sarim Lakhani, BBA, CIM, CFP, and administrator, Stephanie Woodward.
Michelle has provided holistic financial planning (insurance, investments, estate, tax and retirement planning) at IG for 18 years. She resides in North Vancouver with her husband Clint and their children, Anders, Britta and Nicole.
As a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Investment Manager, Sarim’s focus is on investment management and personal financial planning. Sarim has more than a decade of wealth management experience. He and his wife Tara are expecting their first child in December 2019.
Tod’s wife, Stephanie, provides administrative support. Clients appreciate her cheerful disposition and attention to detail. Stephanie brings clients the benefit of over 25 years of experience in business management and client service.
“When it comes right down to it, we are in the relationship business,” Tod says. “Michelle, Sarim, Stephanie, and I recognize this, and focus on helping our clients turn their financial dreams into beautiful realities. We are also committed to educating their children and grandchildren about money. We have built our practice organically. Because clients appreciate our personal approach and follow up and they often refer us to their family and friends.”
A successful outcome involves Clients to be engaged in the planning process. Full disclosure is necessary for everyone to perform well together. “Our advice is only as good as the information we receive. We can’t develop an effective strategy for your family until we understand what you want to achieve. Then we can recommend how to protect you, while keeping your financial ball moving forward.”
Is Tod’s philosophy and approach effective? Clients think so. One satisfied client says, “It gives us peace of mind knowing that Tod and his team have created a financial plan that is working and changing with us.”
Clients often tell Tod they are worried about fees. His team will perform a fee audit to identify the total amount of fees being paid. They will also propose strategies to reduce them. Clients appreciate this no-cost, value-added service. “We also focus a great deal of our time and energy on saving the client as much tax as possible.”
Up Close & Personal
Tod has been married to his lovely wife, Stephanie, for the last 24 years. “We met in our first year in university and have now been together longer than we’ve been apart,” Tod says with a happy smile. The couple has two sons, Brendan (20) who is studying business at The Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, and Dylan (18) who is studying business at Capilano University. Their loyal dog, Waffles the basset hound, is studying opera and aromatherapy.
Tod’s father suffered brain injuries from his football days and passed away 3 years ago from complications with dementia which is why Tod is so passionate about volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Society of BC. For the last 5 years, the couple has co-chaired the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s North Shore. Last year, their Walk raised $60K for this important cause. Tod loves to listen to all types of live music and to run – he has completed 4 half marathons over the last four years.
As a last word Tod says, “We strive to help our clients prepare for the long term. We also recognize that life can seem short. Therefore it is important to help clients plan for travel, major purchases and other lifestyle goals. The motto I live by is straight from Larry Winget, ‘Plan for the best, prepare for the worst, and celebrate it all!’”
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
Tod Woodward RRC
Senior Financial Consultant
Michelle Hunter – Associate Consultant
Sarim Lakhani – Associate Consultant
Stephanie Woodward – Executive Assistant
#200 – 1200 Lonsdale Avenue,
North Vancouver BC V7M 3H6
(604) 986 1200 | Mobile 604.376.0689