Saturday, March 05 2011 @ 12:22 PM PST
In November 1981, in the ferry lineup returning to Vancouver from Victoria with a very good friend, I saw David Ingram for the first time. Sure I knew who he was because in various Canadian cities I saw his numerous tax offices.
I had also listened to him on the radio and attended several of his seminars. I had also read his books and paid a great deal of attention to the one he had written on making interest, and especially the interest on your mortgage, tax deductible.
As an investment advisor this would be a good thing to do if it were legal and possible. Shortly after Joe Clark became prime minister he announced his intentions to make mortgage interest tax deductible as it was in the United States. Unfortunately this never came to pass because his term as finance minister you will remember was short. In any event I developed a presentation based on this concept and named it "How to get more listings and close more sales."
I delivered this presentation to virtually every real estate office in the lower mainland. The manager of one of these offices was Fraser Smith, who a few years later wrote the book "the Smith Maneuver".
Up to this point I had never met David.
I finally got to meet David at the Robson media Center where we were both involved in speaking engagements, he on income tax, myself on financial planning. It was RRSP season and virtually every financial institution and anyone else having anything to do with financial planning were represented.
It was interesting that the majority of the potential clients had no idea of what financial planning really was and had no financial plan. I remember addressing several audiences of 2-300 people and asking the audience to raise their hand if they had a written financial plan; only a few hands would go up. Polling the audience further I asked how many were debt free?Again only a few hands went up.
I said that maybe the majority of people in the room should be looking at paying off their credit cards and other debts before making RRSP contributions.
I further said that maybe it would be a good idea to take a look at the possibility of making their interest expense tax deductible. To make such a statement in such circumstances was almost heresy. I didn't know at the time that David was in the audience and that statement made me his lifelong friend. I can't begin to count the number of times he has told this story as a testament to myself and my integrity.
I had developed some financial planning software at the time. In 1981 that would make you a pioneer. I approached him during one of the breaks, introduced myself, and we began sharing ideas. His computer knowledge at the time was extraordinary. I often referred to David Ingram as a person who knows more about income tax than anybody I know and indeed this is true.
But he also knew much more and could talk about almost anything. I have been a guest on his radio and television shows on numerous occasions. As well he has appeared on mine. Jointly we did shows on CJOR 1140 AM, CFun, CKNW 600AM 650AM as well as Rogers, Shaw and NOW TV.
I have a test and it goes like this. There are three Cs. The 1st C stands for care, the 2nd C stands for competence and the last C stands for character. I apply this test to everyone I meet.
In David's case when it comes to caring he gets a 10, when it comes to competence he gets a 10, and when it comes to character he gets a 10. In fact let's make it 10+ in all three.
He has been referred to as a big man and there is no doubt about that. But he is also a big man with a big heart. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that I can say that is negative about David Ingram. He has never let me down in any way. picture yourself at the end of the rope hanging over a cliff with only one person on the other end. Without a doubt you would want that person to be David.
Whenever we lose a friend it always leaves a place in our hearts which is hard to fill. In David's case this is more than true. The memories and the examples he left will always be remembered.
The apple does not fall far from the tree and much of what I have said here can be applied to his children. I have not had the opportunity to meet them all but I give my condolences to Jane, Peter, and Mitchell and the rest of his family.
There is much in my heart that I would like to express but there are no words that could do this justice. There comes a time when we all must go to a better place. in David's case this is what has happened.
His is a life well lived and the legacy of David Ingram will be the example he has established for all of us. God bless you David