Rev. Dr. Tapiwa Huggins Gusha, PhD, and his wife Lisa Mupandenyama are hoping to help connect residents with investment and savings opportunities as licensed financial reps operating out of Valemount. /LAURA KEIL

By Laura Keil

How much money do you need in order to retire at your desired age?

Rev. Dr. Tapiwa Huggins Gusha, PhD, and his wife Lisa Mupandenyama are hoping to help connect residents with that number and to other investment and savings opportunities as licensed financial reps operating out of Valemount.

The couple can help broker investments, insurance, mortgages and more. For those looking for additional income, the couple says people can become brokers themselves with World Financial Group, a multi-level marketing company based in the U.S. with offices in Canada and around the world.

The pair, who just moved to Valemount, are passionate about their work as financial brokers, and hope to help local residents improve their financial standing. The Goat sat down with the couple recently to learn more.

What made you decide to move to Valemount?
Tapiwa: We decided to embark on a journey to be travelling nurses. At the beginning of 2023 we moved from Winnipeg and were deployed in Fernie, B.C. When our contract ended in January 2024, we had the opportunity to renew, but we said no, we want to get a feel for other places, so they ended up posting us here. We love B.C. BC is naturally beautiful with the rivers, mountains and everything else.

So you’re trained as nurses and then you also have some education and financial things. What is your background or education?
Tapiwa: My professional background, I did sociology and philosophy before coming to Canada. I was teaching at the university (in Zimbabwe). We have a background in finance, business management, accounting, but we did not find it very interesting to work in the financial industry with the banks back home. While we were in the process of settling (in Canada), we met somebody who introduced us to the (North American) finance industry. The guys from the World Financial Group, they were trading brokers, and we listened to them (and we thought) this might be a good idea. They recruited us. We did the training and passed our government examinations. We are licensed to work in Canada.

I have also worked as a minister.

You’ve got quite the resume.
Yeah, in some of these developing countries, people end up doing everything because you learn one thing and after graduating you realize there are no jobs.

What is the financial license called?
It’s called LLQP (Life License Qualification Program)

Is there a parent company you’re working for?
We’re independent brokers but working under a big company – World Financial Group.

What do you want the end result to be for the people that you serve?
Basically, what motivates us to help families is to have better financial futures.
What we realized after living here is that people here in Canada work extremely hard. Immigrants it’s worse: they do four or five jobs.
Sometimes people lose their jobs and people have nothing to show that they’ve been working. Not only that, sometimes people without enough knowledge of how to invest, how to save for their retirement, (are) working and working, up to 80 years old, not because they love to work, but because they can’t afford to retire. And so the whole idea is to help families to have better financial futures. In Canada here, according to the current statistics, 51 per cent of all Canadians, they live pay cheque to pay cheque.
The average Canadian is owing about $21,000 into consumer debt. That’s not something meaningful (like a mortgage) that’s just consumer debt.

So how can you help people like that though. Because if they don’t have money to invest, how can you help them?
When we sit down with a client we analyze their income. One of the things is a lot of people can’t save, can’t invest not because they don’t have money. They don’t know where to invest.
Some clients are in debt. But after sitting down with them without any additional income, just working with the income they have, we say “No, why are you keeping a mortgage of three per cent if there’s an institution to give you a mortgage at 1.6 per cent? Why are you keeping your car insurance at this institution?
So we direct people to the organisations, institutions that give them the best value for their money. By doing so, just by analyzing their income, we can help the family which was not able to save $500 a month to start saving $500 a month.
If you start right now saving your $500 in a (high-interest) institution, taking into consideration a 15 per cent interest rate, what it means is that by the time you reach 65 years, you will have say $750,000. And you’ll be able to retire. This is possible. This is empirical. We do the calculations.
We do an analysis of your income. We tell you where to invest, where to cut, that kind of coaching and direction. So a lot of people who work will have enough money, but they don’t know how to optimize their investments.

Walk me through the process. So if I call you and say I need help with, I want you to analyse my finances and help me make better decisions. How does it work? Do I have to pay you a fee?
So basically, when somebody calls us to say they want us to come and help them, we sit in a physical or virtual meeting. We do a presentation of about 20 minutes (where we show) the ways we can help them, our services. Then we show them the opportunities. We can also help the client fill in the (investment) applications with their (desired) institutions. There’s no upfront fee – the institutions we work with pay us the commission.

You’re not limited to just that one institution’s funds, right? You can shop around?
Yeah. This is possible mainly because all the institutions that we work with pay us the same. So our duty is to the client and we direct them to the company we feel gives our client the best service. Our loyalty lies with our clients. If you walk into a company, into a bank they try to sell their products and they don’t tell you about any other products. But we shop around.

This interview was condensed for brevity. Always exercise caution when investing money. Licensed financial brokers working at World Financial Group will not ask for money upfront. They receive their pay from the investment institutions not the client.