Our Team

Red Willow Team

Craig Strain

Craig Strain, CFP®, CLU®, CHS®

Certified Financial Planner®, Red Willow Wealth Management

Craig started his career in the financial services industry in 2007 and is recognized as a Certified Financial Planner®(CFP®) and Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®).

As a CFP®, Craig adheres to the highest ethical standards which are focused on establishing a client centric financial practice. Through consistency and professionalism, Craig is able to establish a foundation of trust, integrity, and mutual respect with his clients so that he can best assist individuals, business owners, and households achieve their financial goals.

Craig was the recipient of the 2017 CLU® Dunstall Award in Alberta and completed his Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS®) designation in 2018. His dedication to professional development reflects his commitment to better assist his clients in the areas of income replacement, risk management, retirement planning, estate planning, and wealth transfer.

Craig has a genuine passion for helping others and contributing to his community. He is the Executive Director of the annual Real Talk 3v3 Charitable Pond Hockey Tournament in St. Albert. Since its inception, this tournament has raised over $250,000 in support of local charitable groups. Craig is also serving as the VP and Committee Chair for the St. Albert Raiders Hockey Program while coaching U7 and U9 hockey in his community.

Craig is a graduate of the University of Calgary where he attained a Bachelor of Education as well as a Bachelor of Kinesiology. While attending U of C, he was a member of the University of Calgary Men's Hockey Program from 2000 – 2005.


Steve Emerson

Steve Emerson, CFP®, CHS®

Certified Financial Planner®, Red Willow Wealth Management

Steve has over 16 years of experience in the financial services industry and is recognized as a Certified Financial Planning Professional (CFP®) and a Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS®).

As a CFP®, Steve focuses on assisting individuals, families and business owners create a customized financial plan to build and protect their wealth. CFP® professionals have the knowledge, skills, experience and ethics to examine their clients' entire financial picture at the highest level.

Steve is a dedicated husband and family man. He is a proud father of three. As a long-time resident of St. Albert, Steve is excited to assist families and businesses in his community. He works closely with his clients to find the best solutions to help them reach their financial goals.


How we work with our clients

Financial Planning Step 1


Understand Your Situation

The financial planning process by asking questions to get a clear picture of who a client is and what they want. The questions are qualitative and lead to a better understanding of the client's health, family relationships, values, earnings potential, risk tolerance, goals, needs, priorities, and current financial plan.

Financial Planning Step 2


Identify and Select Goals

Your advisor will use their financial expertise to help you set goals. They'll ask clarifying questions to help you identify those goals. Example questions would be: What is your time horizon? Which goals do you want to accomplish in five years, 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years? What is your risk tolerance? Are you willing to accept a higher risk to achieve your investment goals, or would you prefer a conservative portfolio?

Financial Planning Step 3


Analyze Current Action Plan

Next, we analyze a client's current action plan to see if things are moving in the right direction. If not, we will identify possible "course corrections" and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Financial Planning Step 4


Develop Recommendations

We select one or more recommendations that we believe will help you meet your goals. We evaluate each recommendation based on this criteria:

  • Assumptions made to develop recommendations
  • How recommendations meet client's goals
  • Integration with other aspects of a client's financial plan
  • The priority of the recommendation
  • Whether a recommendation can be implemented independently or needs to be implemented with other recommendations
Financial Planning Step 5


Implement the Recommendations

Implementing the recommendations means we are putting the plan to work for you. While this sound simple, for many people implementation is the most difficult step in achieving their financial goals. Even though the plan has been prepared, it usually takes desire and discipline to put everything into action. Some people worry about what happens if they fail. Sometimes inaction can grow into procrastination.

Financial Planning Step 6


Monitor Progress and Revise Plans

The process is called "financial planning" for a reason. Plans often evolve and change over time - just like life. Once a financial plan is created, it becomes a part of your personal history. Every financial plan needs to be monitored and tweaked from time to time to reflect present realities. Over time various life situations can change: marriage, children, career changes, and more.