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ROD FRIESEN, CIM®. PFP, Investment Advisor, Cresco Wealth Management, Wellington-Altus Private Wealth, Grande Prairie, Alberta


"Honest, transparent, accountable – and that’s the truth"

Rod Friesen, CIM®, PFP, Investment Advisor, at Cresco Wealth Management, Wellington-Altus Private Wealth was born to be a financial Advisor. His path to his dream career was by no means direct, it took some twists and turns, but Rod viewed those as opportunities and became more resilient, and hardworking.

He was always interested in financial markets, investments, economics, and world affairs – but it wasn’t until he met a mentor who was serving as a Wealth Management Advisor at one of the big banks that he came to the realization that pursuing his dream was indeed possible.

From that point on, Rod’s will to work took over. He sent hundreds of applications to banks throughout his city, and other local cities, but also to institutions in neighbouring provinces. Rod received one call back: from a bank in Fort McMurray – almost 10 hours away from his hometown.

After an emotional conversation with his wife of two years, they packed up everything they owned and started down the road to their new life. Rod worked every single day with a smile, and every night he studied to get his Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®) designation. Though challenging and enduring, Rod and his wife faced this trying period together, hand in hand.

Once he got that designation, more doors began to open for him. Rod had the chance to select from several relocation options, and he chose Grande Prairie, not only because it was the best opportunity for him career-wise, but because he’d spent his formative years there. He was well-acquainted with the city, and knew in his heart that Grande Prairie was the right place for him.

The people who live there work hard every single day, so potential clients would have a similar outlook on life as he did and they are keen to lend a hand to one another. Since Rod has a passion for giving back, he wanted to be in a place where he could really put down roots and build something solid.

Grande Prairie was perfect for that and so was Cresco Wealth Management.

Rod’s practice would be Cresco’s first satellite office – it meant new challenges and an uncharted path, but he was up for it.

“I’ve never shied away from hard work, so the challenge of building this new office from the ground up appealed to me. More than that, Cresco’s commitment to client care and upholding the highest standards of customer service aligned with my own views. It felt right - and having an industry-leading team in not just my corner, but in the corner of clients as well, made the decision easy.”

Making the right choice the first time

Rod knows that choosing the right Advisor is one of the most important financial decisions a person can make. Not just for the quality of their advice, but for a positive outlook, a commitment to putting in the hard work, and so much more.

Next to family, it might be the most important relationship in a person’s life.

“The person you choose to work with is going to be with you for 20 years, maybe more. Financial Planning isn’t something that ends at 65 – a good financial plan, and small decisions throughout your life, can have a way bigger impact on your life than which stock to buy. Having an Advisor that you trust and can call to ask questions, and not even just investment questions either, is invaluable. I find myself serving as a sounding board for all manner of challenges, and I’m happy to do it because wealth management is about more than money. It’s about building a great life.”

Part of the reason a Financial Advisor fills this role well is because of the trust that’s built between Advisor and client.

Talking about money is difficult for a lot of people, and they feel an inherent vulnerability when discussing these private matters. But, just like doctors aren’t afraid of blood, plumbers don’t mind clogged sinks, and pilots aren’t afraid of heights, good advisors don’t judge people for their decisions. They listen, provide expert guidance, and look for opportunities for a client’s success whenever possible.

The right Advisor understands a client’s needs and goals, but not just that, they understand who a client is and what matters to them. That familiarity ensures that an Advisor has a client’s best interests at heart and will support their goals not just in the short-term, but in the long-term as well.

Clients are often surprised at their own progress. They don’t give themselves enough credit, because sometimes they’re even closer to their goals than they realize.

It isn’t until Rod points out how much they’ve accomplished, and how far they’ve come, that they realize how well they’re doing.

When you look back, but can’t see the starting line, it helps to have someone on your side who’s got the whole course mapped out and can offer perspective on the race.

Relationships for life

Clients find Rod’s approach to relationship management refreshing. It’s because he calls things as he sees them.

“When I was young, I learned telling the truth was easier than not telling the truth. It’s amazing how strong the relationships founded on honesty can become. As I grew older, I knew I needed to trust people – but I didn’t have to do so unconditionally. I could take my time to learn about people and make decisions on how I felt on the inside. I decided I wanted to be a great friend to a few people, instead of an average friend to many. The joy I find in that focus is unmatched. I use that approach to my clients, as well. Not every person will be a fit for every Advisor, so I try to find clients with whom I connect well. I tend to align well with those who have small-town values. People who work hard every day and would always reach out to a neighbour if they’re in trouble. I’ve found the best results, the best relationships, are with those folks.”


Rod is active in his church and local Rotary Club. His team, Cresco Wealth Management at Wellington-Altus Private Wealth is a huge advocate for community involvement and philanthropy, from granting wishes through The Children’s Make-A-Wish Foundation to helping build a center for youth mental healthcare. Locally, he’s sponsored bags for the community food drive, raised money for the pregnancy care centre, and so much more. For Rod, it’s about building up the community he’s chosen to call home and sharing his success with his neighbours.

Rod finds great joy in being with his family, and he holds the moments of quality time spent with them among his most cherished experiences. He’s also passionate about the outdoors. Rod is an avid fisherman, and he likes to spend time relaxing on the water.

“You know, fishing always reminds me of advice I got when I was younger: ‘Find what drives you and make your own waves in the water.’ It wasn’t until I found wealth management and advisory that I knew what that really meant. I worked hard jobs, and they taught me the value of an honest day’s work and a genuine effort, but I didn’t love the work – it wasn’t my passion. As soon as I found this industry, I knew that I’d found my calling. The gratification I get from helping people achieve their dreams is like nothing else in the world. This practice is the biggest catch of my life – and I’m never going to stop trying to bring it in.”

Gary Milakovic is a veteran writer with more than a decade in the public sector and corporate communications. He has covered a wide spectrum of topics and his work has been featured by large and small organizations across Canada. Gary is passionate about communication, his writing often focuses on uncovering the “story behind the story.”

Rod Friesen, PFP, CIM®

Investment Advisor

Cresco Wealth Management

Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Inc.

222 3rd Ave. SW Suite 1650, 

Calgary AB  T2P 0B4

   587 - 330 - 2796


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