I left banking in 2013 to build a life around my values
I had three young children and lived in beautiful Gravenhurst, Ontario, surrounded by lakes and trees, and wanted to build a life with my partner and kids that was about finding and celebrating enough.
I was tired of selling credit cards and mutual funds, and wanted to work with people about the things they were actually concerned about, issues that required real, in-depth financial planning instead of selling. Plus, I wanted more spreadsheets in my life, no word of a lie.
I started an advice only financial planning practice, Spring Personal Finance, on New Year’s Day, 2013, and all these years later it holds up as one of the best decisions I ever made.
In 2014, I put up my hand on social media and tracked down a handful of other people to start the first of many groups for advice only planners to talk shop, learn from, celebrate, commiserate, and learn from each other. This group grew into the Advice Only Planners Forum, where I’ve met some of the coolest nerds I know.
I co-hosted the Because Money podcast for six seasons (but no movie), co-created AutoInvest.ca, a free robo-advisor comparison tool, sold it, and co-founded the Financial Planning Association of Canada, starting from a long conversation at a Toronto bar in 2017, working madly with a small group of amazing people for two years to launch it in 2019, folding the Advice Only Planners Forum into it in 2021, and serving as Board Director and inaugural Secretary until 2023.
I earned my CFP® in 2018, my CFDS in 2020, and my FEA in 2023, and have spent the last decade learning about retirement income planning through the work of Michael Kitces, Moshe Milevsky, Alexandra MacQueen, John Stapleton, and Wade Pfau. I read – constantly – and will never, ever stop being interested in this.
From 2017 to 2022 I was a partner at Spring Planning Inc., along with Julia Chung and Krysten Merriman. We created many (so many!) good things together, but as the practice moved towards serving clients with higher and higher net worth, complex corporate structures, and inter-generational family wealth, I decided to return to solo practice, where I could concentrate on working with everyday people with the guts to go after the intense satisfaction of pursuing enough despite limited resources.
These days, I work with a select group of clients, many of whom have been with me all this time, and accept a small number of new clients each year when the fit is right. I’m the Business Development Leader at the Muskoka Community Land Trust and a tax preparer at our local Community Volunteer Income Tax Preparation clinic. My kids are cool humans, my partner is literally the best person, our dogs are utter ding-dongs, and we have enough.