First Time Home Buyer

Michelle, 32 – Calgary, Alberta

Buying my first home was a huge achievement. After the papers were signed I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment but then a large amount of anxiety; the negative thoughts came rolling in. How do I ensure that I make my payments on time? What if I get laid off from my job? Can I still live my regular lifestyle? Should I even THINK about contributing to my RRSP’s? I felt overwhelmed, when it should have been one of the happiest times of my life.

Coincidentally my partner was already using Russ for some services. After hearing me constantly dwell and worry, he recommended Russ and I never turned back.

My initial interaction with Russ was comforting. He made it feel as if I was talking to a friend. We chatted over coffee and casually talked about my situation. His wealth of knowledge and professionalism “wowed” me, but not once did he judge me for being overly distressed about my financial situation.

After using Russ’s basic financial savings tool, I discovered that I was spending around $400 per month on coffee alone! Without his tools I would have never discovered my expensive coffee habit. Now that I’m aware of this, I make smarter decisions so that this money can go towards my long-term goals, like ensuring I have cash in the bank for my mortgage payments. Even better, Russ has helped me set up a designated vacation-fund account. My coffee breaks have now turned into tropical vacations over spring break.

Planning Within The Family

Kyle, 30 – Calgary, Alberta

When thinking about my financial situation, I had a few goals in mind: short-term pay off the mortgage and long-term invest in my child’s education. Like many people, it’s hard to navigate on which path to take to reach the ultimate goal.

My wife and I have been married for 3 years and we have a one-year-old son. We didn’t have an official plan for the future, but friends and family kept telling us that it was important. I met with Russ to have a discussion around “what’s the first step?”

He started us on very basic system that grew into a more complex plan, like setting up our shared bank account and how this would save us time and stress. The biggest goal was to make sure that our son had the funds to attend post-secondary education. We had already set up an

account with our bank for this specific reason, but overtime became very skeptical – was it really worth all of those fees? Russ did some digging around and discovered that by investing through our bank, potentially over $10,000 would be wasted on fees before our son graduates high school! By doing the investing on our own (with the hand-holding of Russ of course), we were able to cut this program and save ourselves a huge amount of money.

One of the most important solutions he showed us was a “Robo Advisor”. This is an online investing account that allows us to maintain our investment portfolio ourselves. Extremely low cost with no minimum investment. This is a great example of how Russ wanted to save us money by providing a solution with an external online manager, rather than pocketing those extra fees himself.

Eliminating Student Debt

Adam, 33 – Calgary, Alberta

I finished university 5 years ago and I’m now in a job where I am financially stable. Having this comfort zone changed my mindset; now I need to start saving for my future (a new home and potentially kids!) There was one problem that was continuously haunting me - my dreaded student loans.

I have always been uncomfortable talking to my bank about my financial situation. I’ve never been very open about my financials to begin with and talking to a stranger about this exact subject makes me very uneasy. Do they have alternative motives? I knew the first step was to pay off my student debt, but I didn’t know the right process.

That’s when I approached Russ. He wasn’t like the traditional banks that I talked to. He was genuine, easy going and had just come from a hockey

practice. We chatted over beers about BOTH of our lifetime goals, which eventually lead me down a more precise and trustworthy path.

After breaking down where my money was going on a regular basis, Russ advised me on the areas that I was spending too much, without being judgmental (luckily Russ understands my love for beer!) We decided together on how much to cut back on.

With the plan we’ve created, I’m going to be able to pay off my $30,000 student loan in only two years, something that I didn't think was possible in such a short period of time. Plus, I’m now successfully set up to start saving for that new home that I’ve always wanted to purchase.