Financial Advisor, Emeka Udeagha, always excelled at science. In fact, his first university degree was a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biochemistry. Initially, he thought he would become a heart surgeon. Everything changed when he had a conversation with a family friend, a stockbroker.
“From that conversation, I realized my ‘heart’ wasn’t in having a medical career and that I wanted the ability to impact many more lives differently. That was when I switched my academic focus to business,” the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® says. Emeka went on to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on Finance and a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in International Business.
Before his financial career, Emeka co-founded a global training and consulting firm and ran that for over five years before joining IG Wealth Management as a Financial Consultant in 2013. He decided to apply his knowledge and experience on helping individuals, business owners and professionals become financially secure.
He also joined Vancouver Island University in 2018 as a Professor of Finance & Qualitative Methods and currently teaches the Canadian Investment Funds Course part-time at the University.
Emeka augmented his academic credentials with three prestigious industry designations including the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®), the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) and the Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC®).
Philosophy & Approach
Science is fact-based whereas the business and finance worlds rely on a variety of assumptions such as the rate of inflation, interest rates, rate of return etc. Emeka’s proprietary planning system smartly bridges these two worlds.
Discussions about money can be emotional. Although we all know we are supposed to buy when the markets are low and sell when they are high, we often do the opposite. Emeka calls it the “fear and greed” phases and helps clients remove the emotion and second-guessing from their investing decisions.
“We take a long-term approach to planning and believe that with a detailed plan, reviewed and updated regularly, you will have the financial resources to realize your goals and to stay on track.”
The planning process officially kicks off with a Personal Financial Review. Answers to a few questions identifies facts about the client’s life, including income, cash flow, assets, number and ages of children, marital status, business ownership or profession, insurance coverage's, risk profile, goals and concerns, etc. This information is needed to build a customized financial plan. “Clients trust me with so many intimate details of their personal and financial lives, that it feels like we are family.”
Emeka’s proprietary planning system outlines the strategies that will be used to achieve clients’ specific retirement goals and include:
• Annuity Allocation:
Many retirees worry about outliving their money. Annuities allow them to manage longevity risk.
• Asset Location & Withdrawal Sequencing:
Asset allocation refers to placing assets in the most tax-efficient accounts so that most of the return comes from capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate. Investors who rely on both taxable and tax-favored accounts should consider withdrawal sequencing.
• A Total Wealth Approach:
Most asset allocation techniques focus on reducing risk and ignore the client’s ability to assume risk. A Total Wealth Approach focuses on both.
• Risk Minimization:
Most asset allocation methodologies ignore inflation and currency risks. Emeka and his team build portfolios that address these and other risks such as disability and even death.
• Multiple Periods:
Focus on income levels over many periods, rather than just one. “This requires additional assumptions and modelling, which is where our proprietary planning process shines.”
• Active Withdrawal Strategy:
Withdrawals are based on portfolio endurability, and experience, not just on a static calculation.
• Address the Unique Needs of Business Owners & Entrepreneurs:
Services include planning their business interests, managing their business investments, reducing taxes, identifying what to do with surplus cash, creating employee retirement plans, identifying and implementing enhanced executive benefits, reducing business risk, and creating a business succession plan.
The client’s external Advisors, like lawyers and accountants, are included in the business planning process. “My recommendation might be bullet proof from my perspective but may not be from an accounting or legal perspective. We all need to work together to cover all of the bases.”
Business clients appreciate Emeka’s steady hand and scientific/educational approach to building, managing and protecting their wealth. Tony Puerzer of Bright Idea Photography says, “…As a small business owner that is making the transition to retirement I value Emeka’s on-going advice and professionalism - especially in these turbulent economic times. I can't stress enough the value of being able to bounce ideas off him and obtain solid, well thought out answers....”
Individual clients and couples also appreciate his philosophy and approach. “Clients tell me I’m easy to talk to and that our meetings feel more like a visit with a dear friend,” he says. Retired clients, Len and Johanne Kropielinski say, “…(We) have been doing investments with Emeka for a few years. We are very pleased with his knowledge and service and friendly manner and keeping us informed and putting us in investments that have been doing very well for us…”
As part of his team, Emeka works closely with his licensed Associate Consultant, PJ Brooks. PJ brings clients the benefit of over 32 years of financial experience. Both Emeka and PJ are dual licensed (insurance and investments), collaborate on strategies, and back each other up. Internal estate planning, insurance, mortgage, and wealth planning specialists are called upon when needed.
His Assistant, Erin Lee, is the newest member of Emeka’s team. Erin has an office administrator diploma, and is the primary point of contact for the team. She organizes activities for this highly dynamic team and is responsible for ensuring clients have a positive experience.
Up Close & Personal
Emeka believes in education and often hosts informational public workshops every couple of months or so. Please contact him at Emeka.Udeagha@ig.ca if you would like to participate in an upcoming event.
Even before he taught Finance & Qualitative Methods at Vancouver Island University, Emeka taught finance through a volunteer program at Junior Achievement of BC in elementary and secondary schools. “I always tailor my presentation to the audience. For example, secondary school kids could care less about retirement.”
Emeka’s philosophy and approach have been recognized by several internal and external awards including the Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow Award, the 2017 Region Award for Community Service and the Pillar Award. Emeka was also a Top 20 Under 40 Business and Community Achievement Award Finalist in each of the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 for Vancouver Island, B.C.
He is often called upon by the media and has made numerous appearances as a financial expert on Shaw TV. Media look to him to provide perspective and commentary on a wide variety of topics including Pension Plans, Holiday Debt Reduction Tips, Retirement Savings, RRSPs, TFSAs, Taxes, and Tax Credits.
In terms of giving back, Emeka spends his time on the Boards of the Nanaimo Affordable Housing (www.nahs.ca) and Vancouver Island University, and is a past Ambassador for Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce. He is also the current President of the Rotary Club of Nanaimo Oceanside (www.oceansiderotary.ca).
Emeka’s wife, Ronitah, also works in the financial industry. “We did everything backwards. We met in 2013, built our house in 2018 and got married in 2020. Ronitah has been on this journey with me the entire time and my life would be very different without her love and support.”
As a last word Emeka says, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started involves breaking complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable chunks and then starting on the first one. Our goal is to improve clients’ financial well-being by helping them make those small incremental decisions for today and tomorrow. These decisions will allow them to embrace all of life’s possibilities while adapting and changing as their life does.”
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 Career Guides Category
Emeka Udeagha CFP®, CDFA®, MBA, RRC®, M.Sc., B.Sc.
101 - 5070 UPLANDS DRIVE
NANAIMO, BC V9T 6N1
(250) 729 -0904 ext 6222
mobile: (250) 618-1701