Shannon Lee Simmons

Founder, New School of Finance

Shannon is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Investment Manager (CIM), media personality, author and founder of the New School of Finance. She is widely recognized as a trailblazer in the Canadian financial planning industry. Her book, Worry-Free Money (Harper Collins) is a national best-seller. She has a monthly column with the Globe and Mail and is a personal finance columnist for CBC’s On the Money and Metro Morning. She is also the financial expert on The Marilyn Denis Show. She is a public policy ambassador for the Financial Planning Standards Council of Canada and a certified life coach.


In 2015, she was named one of Canada’s Top 30 under 30. She also won the Notable Award for Best in Finance in 2016 and the prestigious 2016 Wealth Professional Award for Digital Innovation for launching Canada’s first online financial planning school.


She is known for her whip-smart sense of humour, enthusiasm and freakishly accurate insights into how we, as humans, relate to, use and think about money.


Shannon speaks about money in a way that puts people at ease, makes them laugh and most of all think. Her empathetic, unique and humanizing approach to personal finance has put her on the map as the go-to person to speak about money, financial literacy and empowerment. She leaves audiences laughing out loud and empowered with the tools they need to feel better about their money regardless of their ages and incomes. David Chilton, The Wealthy Barber, said that she offers a “fresh way to think about your money.”


Shannon is always finding new ways to make personal finances fun, accessible and interesting. No “stop buying lattes” advice here. In 2010, Simmons left her high-rollin’ Bay Street Job to launch the Barter Babes Project, a one-year project where she gave unbiased financial planning advice to 310 women in exchange for a bartered good or service and not money. She could not live off of lasagna, and thus decided to strike out on her own and start the New School of Finance. In 2015, she launched a campaign called @therealselfies where she would post the receipt and bill publicly beside her “awesome selfies” on social media to remind people that “behind every great selfie is a bill” because nobody posts their credit card statement after a vacation.


When she’s not seeing clients, speaking, writing, doing media or creating new spreadsheets, she tries to have a life. She loves hanging with her family at the cottage, cycling, and making endless promises to get up and go to yoga tomorrow.


Amanda has travelled to nearly 90 countries. She lives in Calgary, Canada.

In other news, Shannon enjoys studying the link between Zodiac signs and money habits (Virgos are the most likely to stick to a budget).




Financial Wellness is the ability to have a satisfying financial life. You can pay for your life, save some money and, most importantly, not stress about your financial future. But life is expensive. It’s hard not to stress about money and managing your money can be frustrating and confusing. When you feel financially stressed out, it impacts your everyday life and often bleeds into other areas of your life, impacting your relationships, your health and overall happiness. In this talk you’ll learn how to live within your means on a daily basis without hardcore budgeting, understand how to strategically pay down debt, save for emergencies and strategically build your long-term wealth.

Financial security is one of the most common goals reported by employees across all sectors. However, many businesses do not include financial wellness in their health offerings.  Despite being in a global pandemic, Canadians are still citing finances as their largest source of stress.

The 2021 FP Canada Financial Stress Index survey revealed that financial stress has not only caused more than half (51%) of respondents to lose sleep, but one-in-three (31%) say it has also led to health issues.

Financial Wellness For Everyday Life helps to alleviate this stress and it resonates with all kind of demographics. Those who break even each month, those with debt and those who want to build wealth

Women and Leadership

A Woman’s Net Worth: Women and Money, the confidence issue.


Real talk: Studies show that despite increased confidence and power in their careers, women feel less confident about their finances than men. A lack of financial confidence sets many things into motion. Self-doubt around their financial knowledge and deferring ownership. This is a problem.  Women live longer, make less and typically take more breaks from the workforce. By 2026, Canadian women will control close to half of all accumulated financial wealth in the country and yet 56% of Canadian women do not have a financial plan.


Shannon Lee Simmons has worked on the front-lines of financial planning long enough to know low financial confidence, self-doubt, guilt and worry are all ways that set us up for financial worry. We need to change that.


This is a vital topic for women. This intelligent, hilarious and insightful keynote will resonant deeply with women of across all generations and incomes.


As women become more comfortable in this area, they will gain a greater feeling of control around financial matters. This knowledge and confidence will play a major role for future successes in their lives foster financial growth, security, and stability.

Business and Economics

Putting the personal back in personal finance. The survival of financial advisors depends on powerful conversations.


The “bequest boom” is already happening – Canadian parents will transfer $750 billion to millenials children over the next 10 years.


Between robo, crypto and distraction -oh my! How can those in the financial industry stay relevant and service this new generation of clients.


Financial advisors are no longer providing value by managing assets. 80% of the time passive investments beat active management. Studies show that millennials don’t trust major financial institutions. So if advisors don’t provide value managing money, where are our opportunities? The answer is relationships. It’s about the people and it always should have been. We need to put the personal back in personal finance. Too long the finance pet has taken over. We need to approach client relationships with empathy, vulnerability and powerful conversations. The survival of our industry depends on it.

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