Join Leaha Mattinson as she speaks to Greg Bird about his journey from almost losing everything in his life to becoming a successful financial advisor today, having incorporated all the lessons he learnt along the way.
2.51 – 2.57: “Here we are, facing probably what most would argue is the most challenging year of all of our lives.”
4.42 – 4.47: “There’s so many questions that come around that we have to ask to ourselves and the power really starts here, in ourselves.”
5.45 – 5.49 : “The volatility of this year has been the only constant that we’ve seen.”
10.39 – 10.43: “Family is your main support system… it’s your emotional support system.”
12.08 – 12.10: “Do what’s right and what’s good.”
12.15 – 12.26: “Doing what’s right and what’s good is the heart of what I feel is doing the right thing… for ourselves, for our kids, for our clients, for our friends, our whole entire network.”
16.04- 16.06: “Surround yourself with good people.”
17.08 – 17.17: “I’m my most valuable asset, it starts with me. Get me healthy again, get me back on my feet, let me do good and get back out there and do what I do best.”
22.33 – 22.40: “With the right advice, the right coaching, people can save themselves from financial failure and destruction.”
25.42 – 25.44: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
30.48 – 30.52: “You can’t be a one-trick pony in my business anymore. You have to have a holistic approach.”
31.13 – 31.18: “In any different game plan, there’s two parts – you got to have a good offence, you got to have a good defence.”
32.12 – 32.14: “If you want to take action for yourself, you have to be able to invest in yourself.”
38.11 – 38.14: “Having a large family is a blessing and a curse at the same time.”
The power of realization (1.23)
Greg has been a financial advisor for 17 years now and has worked with 10,000 people. He emphasizes financial wellness as being one of the pillars of life on earth. When the recession, dubbed the subprime mortgage crisis, hit in 2008-2009, Greg realized he was the “carpenter with the leaky roof”. He had to turn his focus to his finances alongside helping others with their financial planning.
Birds of a feather (7.53)
Greg claims that 2009 was also the most difficult time in his personal life. Before the recession, he lost his maternal aunt and paternal grandfather. He became aware of his financial responsibility to the people he would be leaving behind. He wanted to teach his children the values his father had taught him, of hard work, honesty, and perseverance, “no matter what gets thrown at us, whatever curveball, that we’re survivors”.
Just an ember (12.33)
Greg says that in 2009, he felt like a drying fire. It was on his birthday that he felt his lowest but decided to take action, asking some deep questions of himself. He traced his way back from how he got to that place and outlined the path to where he wanted to be. He worked on his self-awareness and recommends listeners learn from their mistakes to change their patterns in the future.
What is your most valuable asset? (14.56)
Greg found that the most valuable asset he had in that difficult situation was himself because he still had the potential to earn income. From that moment, he always ensured that he loved what he worked on to maximize his potential. However, Greg explains that there is a financial continuum of people – between the ones that are sure of their place and the ones who aren’t – and everyone else is in between.
Financial freedom (18.30)
Financial freedom has been a popular term and the immediate goal of many people Greg has come across. However, he states that achieving financial freedom takes time and hard work, and is defined differently by different people based on their lifestyle. It took him a while to understand that for his own life, and it has been a learning journey to slowly take steps in the right direction.
True legacy (19.45)
Greg believes that his true legacy is not his money, fame or fortune, but his family. He has counselled many couples through increasing divorce rates, and advises them to “step back, take the emotions out of it for a second and treat it like a business decision”. He urges couples to think of the example they are setting for their children and to process the difficult emotions of anger or betrayal healthily.
Take action! (25.03)
After his aunt passed away, Greg’s family was split into two, with one taking the right path and the other taking the wrong, one that he would counsel and the other that wouldn’t talk to him. Greg remarks that all his solutions, mentorship and experience would not help if the people he helped didn’t take action. “When they take that action, that’s the most rewarding thing because you see it and you make a difference in people’s lives,” he observes.
Greg has since created a mentorship program for financial advisors to coach those starting in this field. He draws a parallel between financial planning and sports, recommending people keep 10% of their income aside to finance their long-term game plan. He lists insurance and risk protection as the defence and investments and savings as the offence and stresses the importance of balancing both.
Mastering the game plan (34.10)
Greg has a multitude of suggestions on creating a good financial plan. There are many savings instruments available such as TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs, etc. There are also individual pension plans for business owners, non-registered open investing and other options for investments. On the insurance end, life, disability and health are important factors to consider. He recalls a story of a woman he helped pay for surgery entirely through her insurance claim!
Stay in touch! (42.15)
Enhance your financial wellness by connecting with Greg and his team of financial advisors at no cost to you. Allow him to help you do what you couldn’t 12 months ago, and to teach you to do in 12 months, what you don’t know now. Find him on social media or email him at GBird@ppi.ca!
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The brainchild of Leaha Mattinson (after she received the diagnosis of an chronic, incurable neurological, genetic illness), Master Your Life endeavours to bring meaningful solutions and clarity to a world that can be chaotic and confusing!
Master Your Life ~ Recovery Road Episode 1 ~ The Recession Survival Kit with Greg Bird and Leaha Mattinson