About the Author: Michelle Lum
I wanted to be a doctor. But life had other plans, which led me here! After growing up in Hawaii, I left my little island to attend Marquette University in frigid Wisconsin. At the age of 18, I gleefully embraced the snow days, sub-zero temperatures, and college basketball. Four years later, I graduated, pre-med degree in hand, and headed off to law school at Hamline University School of Law (now the Mitchell Hamline School of Law) in St. Paul, Minnesota. Law school was nothing like the movies and everything you’ve heard about in real life; so two and a half years later, I graduated and jetted off to Boston. After spending some quality time studying for the bar exam, I passed! I accepted my first position at CIBC Private Wealth Management in downtown Boston as a Wealth Strategies Associate where I would not use my newly minted license. Instead, I collaborated with team members across the country to provide wealth planning and cash flow analyses to high and ultra high net worth clients. Along the way, I passed another bar exam and obtained my CFP(R) designation. I have always been a planner, so entering the professional world of financial planning is a seamless fit. My pivotal moment of realization occurred six months after graduating from law school - the moment my first student loan payment was due. From then on, seeing the amount of interest each day being added to my balance was shocking. So after taking inventory of my personal financial life and making some changes, I was able to pay off my undergraduate and law school student loans in less than four years! It was a great feeling, and one that motivates me to work hard and grow every day. I cannot wait to share this excitement and all the positive vibes that come with organizing and simplifying your financial life so that you can focus on enjoying, well, your life!