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STEPHANIE BARBER, PFP®, Consultant for IG Wealth Management in Brantford, Waterloo Region & Guelph


“I am here to help people navigate the complex financial planning and

investment world. I help you identify your goals and then help

you create a solid plan to reach those goals.

All while educating you along the way.”

Stephanie Barber, PFP ® , Consultant for IG Wealth Management in South Western Ontario was only 19 years old when she began her journey in the financial world. “One of my best friend’s moms was employed at the bank, and she asked me if I wanted to join their team to become a teller/customer service representative.” Intrigued by the opportunity, Stephanie embraced the role and quickly rose to become a full-time lead customer service representative.

Her ability to build connections with customers and confidently provide high-level customer service laid the groundwork for her successful, long-term career.

“My manager at the time recognized my passion and drive for helping clients and providing excellent customer service,” she says. “So, she encouraged me to enroll in the Investment Funds In Canada course. I was successful and obtained my license to discuss and deal with mutual funds. This opened the door for me to becoming a personal banking officer. From there, I continued with my education until I obtained my financial planning designation.”

Despite her initial fears, Stephanie mentions “I pushed through it, got my footing in the business, and quickly gained the knowledge and confidence I needed to gain clients’ trust. It wasn’t too long in my role as an advisor that I received another promotion to Senior Banking Officer, and was then specializing in mortgage lending. At that time they dubbed me as the ‘mortgage switch Queen’ because during this time, interest rates were falling, and I excelled in guiding clients through mortgage switches and saving them thousands in interest costs. It was both satisfying and rewarding to help so many people better their financial situations.”

Over the years, Stephanie expanded her expertise into investments and financial planning, leading her to become an Investment Specialist. She focused on long-term planning needs and provided tailored advice based on the client’s unique circumstances.

“My role was very flexible with regards to being able to meet clients at their homes or place of business,” she begins. “My hours were flexible which allowed me to accommodate meeting clients outside of their work schedule when it was best for them. Being invited into their homes and meeting their family and pets was a different level of connection. I enjoyed being able to provide valuable service and advice in a way that made my clients’ lives easier.”

Stephanie was successful in building a large book of business that started by simply picking up the phone and making cold calls. She says, “As the years went by, the cold calls lessened as the client referrals started to increase. You know you are doing a great job with people when they want you to meet their friends and family as well. Over the many years I was with the bank, I won numerous awards for my efforts and commitment to my clients and the bank.”

“Unfortunately, changes in the work culture at this place of employment led me to reconsider my role. Given that my ultimate life goal is to maintain inner peace and find joy in every moment, the disconnect between my aspirations and daily reality prompted me to make a change.”

Embracing Change and Thriving in Uncertainty

In early 2022, after 22 years at the bank, Stephanie made the courageous decision to leave her position and pursue a new path.

“It was a significant shift from my comfort zone to a situation where success was uncertain. Fortunately, the transition turned out to be very successful, proving that sometimes stepping out of one’s comfort zone leads to rewarding outcomes.”

She recollects having a backup plan to return to school and become a carpenter if necessary. “Fortunately, I am yet to resort to that plan,” she laughs.

Since transitioning to IG Wealth Management, Stephanie has expanded her services and areas of expertise. “Ensuring financial security in case of unforeseen events, especially for those with families, is a priority for me. For this reason, I have obtained numerous licenses that allow me to offer critical illness insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance. Having the proper protection foundation means when unexpected events occur, you’re not having to derail all your financial goals. I have also acquired my ETF license as well, which has been a fascinating learning experience.”

Stephanie mentions “Over the past year alone, I have experienced more personal and professional growth than ever before. It is an exhilarating feeling to now discuss topics with clients that were once beyond my scope of knowledge. This growth contributes substantially to the work we are doing, and I am grateful to be part of an exceptional company.”

Building Genuine Relationships Beyond Finance

Stephanie is someone who has always genuinely enjoyed client interactions. “Being able to connect with people and earn their trust is something that I have always excelled at in life. Whether at work or in my personal life, it’s just who I am. Having genuine intentions and a passion to help people is something clients resonate well with and builds the foundation for long term trusting relationships.”

A large aspect of Stephanie’s personal success is built upon making authentic connections and expressing genuine care and support to clients. “Visiting my clients’ homes is a regular part of my routine,” she says. “I have a special place in my heart for my retired clients who often bring out their fancy tea cups, and sometimes prepare me a treat when I come visit. These appointments are sometimes a bit longer because I genuinely enjoy sitting with them, chatting, and hearing about their grandkids and life experiences. I feel very blessed that I get to do this.”

Stephanie’s care extends beyond financial matters; she notices and addresses practical needs and acts on them. “A couple of months ago, I was at a client’s house and she had a pile of Amazon boxes that were too much for her to break up – I wasn’t going to just leave them there so I offered to help.” This extra effort demonstrates her commitment to her clients’ well-being and goes beyond the typical responsibilities of a financial planner. “I am just a human being that likes helping other souls in need.”

Spreading kindness and compassion in the world is a daily habit for Stephanie, and it is something she also instills in her daughters.

“I wholeheartedly believe in karma; putting positive energy into the world results in receiving it back tenfold,” she says. “What you give, you receive, and I am always grateful for the positive energy that comes my way.”

Empowering Clients through Transparency and Collaboration

Stephanie acknowledges the challenges of navigating the financial world, which is often overwhelming for many individuals. “Placing trust in your financial advisor is crucial,” she says. “Unfortunately, some people receive bad advice, making it even more vital for me to build trust and become a reliable advisor in their lives.”

“One motivation in this profession stems from a desire to change people’s perception. There sometimes is a negative stereotype associated with bankers, with some expecting pushy sales tactics and unnecessary products. However, my approach has always been different. I prioritize connection with people, learning who they are, and truly understanding their goals. I align recommendations and options based on our in-depth discussions.”

“The most common compliment I often receive in life is when clients say, ‘Wow, I wish I met you 10 years ago!’ I always love hearing that because it shows I've added value where it was needed.”

In presenting herself as a facilitator rather than a salesperson, Stephanie values transparency and collaboration, seeking input from clients and explaining the rationale behind her recommendations. “We are not here to sell you something you don’t need. Instead, my role involves understanding where you want to go and making meaningful recommendations that align best with your unique journey. I take into consideration minimizing taxes, having a well-structured estate plan in place, and engaging clients in a discussion around risk management as well.”

While preparing clients for market fluctuations and stressing the importance of long-term perspectives, Stephanie advises against panicking during tumultuous times. “Instead, I emphasize that such moments offer opportunities to reposition holdings for future growth. Market pullbacks are normal, and ensuring that clients are invested properly ensures that when we experience them, they are confident in the plan we have in place and our ability to guide them through it. Having trust in the team managing your investments and financial plan is so important.”

Using conservative estimates to project long-term returns in financial plans, Stephanie explains, “This approach aims to ensure clients end up better off than our initial projections. If challenges in the world arise, or the client’s life plans change, we revisit the plan regularly to make necessary adjustments based on the current situation.”

Remaining committed to under-promising and over-delivering, Stephanie is dedicated to ensuring that everyone who sits down with her leaves feeling better about themselves and more confident about their future. “I want you to leave my office with a smile, a sentiment echoed by many of my clients who often express their satisfaction with a hug.”

At the end of the day, Stephanie is hopeful that more individuals will feel encouraged to overcome any hesitations or fears they may have surrounding their finances, the markets, and investing. “We are here to help you, and we enjoy being able to educate people along the way. There are so many options and products out there. We are always happy to sit down and chat about your specific situation, with the hope of adding value to make you feel more confident in your plan and your future. By taking an hour to sit down and discuss your plan with us, you never know what you will learn.”

Nurturing an Inclusive Work-Life Harmony

There is immense value in being part of a team that can collaborate effectively and synergistically. Stephanie mentions, “I had a recent client meeting where I was concerned about his will. I was able to seamlessly send it to our legal department, outlining my worries, and receive valuable insights. This collaborative approach was not possible in my previous work environment where I operated more independently. So, it’s a very nice service to now have access too.”

Similar to mentorship, Stephanie values the reciprocal exchange of positive energy, where acts of kindness and support reverberate back, enriching both the giver and receiver. “I prioritize creating a nurturing and inclusive environment where both colleagues and clients feel valued and supported,” she says.

As a mother of two teenage girls, Stephanie expresses immense gratitude for the work-life balance she is able to maintain, all thanks to the teams’ unwavering support.

“My team gives me the peace of mind that I am capable of providing comprehensive and tailored financial plans to my clients and also being present for my girls – especially considering we are very involved in competitive cheerleading,” she says. “We travel often, and having my laptop with me wherever I go provides the flexibility to answer calls and manage financial transactions anywhere across Ontario. This allows for a seamless integration of work and personal life.”

Alongside supporting her girls in their many personal endeavours, Stephanie is also very passionate about working with rescue cats. “I am a huge animal lover, we have four cats and one dog at home. We also volunteer weekly with Toronto Cat Rescue. In the past, I have tried to be a foster, but that didn’t work too well as we just ended up adopting them all,” she laughs.

In her personal time, Stephanie finds solace in her deep passion for music. “My Spotify playlist is probably my favourite item that I own,” she says. “I love my 80s and 90s rock music, so I always make it my priority to get out and see these bands play live when they come to town.”

Taylor Stranaghan is a skilled business content writer and editor who brings forth a wealth of knowledge and expertise. With years of experience crafting compelling narratives, she excels at producing high-quality, engaging content that informs, educates, and inspires readers.

Stephanie Barber, PFP ®


IG Wealth Management | Investors Group Financial Services Inc.

1 - 260 Lynden Rd

Brantford, Ontario N3R 0B9

226 - 218 - 1101


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