Tom Terzis

Look at the total needs of the client, not just the financial point of view, but from a lifestyle point of view.


Entrepreneur Tom Terzis is striking out on his own with a concept that provides a network of powerful professionals specializing in every aspect of the financial planning industry under one umbrella. The business is designed for the convenience of high net worth individuals to address all their financial needs. The value-added one-stop-shop provides professionals specializing in financial planning in insurance, tax planning, estate planning, transferring assets to children if they are in business to assure that there is not a loss of assets, and much more.

Tom Terzis has been serving his clients for over twenty years. He lives in Toronto and is a graduate of the University of Toronto. He earned his bachelor’s degree in commerce with a minor in economics. His previous work experience was in the banking, manufacturing, and technology industries.

While serving in the manufacturing industry, Tom Terzis established the quality control process for his company. He designed and monitored quality for the company which enabled the company to gain the certification required.

Where did the idea for Toronto-Real come from?

The name of my company is Toronto-Real. It is based upon the Family Office concept. It is primarily designed for high net worth individuals with ten million or more in assets but available to everyone. It addresses all aspects of an individual’s financial planning concerns, including Insurance, Tax Planning, Estate planning, and multi-generational wealth transfer.

My concept involves Life Planning for individuals, be their Accountability Coach and place them in the care of our network professionals with the expertise to achieve their goals. I have developed a network of financial professionals who I introduce to individuals based upon their requirements. Our service provides the professional expertise to address all components of Lifestyle and Financial Planning.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My workday literally begins the night before. I like to prep my day in advance. I section my work off into chunks of time. I look at the top three priorities of the day. I check any issues that may have come up from the previous day, I check email, then I do some analysis in the morning. In addition, I research to see what the market is doing. It is my educational process. During the day I follow up with clients to address any questions or concerns.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am in constant research mode to bring new ideas to life. I search the internet to find what the key concepts and primary concerns there are from investors. I also research the people involved for any concerns. I use my own knowledge, based upon my twenty plus years of industry experience. I have a checklist if they are relevant to people, I can educate them. Each of my clients has a list of major concerns. I email clients with any information that I find on each subject or concern along with my commentary. My research provides clarity for any of their concerns.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The trend that excites me is a relatively new concept that I am using for Lifestyle Planning. Being an independent, I can introduce people to several highly specialized network professionals for every segment of an individuals’ net worth plan. We can provide clients with our services as a one-stop-shop. I evaluate my network of professionals annually to ensure that their component of our financial plan meets their goals.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

As an entrepreneur, I am always looking at new ideas and what people are saying as a commentary. I research topics online. Furthermore, I listen to podcasts and distill the information into a simple format so if required, I can translate the information to my clients.

What advice would you give your younger self?

If I were starting in the industry thirty years ago, I would tell younger Tom Terzis to focus more on anticipating where the trends are in the marketplace. I would not just settle for what most brokers or advisors would do. My focus would be on the knowledge-based side. Anticipate were the market goes. Listen and get second opinions. Don’t just accept what the traditional theory says.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Many people are angry and frustrated with Financial Advisors as they promote products that have high fees and do not provide true diversification. Most Advisors have their clients’ best interests in mind but do not have the ability to offer a more diverse range of products.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

It is a good practice to reevaluate the advisors that they work with. Make sure that they are asking the right questions. I can also provide those questions if they are looking for independent advice. I recommend that people get a second opinion when doing financial planning. Also, review your portfolio on a consistent basis.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I anticipate what the market will recommend. I looked at what other successful advisors did especially in the United States. I look to see where the market is headed. From a consulting basis, I always ask my clients what their concerns are, and I research their concerns online.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One of the mistakes that I made was to stay in the mutual funds industry too long. It was years before I decided to change course and to take the road that I’ve taken. I overcame that by becoming more client centric. I look at the total needs of the client, not just the financial point of view, but from a lifestyle point of view. Now I can offer various options.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Try to do business where you can provide the most value-added service for clients. Don’t restrict yourself to one product or concept. Become a one-stop-shop for people.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently purchased a course from Brian Tracy. It is about goal setting and being more productive.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I use a comprehensive Lifestyle Planning software named Vision Works that considers not only Financial but Lifestyle goals.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Anthony Robbins recently wrote a book called 7 Simple Steps: Financial Freedom where he interviewed the top investors and asked how they did what they did. He summarized it for clients. I recommend it because it lays out the financial services industry in general and what you should learn.

What is your favorite quote?

When value is clear decisions are easy.

Key Learnings:

● Always do business where you can provide the most value-added service for clients.
● From a consulting basis, I always ask my clients what their concerns are and research their concerns.
● Look at the total needs of the client, not just the financial point of view, but from a lifestyle point of view.