“If I only knew then what I know now.” - My Parents
“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” - Mercedes Lackey
Growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, my sister and I lived under the care of my immigrant parents who were business owners. I felt I had lived a normal lifestyle that consisted of eating, sleeping, and watching the occasional episode of “Sesame Street”. Not once did I feel like we were in a difficult situation. I had everything I ever needed; food, a roof over my head, and a small bed to call my own. Looking back, I realized that what we had came with significant financial sacrifices.
In 2005, my whole family experienced a life-changing event, but especially for a woman that I love dearly, my grandmother. My grandfather passed away from cancer and my family was devastated. Unfortunately, my grandmother lost more than just her partner. Through my grandfather’s lifetime employer, she received a small lump sum of money, but it was barely enough to cover the cost of the funeral. She was no longer able to financially sustain the house they lived in and was required to downsize to a small apartment. She needed to find a higher paying job that would allow her to support herself. If I could ask my grandfather now, I know he would have wanted her to stay in the house they bought together to create memories with family, especially their grandchildren.
I was around the age of 15 when I was with my mother in her home office. Looking around the storage closet, I stumbled upon an old passbook from their bank during the 1990s (for those that forgot what a passbook is, it was a paper book used to record your bank transactions like deposits and withdraws). I opened up the book, that was almost as old as I, and flipped through some worn out pages. I found account balances to be different than what I would have imagined. The ink outlining “$2” stared back at me and left me confused. Looking at my mother, I asked how it was possible that their balance could have been a total of $2. She looked at me, and before tearing up, she replied, "At the end of the month when the rent was paid and the food was on the table, we [my mother and father] had $2 to call our own." As I continued to flip through the pages it was evident; for many years, we lived under the poverty line.
Fortunately, many aspects of their financial life have since changed. My parents still have many dreams of financial stability, growing their business, a secure retirement, and the future education of their children. They never had the financial possibility of attending post-secondary and wanted to give their children the opportunity to pursue a higher education. This was of utmost importance to them, and with time, I understood that a higher education would be just as crucial to me. It was great to dream about a life attending university; learning from scholars, mentorships, and sharing the same vision with others. Approaching my first year, my parents quickly realized that they had no plan to achieve this dream. We were filled with uncertainty and attending university was in jeopardy.
You may be asking, “How are these moments relevant?”
Often, I reflect on the past, “What If I could have helped my grandmother ease the pain during a difficult time in her life? If I knew how to help my parents then maybe they would not have had to live paycheque-to-paycheque. What if I could have helped my parents fulfil some of their dreams?”
I have known many people in my life that needed financial advice and no one was there to help and they did not know where to turn. I cannot turn back time, but I can look forward and help those who want to make smarter financial decisions and prepare for life’s expected and unexpected events.
I am thrilled to be a part of a team that supports my beliefs of educating and doing what is best for people. We are ranked one of the best independent advisory teams in Canada which includes one of the Top 50 Advisors across the nation. We listen to what is important, simplify the complex world of finance, and together, create a plan that allows us to achieve the goals for individuals, families, and small businesses.
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It is now 2019 and this is your opportunity to make a life-changing decision. Our firm will be welcoming individuals and families, like yourself, who want to learn about what we can do to achieve your financial goals. This is a rare opportunity for you to reach out to professionals as we work with a set number of individuals and families each year and these openings fill up quickly.
Before a Financial Advisor, I am an individual who wants to inspire people to be better versions of themselves. This is a new year and the decision is yours for it to be better than ever before.
“Decide what you want. Believe you can have it. Believe you deserve it and believe it is possible for you.” - Jack Canfield