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Everyone has had a different path to today, and will have a unique path for tomorrow.

Your path should support you, your goals, and your values.



Financial planning is a collaborative and continuous process. 

Planning is hard and progress is not always a straight line. Often times, there are no solutions, only tradeoffs. 

There’s no right path. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. 

Now, let’s learn about you.


Pathlight is not affiliated with a bank, insurance company, brokerage firm, or other financial institution. As an independent firm, Pathlight is free to operate in a manner that best serves its clients.


Owned and operated by Jonas Merrill, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Pathlight is grounded in the education and ethics that support navigating both the planning process and the complexities of the modern financial landscape.


Pathlight provides transparent, unbiased advice. As a fiduciary, Pathlight puts your interests first.


Pathlight’s sole compensation comes from its clients. Pathlight does not accept commissions, referral fees, or compensation of any kind based on the sale of financial products.


Pathlight provides personalized planning geared toward the needs and preferences of its clients. One point of contact. No handoffs.


I am the founder and sole-practitioner at Pathlight Financial Planning. I established Pathlight Financial Planning, an independent, fiduciary, fee-only firm, in 2023 to empower individuals, couples and young families to live for today and shape the path for tomorrow.

Personal Background

I was born, raised, and educated in Baltimore, MD, which is near and dear to my heart to this day. After attending a small, liberal arts school in Virginia, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Towson University and earned a Graduate Certificate in Business and Management from Johns Hopkins University. I worked as a bartender to pay my way through school. Though it took me a couple additional semesters to graduate, I learned that I felt more fulfilled when I was both working and going to school. When I turned 25, I decided it was time for a change. I loved Baltimore, but I wanted to explore. After a trip to the west coast to visit friends and family, I packed up my VW Golf and moved out to Portland, OR. Though I didn’t have a job or place to live lined up, I trusted the process. While I was born, raised, and educated in Baltimore, Portland is where I grew up. I’m truly grateful to both cities, as they’ve shaped who I am today.


Other than a short stint with a mutual fund company in Baltimore shortly after graduating from college, I began my financial services career with a large retirement plan record-keeper in Portland in 2009. I held various roles, from investment advisor representative, financial analyst, to operations leadership, building my business acumen along the way. After a decade in the corporate world and just as my wife Beth and I welcomed our second child, I decided that it was time for a new challenge. Though the future wasn’t quite clear, I knew I wanted to be more present at home and use my knowledge and experience to be a resource for my friends, family, and community. In the fall of 2019, after settling in as a family of four, I started my journey in financial planning by beginning my CFP coursework. I officially obtained CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification after passing the CFP Board exam in November of 2022. After a few years working as an associated financial planner with a couple local wealth management firms, I ultimately decided that it was time to forge my own path, and established Pathlight Financial Planning in 2023.

Personal Life

When I’m not helping folks navigate the complexities of the modern financial landscape, you can find me working in the garden or chasing around our 2 kids.

Things that bring me joy include sharing a beverage and/or meal with family and friends, live music, traveling, friendly dogs, seeing people smile, learning from my kids, going for a run, getting out and about in the kayak, delicious sandwiches, seafood (all kinds and varieties), and trying to keep up with my wife at the mountain.

My Affiliations