“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” This is one of our favourite Warren Buffet quotes, who is notably one of the most successful investors of all time. We have these words right on the home page of our website because it resonates so much with what we do as investment advisors and financial planners,” Nicky Trasias says.
“When you plant an acorn in the ground and nurture it, give it water, sun, and time, it eventually grows into a big, strong, oak tree. You and your family are then able to reap the reward of its shade and protection for generations. We strive to do the same with your wealth,” she adds.
Nicky and her team are knowledgeable in a full-spectrum of financial planning including insurance*, tax and education planning, retirement and estate planning, and of course, investments. “You can’t provide true, sound advice unless you can see the whole picture.”
Philosophy & Approach
“It is hard to understand why educators don’t pay more attention to financial literacy in school, because everything in our lives involves finance,” Nicky says. A large and important part of what she does on a daily basis is coaching and educating clients on the essential steps to a wealthier future. “Our number one job is to help clients make financial decisions that will benefit them in the long term,” she explains.
All team members are committed to educating clients on the best choices to build, manage and preserve wealth. This often includes addressing any misinformation or well-meaning advice from friends, neighbours, other family members, the internet etc. There’s a lot of noise out there.
There are many phases and chapters that we experience through the cycle of our lives. “We want clients to be comfortable sharing every step with us. Even when it’s not finance related we do our best to help,” Nicky says.
“Let me give you a recent example. A newly widowed client wanted to purchase a new car. We had a contact at a local car dealership and went with her to make the introduction and offer moral support. Although purchasing a vehicle obviously involves affordability and the exchange of money, for this client, the purchase had an emotional component because she had never purchased a vehicle on her own before.”
“We now have a multigenerational practice and recognize that we have a responsibility to educate the next generation. We also have a blog on our website so that we can share tips and articles and stay connected with our clients and the community.” Recent blog posts include topics such as saving for retirement, when to update your will, and reasonable rates of return.(http://essentialwealthgroup.com/news)
“We are a close-knit, client-focused group of committed professionals. We purposely make it a point to know everything we can about each client. This is the only way to provide a high level of personalized service,” she adds.
Licensed Assistant and Nicky’s daughter-in-law, Samantha Trasias, has been part of the team for the last seven years. “When I was looking for an assistant it was my son who suggested I hire Sam. After a couple of months of working together she decided this is what she wanted to do full time and switched her studies from Business Administration to Financial Planning at Conestoga College.
Administrative Assistant, Brittany Bolohan also graduated from the Financial Planning program at Conestoga. She started at one of the big banks, but wasn’t enamored with the banking model or culture. Brittany has now worked with Nicky for the past three years. She is currently transitioning into motherhood, is off on maternity leave and the team is looking to onboard some new talent.
Recently, Nicky hired Alexandra Dedes to fill the reception/branch administrator position at their new office. Prior to joining Nicky’s team, Alex worked in a corporate managerial role.
Beyond her own internal team, Nicky has also “partnered” with other professionals which include a circle of hand-picked lawyers, accountants, insurance specialists and lenders in town. “Having a network of trusted professionals we can provide referrals to if need be is very important to us. If something falls outside of our wheelhouse, we want to ensure our clients are well taken care of,” Nicky explains
Up Close & Personal
Nicky never set out to have a career as an investment advisor. She grew to love the one-on-one interactions with everyday people when she first worked as a teller at Canada Trust. Nicky made the crossover into the advisory role through a connection she made at the bank. That was 30 years ago!
Nicky was mentored by Greg Bencina for 15 years until he retired in June, 2018. “From the moment I met Greg, I knew he would be an important part of my life. I asked Greg to mentor me, and he agreed - but not only of as a mentee, as a future partner. Our only formality was a gentleman’s handshake – and that was good enough for us. I worked alongside him for 15 years and took over his book of business in two parts which allowed him to slowly transition into retirement.”
Nicky has now embarked on her own mentor relationships and in the last 5 years has employed (on a part-time basis) three co-op students from the Financial Planning programs at both Conestoga College and Wilfrid Laurier University. “Although it takes a lot of time to be a mentor, I would do it again. It is so fulfilling.”
When it comes to education, Nicky practices what she preaches. In addition to her investment and insurance licenses, she holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® designation, the industry gold standard for financial planning. “In this industry you are constantly learning and adapting to changes. Not only are there continuing education requirements to maintain licensing, I believe that the more we stay informed, the better we can service our clients.”
Nicky and her team also host client seminars throughout the year. The most recent, “Estate Planning for Tomorrow, Today” took place in March. If you are interested in finding out about upcoming workshops, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicky has two sons, Nikos (28), Spiros (27), and one daughter, Alexia (14). Her husband, Chris, works in accounting in Toronto. While her sons have moved out to start their own lives and families, her youngest daughter plays competitive hockey for the Waterloo Ravens Bantam AA team which means most of her “free time” is spent at the rink.
In addition to being a proud hockey mom, she is the Raven’s volunteer social coordinator, and helps organize community events, which teaches the girls the importance of giving back. This is not her first time in this role – she did the same thing for her sons’ soccer teams when they were younger. She also coached them until they got to a competitive level – today she limits her coaching to clients.
Nicky is also proud of her Greek heritage and supports the Greek community with event sponsorship (e.g. Annual Greek Food Festival) and volunteering at the local church. “It is important to give back to your community. And, you never know what can happen. I met Alexandra, my newest employee, when we were both volunteering at the festival this past summer,” she says with a smile. Nicky and her team also volunteer and collect donations for the local food bank throughout the year.
*Insurance products are provided through Hollis Insurance. Only services offered through HollisWealth®, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., are covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
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
Nicky Trasias, CFP®
Investment Advisor and Financial Planner, Essential Wealth Group with HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc.
Insurance Advisor*, Hollis Insurance
2 - 510 Frederick St.
Kitchener, ON N2B 3R1
519 - 340 - 1382