Combining Finances: A Key Step for Your Relationship

Combining finances with your partner is a significant milestone in any relationship, whether you’re getting married, moving in together, or starting a family. This decision requires careful consideration and open communication to ensure a smooth transition and mutual understanding. In this blog post, we’ll explore three essential aspects to discuss before taking this important step.

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Michelle Jones

Administrative Assistant

Michelle, an Administrative Assistant focusing on insurance products and services, aims to provide high-level customer support and build strong client relationships. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and has been working in the financial services industry since 1993. Outside of work, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dog, baking, reading, and enjoying nature.

Melanie Tessarolo

Melanie Tessarolo

Office Manager

Melanie entered the financial services industry in 2007 and joined our team in 2012. With extensive administrative experience, she ensures the client services team operates smoothly and efficiently. Melanie is dedicated to excellence, ensuring all team members have the resources they need to excel. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time at hockey rinks, riding rings, baseball fields, or camping with her husband, young kids, family, and friends.

Lori Smigel

Lori Smigel

Administrative Assistant

With nearly 20 years of experience in administrative support in the financial services industry, Lori enjoys being part of a team and working with her husband, Mark, to support clients. She is organized and excels in building strong client relationships. Lori is excited to be part of the professional team at Connect Wealth. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, long walks, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Kathe Atkinson

Kathe Atkinson

Bookkeeper
Kathe joined our team in September 2015, bringing her extensive experience in bookkeeping and administration from the travel, legal, and accounting industries. She handles company-related bookkeeping and administrative duties, and also provides administrative services for some of our group clients, facilitating enrollment, withdrawals, and addressing member and employer inquiries. Kathe enjoys working with numbers and is dedicated to supporting the Connect Wealth team. In her free time, she loves planning her next travel adventure, seeking sunshine, and spending time at the lake with family and friends. Kathe is passionate about accounting, accuracy, and looks forward to continuing to serve our clients with excellence.
Eddy Choi

Eddy Choi

Administrative Assistant

Eddy coordinates account openings, transactions, and information updates, ensuring client inquiries are promptly addressed. With experience in various financial companies and a financial planning course from BCIT, Eddy values customer care and efficiency. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her mom, and working at Connect Wealth. Eddy finds satisfaction in completing tasks timely and making clients happy.

Brittany Potter

Administrative Assistant

Brittany is part of our administration team, coordinating investment account needs and ensuring timely and accurate communication. With over 13 years of experience in the investment and financial planning industry, Brittany brings a wealth of knowledge to her role. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking, and being creative through arts and crafts. Brittany is dedicated to providing helpful and friendly service.

Suzanne Jacob

Suzanne Jacon

Financial Advisor

With a successful management career at New York Life and Canada Life, Suzanne transitioned to financial advising. Her 20 years in management have given her a deep understanding of the challenges and rewards of financial planning. Suzanne is passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals and securing the necessary safety nets. She is actively involved in her community, mentoring young entrepreneurs, and serving on the boards of several non-profit organizations. Suzanne enjoys the support of her spouse, Gaynal, and her four-legged friend, Sunny, who handles public relations. Suzanne believes it is never too late to start a conversation about your financial plan.

Corey Barker

CPA, Financial Advisor

Corey is a CPA with a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting from the University of Calgary. He began his career in 2018 at MNP LLP, where he completed his CPA articling and later became a tax specialist and manager. Corey has extensive experience in tax planning, reorganization engagements, and corporate finance. He joined MNP Corporate Finance Inc., serving as a financial advisor to clients in business sales and acquisitions. Committed to helping clients achieve their financial goals, Corey focuses on areas such as tax minimization, maximizing shareholder value, and implementing succession plans. Outside of work, he enjoys physical activities and spending time with his wife, continually seeking knowledge to benefit his clients.

Mark Smigel

BA, BEd, CFP®, EPC™
Certified Financial Planner®, Elder Planning Counsellor

Mark is dedicated to educating clients and assisting with wealth creation and protection. He serves business owners, professionals, and young clients beginning their financial journey. Known for making complex financial concepts relatable, Mark is a valued resource within the accounting community. When not working, he enjoys volunteering, playing hockey, cooking, and reading. Mark resides with his family, serving on various volunteer boards.

Julia Friesen

BSc, CFP® – Certified Financial Planner®

Julia is a Certified Financial Planner with a background in actuarial science, providing her clients with valuable analytical and technical expertise. She holds a BSc in Physics, an LLQP designation, and a CFP® designation. Julia excels at helping clients develop plans that align with their values and achieve their goals. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, playing and writing music, and connecting with her husband and three children. Julia looks forward to continuing to add value for her clients and supporting the team at Connect Wealth.

Joey San

Financial Advisor

Having been in the financial planning industry since 1990, Joey specializes in Risk Management and Estate Planning. He holds a Life and Segregated Funds License and has extensive field experience. Joey joined Connect Wealth in 2019 to work with his daughter Cassandra, creating the ultimate father/daughter team. Born in Fiji and relocated to Canada at 12, Joey is married to his high school sweetheart, Rita. They have three children and a grandson, Trysten. In his spare time, Joey enjoys golfing, fishing, and spending time with his grandson. Joey is passionate about providing clients with the best financial advice.

Vince Olfert

MBA, CIM, CFP® – Certified Financial Planner®

Vince specializes in helping business owners and their employees build and protect their wealth. With his years of experience, he understands the financial and emotional issues that come with managing wealth. He was highlighted in Advisors Edge magazine for his work with pensions and group retirement services. Vince continually strives to find new ways to communicate complex financial concepts so they are easy to understand for our clients.

He spends his spare time with his wife and kids, coaching community sports, and volunteering with local youth programs.

Cassandra San

Financial Advisor

Cassandra, a financial advisor at Connect Wealth, focuses on risk management planning. Cassandra started in the financial industry in 2016, when she joined her dad’s practice. Cassandra enjoys working with family and small businesses, appreciating the professional and supportive environment at Connect Wealth. She holds a Business degree from the University of Idaho and is pursuing her CFP designation. Recently, Cassandra became a new mom, and she and her husband Alvin spend most of their time chasing their son, Trysten.

Mike Erickson

Mike Erickson

Qualified Associate Financial Planner™

Mike, who joined Connect Wealth in 2013, has a natural ability to connect with clients on both professional and personal levels. He entered the financial planning industry to give clients the confidence they need for their financial futures. Mike oversees the Group Retirement Plan Division, working with companies of all sizes and assisting clients in both saving for retirement and managing decumulation. A graduate of Trinity Western University’s School of Business, Mike holds multiple designations including LLQP and QAFP®. Outside of work, he enjoys coaching his sons’ baseball teams, spending family days at the beach, and volunteering in his community. Mike resides in Abbotsford, BC, with his wife Amy and their two boys.

Vince Olfert

MBA, CIM, CFP® – Certified Financial Planner®

Vince specializes in helping business owners and their employees build and protect their wealth. With extensive experience, he understands the financial and emotional challenges of managing wealth. Vince has been highlighted in Advisor’s Edge magazine for his work with pensions and group retirement services. He continually strives to make complex financial concepts easy to understand for clients. In his spare time, Vince enjoys spending time with his family, coaching community sports, and volunteering with local youth programs.