How And When To Find A Financial Advisor

This week, Maggie sat down with financial advisor Deri Freeman to talk about when a financial advisor might be right for you, and how to choose one that you trust.

If you’ve ever wondered what you should look for in a financial advisor, or when it even makes sense to hire one, this episode is for you.

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As a Financial Professional with Prudential, Deri can help you with many of the financial questions you have - from evaluating insurance needs to helping you prepare for college costs or meeting your retirement goals. Her promise: to work tirelessly to help you achieve your goals. At Prudential, we are dedicated to building and maintaining close relationships with our customers– relationships founded on trust, respect and integrity. No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, as a Prudential Financial Professional, she can help you find solutions to your financial challenges. So whether you’re ‘Just Starting Out,’ ‘Settling into Retirement,’ or somewhere in between, let’s discuss your current financial situation, goals and challenges – and together she can help you meet your challenges.

To learn more about Maggie and her coaching and speaking services, visit

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The theme music is called Escaping Light by Aaron Sprinkle. The podcast artwork design is by Maggie’s dear husband, Dan Rader.


Maggie Germano 0:05
Welcome to the money circle podcast, a safe space where women can learn about and better understand money so that they can take control of their finances and create a better financial future for themselves and their families. Hey there, and thanks for listening. I’m your host, Maggie Germano. And today I’m chatting with Deri Freeman, who is a friend of mine and a financial planner with Prudential. We talked about when in life you might want to hire a financial planner, and which questions you should be asking so that you choose the right one for you. If you think you’ll want to hire a financial planner someday, whether it’s now or sometime in the future, this episode is for you. Welcome, thank you so much for being here today.

Deri Freeman 0:50
Thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Maggie Germano 0:52
Me too. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and the work that you do.

Deri Freeman 0:59
Okay, my name is Is Derilyn Freeman, I go by Deri for short. So you’re welcome to call me Deri. I’m originally from outside of Philadelphia, but I have been in DC now for Coming up on eight years, which I feel like makes me a veteran here. This is my home now. I love it here. I’ve been a financial planner for coming up on six years. And I’m really excited to talk a little bit more about that with you today.

Maggie Germano 1:28
Great and what brought you to DC originally?

Deri Freeman 1:32
Yeah, so I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and moved here right after college. Like a lot of you know, recent grads do and I worked in nonprofit and I actually studied communications and sociology. So I was looking for that nonprofit space. Had un kind of in the back of my mind for a long term goal, but I have And so I started in a nonprofit space and higher ed loved it was amazing. And I know I’m not sharing anything like that now and we’ll you know, I’ll kind of share how I ended up here. But the other part was that, you know, my sister, she’s seven years older than me. So she actually moved to DC from Philly. That same year that I graduated from college, so I was like, Oh, I could really go anywhere. So it just ended up being here, which was a great fit.

Maggie Germano 2:32
That’s great timing so that you weren’t like completely alone.

Deri Freeman 2:37
exactly. Exactly.

Maggie Germano 2:39
Yeah. And I did the same kind of thing where I graduated, and I moved to DC so that I could work in the nonprofit space and make an impact and then that shifted away. Yeah,

Deri Freeman 2:48
I think that’s so cool. Yeah.

Maggie Germano 2:51
So yeah, tell me how you shifted out of the nonprofit focus to being a financial advisor.

Deri Freeman 3:00
So I had started applying after two years and my first role out of school was applying for other jobs in a similar space still kind of in that nonprofit or communications role. And my something actually very personal happened within my family at that point, which was we my mom went for a doctor’s visit. And we thought that she needed hearing aids because she wasn’t like hearing or sometimes she’d say things that were like, Oh, she definitely didn’t hear what we were saying cuz it was like left field. And it turned out that she didn’t need hearing aids but she also had signs of early dementia and was diagnosed with something at that point. And she’s 56 she’s very, very young at the time, and so I kind of, again, I said, I have my older sister, that’s really difficult to one handle as a family. And to like, blame to people because my mom was very social, she still is a little bit different, but like her true self is very social. She was a nurse for 30 years. So very involved in the community, in the church and that sort of thing. And my older sister, I felt like kind of took on the role of like, explaining to our family and friends like, this is what we’re going through. And this is what’s happening to Diane. And looking back, I just remember being like, well, I want to help, like, what can I do? You know, a little recent college grad. And my dad I remember he gave me like this sheet. I don’t there’s not one here, but like a huge stack of paperwork, and was like, well, you can start making calls, you know, because we got to figure out the financial situation and he was still working at the time and I was like, Alright, I can do that. So I started just googling And they had an advisor at that time who I didn’t personally know, but I made an appointment with him. And I was already applying for jobs. So I just switched. I just like switched to my job applications and started applying for jobs which I had no experience in. And that’s how I started. I was like, Okay, I’m gonna do this for six months get like a basic financial literacy type of immersive experience. And I’ll feel good about that. Because right now, it just feels like we are taking, you know, this person or other people’s word for that this is the right thing and it’s very scary. So that’s what sparked the interest and I know what enough now to help my family but it’s just turned into a passion. I love working now with families that include executive levels. Women and entrepreneurs, that’s always been a passion. Since, you know, undergrad, I was very involved with that type of engagement too. And it’s a way to continue to do that and kind of blend the two passions that I have together.

Maggie Germano 6:16
Yeah, I love that. And that’s something that’s how I found this kind of work to where it was like, I’m just I’m very passionate about women’s empowerment and helping women improve their own lives. And I also very interested in the personal finance side of things so Mirjana, and it sounds like you and I swear I hear this from like every person who’s made kind of a pivot in their career where it was kind of out of sparse, like circumstance, where it was like, not on their radar to be making that shift. But then something happened in their lives where then they ended up finding what they ended up doing. And it sounds like that’s what you did as well.

Deri Freeman 6:54
Yeah, it’s, it’s strange to think it’s been, I mean, it goes so quickly, right? It’s been almost six years. since that happened, but I just remember thinking like, I’ll just do this for a couple months. And I was actually like still a little bit in the beginning, like when I was applying to like National Geographic and like these other things that I just thought I would be pursuing. And I was very fortunate to have a mentor that I met right away. His name’s David DeLuca. And he’s actually my business partner now, which is pretty cool. But he kind of took me under his wing and showed me this is you know, how you can succeed. And also like, it was really important to me, obviously, like to make sure that the people were coming first, just because of my experience. I didn’t feel like I necessarily got that experience from our advisor. And he was really big part, I would say, like, why I’m still here, because it’s tough. You know, you know, like starting your own business or going into a field you’re not familiar with. finding people that on the days that you’re like, I’m out But they’re like, Okay, see you tomorrow. Like you’re coming back, you know?

Maggie Germano 8:05
Oh, definitely. Yeah, no, that’s great that you were able to find that so quickly and maintain that relationship. And then, you know, blossom into a partnership to that that must have really helped. Yeah, absolutely. And so like you said, You’ve been doing this for almost six years. So obviously, it’s stuck. And it’s been really important to you. So why do you think that this work is so important? You did start kind of referencing how important it is to be putting the people first and really making sure that that’s a focus. But yeah, tell tell me more about like, why you think the work that you’re doing is so important.

Deri Freeman 8:42
Yeah, for me, it always comes back to family. And freedom really is if I could narrow it down to just two words. And I was thinking, you know, just beyond the experience with my mom going out of work early, but I just grew up in a very close family. And we kind of have this strange hashtag that we all use now that we’re all like, old now to you know, our parents are aging, but we have this like alliteration called faf, f-a-f, and it stands for like, our aunts and uncles. He also always used to be like, oh, family always first, you know, like, make sure you’re there for your family and be like, Oh my god, okay, you know. And then like, as we all started getting older, we started like visiting each other at college. And now we’re all like, most of us are grown and married. And we’re also in touch and close and we visit each other. And we, you know, we’ve shortened it too fast. Like, we’ll text our parents be like, oh, we’re faffing like we’re still you know, close. So for me like that is a really important part just and then you know, spouses and children and grandchildren come into the picture. Just making sure that your values which for a lot of people Family is first for them, that your finances are set up in a way that reflects that. Because what I see is that most people are stressed, because of that disconnect. There’s something they really care about. A lot of it’s family. And there’s habits or there’s some kind of, you know, structure in place that isn’t showing that. And so being able to put that in alignment really is a relief for people. And then for women to speak to that point, that’s like the freedom just the freedom to do what it is you want to do. Truly, so, you know, sometimes I’ll ask people in, like, initial consultations, like Oh, just paint me a picture of like an ideal, you know, situation for you and ideal life. And women, mostly women will be like, Well, you know, I think I could probably buy a house in a couple years or like, maybe I’ll start business and when I once I you know, save enough and I’d playfully you know be like I don’t care. I don’t care what you think you can do that when I asked like, I want you to paint me what would be ideal and it’s like this light bulb goes off sometimes people never even thought about it or no one ever asked them. And like that, for me is very exciting and particularly for women, I think is why it’s so important to take the time because honestly like we don’t know what we’re capable and again for me like I even had a mentor and I wouldn’t be here like you need to find a team of people who believe in you and one of those team members. You know, I think should be a fine financial planner, or advisor.

Maggie Germano 11:53
Yeah, I love that and that all really resonates with me the you know, tapping into that ideal life and being able to identify like, the things that you really, truly want to do, because I totally agree that it especially women, we have a hard time kind of identifying that because we almost feel like we don’t have permission.

Deri Freeman 12:15
yeah. And I’m guilty myself too, you know, like we all are. It’s just this, like, what’s it called? It’s that auto drive, you know, like, You’re not even thinking you’re just kind of putting it in, into gear and going and until someone’s like, stop. Like, that’s not what we’re talking about here. Like, what would you actually want and like, let us see, like, let’s just experiment and I’ve had several clients Now, over the years that we’ve run with that and they’ve left their, you know, jobs that they were unhappy with. found a new one, some several of them have started their businesses or, or whatever, whatever it was that they just said out loud, as I mentioned, You know, they’re like, wow, I can do rewarding and just cool to be a part of a small part of that.

Maggie Germano 13:08
That’s great. And and I feel like that’s not always something that people might associate with a financial planner or financial advisor of like, getting them to think bigger. You know, I think some Yeah, it’s kind of this like faceless managing the investments and that that’s all that it takes. So can you expand on that a little bit more like how you’re typically working with clients and what financial advisors actually do for people?

Deri Freeman 13:36
Yeah, that’s a great question. And it does differ. I mean, it depends on where you’re going and what exactly you’re looking for. But most financial planners, they’re serving what’s called they’re serving as a fiduciary for you, so we’re actually legally required. What that means is we’re legally required to serve our clients best interests, not any Company not any insurance provider or mutual fund or stock or whatever the case is like you’re hiring them to put together strategies and the entire comprehensive plan, not based on products that is going to get you from point A to point B, and beyond. And so that’s why those types of questions are so important. Like, what would be ideal because financial planners actually can’t do their job and can’t hold themselves to that highest level of service without really knowing what it is that you want, right? How can they best serve you if you if you haven’t told them? or discuss with them? So I would say that is a part of it. It’s a deep relationship. I mean, I get calls sometimes I’ve gotten calls, Hey, I got the promotion, you know, so glad because sometimes that’s part of the plan is like you need to ask for promotion. You know, or I get a call and I think I’m going to get ready to, you know, ask my significant other to marry me, like, you know, things like that. It’s like, Oh my gosh, we’re so interweaved with their personal decisions and values, and the money is just a tool that supports that.

Maggie Germano 15:21
Absolutely. And I like to think about it that way to where, you know, it’s not all about money, like money does not define who you are and what you value. But it is, like you said, a tool to be able to do the things that you want to do and live the ideal life that you’re hoping to live. So viewing it that way as a tool that can help create that life you’re looking for.

Deri Freeman 15:45

Maggie Germano 15:47
So when do you think is a good time to start looking for a financial advisor? This is a question that I get from a lot of clients. And I think it’s something people struggle with where they Feel like if they don’t have tons and tons of money that they shouldn’t or can’t work with a financial advisor. So when do you think is the time for people to work with someone like you?

Deri Freeman 16:13
Yeah, I would say, you know, again, it kind of depends on the person’s practice. So like for me, you know, I’m building a practice that I want to have my people my clients like, with me for basically their entire life. So even if someone’s very early on in their career, and maybe they’re still, you know, figuring out ways to pay down some debt or figure out their budget or cash flow if I sit down with them, and I see the potential for them to be someone I would enjoy working with, because we spend a lot of time together. And I like to enjoy my work. So I’m seeing that there’s some kind of connection there. And then to The potential for me that excites me to like okay, yeah, they’ve got some disorganization or there’s not a ton of structure in place to like pay down the debt or to buy the home or to retire. But you can, I can tell from the first meeting the potential, and so I would say don’t roll yourself out. advisors and financial planners, they’re in a business too, and they’re looking to build relationships and really grow. The bottom line is you want to grow your net worth, we want you to achieve all of your financial goals, and everyone starts somewhere. Some of our best clients here, you know, started very young with with very little and they’re never gonna leave their planners, you know, so that could be you. That could be anyone who kind of feels like, Oh, well, I don’t hit the minimums. There are some people that have minimums, but there are a lot of other advisors or planners that are willing to invest The time in you upfront and grow with you.

Maggie Germano 18:04
That’s good to hear. Because I definitely think that there, there is a different idea out there that most most advisors are going to have those kinds of minimums and not work with you unless you kind of hit that. And, and that’s fine. If that’s like you said they’re their business model, but that there are plenty of other people out there who want to take you on for that lifelong. Yeah, that you’d be doing together and you can start small and grow from there. Exactly. Yeah. So it sounds like basically at any time if you feel like you need more support with your long term planning and your financial goals that reaching out to a financial advisor is a good idea.

Deri Freeman 18:45
Yeah, I would say so. I mean, anytime that there’s like a change or potential change, or financial decisions, that’s a really good time to because the advisor planner should recognize that and be able to see that there’s there’s really value that they can provide there. So like, you know, if you’re looking to buy a home or you’re looking to start a new job or start a business or grow your business or hire employees, or hire 1099, or sell your house and retire any of those, like huge changes that are honestly like they’re going to have an impact they’re going to or have or children adoption. Another one I see a lot right now is parents moving in with their children. All of those can be very exciting, but also stressful. And again, that stress is coming from like, What do I do? Like what are my options? What are the pros and cons of those options? And those are all areas that financial planners can help us.

Maggie Germano 19:50
That’s so good to hear. And I was just posting on Instagram the other day about how you don’t have to suffer through things. by yourself, if you don’t know, like how to do something or you feel like you’re getting lost in the information on the internet, and you really need someone to help you, there’s nothing wrong with getting the support. I liked what you said earlier about how you need a team of people to help you achieve your goals and that this is part of that.

Deri Freeman 20:21
Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

Maggie Germano 20:24
That’s great. And so, say someone decides, Okay, I’m ready, I’m gonna go find myself a financial advisor, where do you recommend that they start in that search?

Deri Freeman 20:37
That first place I would start is with your friends, friends that may be in a similar situation like colleagues that you are in because if any of them are working with someone, they’re probably not that far off from where your head’s at, in terms of financial goals and that sort of thing. And if they’re working with someone They’re gonna tell you, if you ask, and they’ll tell you, if they’re not working with them unless they like them. Because honestly, if you are, you should fire them. Because there’s so many of us, I promise you, you can find someone that you love working with just because of the abundant amount of us that there are. So let’s start with your friends and ask them like, are you working with anyone? Do you like them? Like what kind of conversations are you having with them? And would you mind you know, can you introduce me? I will tell you, I don’t want to say all but 99.9% of advisors or plan or financial planners will have a complimentary consultation either over the phone or Skype or in person. And that would be the opportunity for you to ask those sorts of questions like if we work together, would you be helping in these areas? After kind of asking friends and family if no one is honestly LinkedIn? LinkedIn is another really good place. You can look as you can find people that are local, like to you because I do have some clients that I’ve actually never met in person, I just have Skype meetings with them, but they were referred to me, most of my clients, I want to meet them in person, if not at the first meeting, if we’re unable to then definitely the second meeting. And so if you find someone who’s local to you, that it just saves you time. And it will make for a more positive experience if you’re not like, you know, having to drive 30 minutes to see them. That so those are the first two places I would start Yeah, and there’s also there’s this cool new like company now to that. It’s called Smart asset. That it’s you can actually it’s kind of just a search engine for different advisors. inside scoop like they share your information with like three local advisors, and then those advisors or financial planners will like essentially compete to win you as a client. So if you want, like, the power, I don’t know if I’m, like, allowed to say this, but that’s how the program works. And that’s been our company, our office here has been successful with getting new clients that way too. Because a lot of advisors will just say, like, you know, I really just manage assets, like I really will just, you give me a lump of money, and I’m gonna pick the stocks and bonds or mutual funds and that’s kind of it. Whereas, you know, other planners will say, we’re going to take a look at everything, we’re gonna go through your cash flow, your debt, your insurance, your employee benefit Handbook, all that. So that would be the time kind of those initial interviews to find the right fit.

Maggie Germano 23:48
Great. And you mentioned something about finding someone local, are there like rules or regulations around needing to live in like the same state as someone That you’re working with how does that kind of work?

Deri Freeman 24:02
No, it’s on that it’ll be on the advisor. So depending on what type of business, you end up, you know, doing with the advisor will determine what type of state licenses they need to get. But usually it’s not very difficult for the advisor to jump through and they’ll just say, yeah, let’s, let’s go ahead if I need if you’re moving to like, I don’t know, Indiana, I’ll just get my license there and we can continue to work together. So it’s not something that the clients have to think or concern themselves with.

Maggie Germano 24:36
Okay, that’s really good to know. And what is kind of the typical cost structure when it comes to working with a financial advisor? I’m sure it kind of varies, but like, depending on how much support you want from someone what Yeah, what can people kind of expect to be investing in that?

Deri Freeman 24:54
Yeah, I wish like we talked about this more because I feel like sometimes people are like, scared to ask

Or it’s just like this. It’s funny because it’s like literally money. But we’re like scared to ask about the money part of the money. But really, there’s, there’s really three different ways if you break it down. So the first way is more just like transactional. So I’ll give you an example. Like, if you just wanted to set up like a 529 account, which is a college savings, and you wanted some life insurance, like say your young family have a baby, that’s all you that’s really all you need. For that there’s not going to be a fee, it’s just going to be you know, the insurance products have commission structures built into them. And it doesn’t matter if you get it online, or if you buy it from an advisor, it’s going to cost you the same. So I would say you might as well get a person with it if you’re going to end up paying the same, but that doesn’t cost you a fee. It’s just going to the companies the 529 plan or the insurance company that you use is going to compensate that advisor. So that’s transactional. That’s a great way to get started. The other way is through a financial planning fee. So this will vary, vary greatly based on the advisor or planner that you’re working with what their ideal client is or what their business model looks like, as well as the complexity of your case. So you know, and again, this is where that planner becomes a fiduciary for you, which means they have to represent you in your best interest. So that fee they have to justify and say like it cost this much because of the time and complexity that it’s going to take me to put this together. And that would all be discussed after like a fact finding appointment where you tell the person like, here’s my situation and here’s nothing to achieve, they’ll be able to provide you a quote, I would say, I mean, I’ve seen them get I’ve seen them get pretty low in terms of like an annual amount with some people like a couple hundred dollars and then I’ve seen you know the top end Financial Planners working with very high net worth into you know, 10s of thousands. So there’s a very, very wide gap there. But that is really where you’re paying a one time flat fee similar to an attorney. We’re not as smart as attorneys.

And there won’t be any, like hidden invoices like it’s very transparent. This is the amount no ifs, ands, ifs, ands, or buts. And a lot of companies will actually refund it to you if you’re not 100% satisfied. So that’s a good little, you know, cushion for you to feel confident. And then the last one, the way I would say people are most familiar with is the asset management structure. And that’s kind of like you know, your big wire houses or the companies that you see a lot of commercials for, that they want to manage your assets. And what that means is say you have like an old 401k or you have money that you’ve saved up that’s sitting you know, just in savings. is not really working for you, they want to essentially move that in house and be the one that’s like, selecting the portfolio, reallocating it, that sort of thing. And for that there’s usually a percentage that you would pay of the total amount. So you know, if it’s $10,000 account, and it’s a 1% fee, then you’d be paying 1% of that $10,000 on an annual basis.

Maggie Germano 28:30
That’s super helpful. And I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it kind of or heard it being laid out in that kind of way, where like, these are the three different ways to be working to be paying for these services. And it sounds like potentially you could be doing more than one of those with the same person. Is that right?

Deri Freeman 28:50
Yeah, that’s correct. And at any given point, you’re planning planner will is required to you know, disclose to you. So like if you’re doing a financial planning fee, you’re only paying them to write you a plan. So if you want it, for example, like implement any of those recommendations and say one of those recommendations is setting up a 529 account, then you know, that planner can tell you, I can set that up for you. Here’s what that cost is for the cow. So it’s all disclosed. But you’re correct in saying that you can work with an advisor and more than one of those capacities.

Maggie Germano 29:30
Great. That’s so good to know. And what should people be looking for in an advisor? So you said something about how you like to have a connection with your clients? And yeah, because you want to enjoy working with them, which I definitely relate to, and it makes a lot of sense. But on the flip side, for the client themselves, what should they be looking for in a financial advisor?

Deri Freeman 29:53
Um, yeah, that’s a great question. I would say to start with, just think about like, what you would want to achieve So that’s one of like the first questions like, what are you actually looking to gain in the relationship with the advisor? Because, you know, if it’s, if, for example, some people are already very involved, and they really enjoy managing their own assets and like picking out their own stocks and bonds or mutual funds, then you know, as long as you enjoy doing that, and as long as you’re capable of doing that, then you don’t necessarily have to pay someone for that. So in that case, maybe you want to go for someone who’s fee based because you’re really looking for strategies. And so, you know, being upfront and asking those questions like, Can I work with you in a way that allows me to continue to manage my own assets? Some people say no, because I don’t charge fees. So like, that’s the only that’s my business model. The way I get paid is through managing assets. So it’s not a good fit, but they might introduce you to someone else who is so thinking about it. You know, if you’re like, I really want someone to just help me get organized debt repayment strategy, retirement time timeline, Social Security, Medicare, once you start adding on all these different layers, then you know, you’re probably looking for someone who is going to do a comprehensive plan for you. But think of the end goal, like what do I want out of this?

Maggie Germano 31:24
That makes a lot of sense. And because, yeah, you’re right, like, they’re not gonna be able to help you figure that out. If they don’t actually know what you want to like, they can only go so far in terms of Yeah, with the help but without that kind of clarity around what you want. So you have to Yeah, do that for yourself first in order to Yeah, ask the right questions.

Deri Freeman 31:45
Exactly. Great.

Maggie Germano 31:46
And so, you also mentioned that a lot of financial advisors do offer a complimentary initial conversation consultation. What are some of the questions people should be asking in those meetings? To make sure that is a right fit.

Deri Freeman 32:03
Yeah, one of my favorite questions that people ask is just like, what is your ideal client? Or like, what type of people do you enjoy working with? nor do you work with the most? Because if you ask them that, like, kind of upfront in the beginning, they can’t, you know, it puts them in a position where they don’t know you yet. So they can’t like, just mirror back what you told them. They have to be honest and authentic. And I’ll give you an example. Like, you know, I will usually say I love working with families that include executive level women and entrepreneurs. Do I work with a lot of people that don’t fall into that category? Yeah. But a lot of them come to me. You know, so, and they’re like, Yeah, I just like that. You said that I want to kind of hear your approach. So but, you know, you probably for example, like if you’re getting ready to retire, and the person says, Well, I mostly work with young families. and setting up college savings plans. Well, they’re not really you’re not in their area of expertise. And if there’s someone that’s saying I do everything, and I’m really good at everything. They’re probably not. There’s just so much to learn in this world of finances that, yeah, you can have a general idea across the board, but most people kind of start to zero down. Whether it’s social security planning or small business planning, for self employed individuals, or college planning, whatever, whatever that topic is, or whatever area of life it is that you’re in, you can find someone who like that’s what they love to do, and they know it in and out.

Maggie Germano 33:48
I love that because you’re totally right, not everyone, or pretty much nobody is going to be an expert at everything and good at everything. So finding the people that are more specialized in your current life situation so that you feel like they’re making the right decisions giving the right advice. And I also assume like that you’re feeling special and important to them because your life situation is really what they’re most interested in.

Deri Freeman 34:17

Maggie Germano 34:18
Yeah, yeah. And so related to all of that, are there any red flags people should be looking out for when interviewing potential advisors?

Deri Freeman 34:29
red flags, I would say yeah, one of one of the red flags is just if if at any point you feel like nervous, like really nervous or questions are being asked that are like making you uncomfortable at any point. That’s a red flag. It should be you know, it’s really I consider it like our responsibility to set the tone and make sure that no matter what that the person that we’re speaking to feels comfortable, and if there’s ever a question that you don’t want to answer that maybe crosses a line for whatever reason, you don’t ever have to tell us why you can just say No, I’d really rather not. And if they’re like pushing, any kind of pushing to me is a red flag. So you should never feel uncomfortable or that you have to answer anything or that you have to make a decision ever.

Maggie Germano 35:19
that’s really helpful. And earlier, you use the word fiduciary. And can you expand a little bit more on like, what a fiduciary means? And are most advisors going to be a fiduciary? How can you find out if that’s the case? Can you just tell us a little bit about that?

Deri Freeman 35:40
Yeah, so you can find out by asking them, we have to say the truth. So like, I’ll give you an example. Like I serve my financial planning clients as fiduciaries one day pay fee. That’s when we enter into an agreement, where I’m like, Okay, I’m representing I’m legally responsible to represent you and your business. interest. That doesn’t mean you know, like, if they just want insurance that I’m going to like sell them some crazy policy. But it just means that I’m not held to the same standard as I would be if they were a financial planning client of mine. So again, going back to like, where to find them. That’s why I asked him friends and family first is so important because you may not you know, want or need a fiduciary, but you do want someone you can trust. And the family and friends referrals is gonna hold that person accountable. I can tell you like, I’d take it very seriously if I’m introduced to a family or friend of someone that I’ve already worked with, because I know they placed a lot of trust in me. And that’s what fiduciary means. It just means trust, like you can trust the person that you’re working with. So just ask them, they will be able to tell you and they’ll be able to tell you in what capacity you’re working with, at what point

Maggie Germano 36:58
that’s really helpful. Cool, great. So is there anything else that you think listeners should know both about working with a financial advisor or the work that you do just anything to kind of leave them with?

Deri Freeman 37:12
Yeah, I would just say, you know, the earlier you can start the better, you can, again, find someone, excuse me that is willing to essentially like invest their time in you and help you get started. And it’s a lot harder to for everyone when someone comes in, you know, like, five, even seven years or less to go and they’re like, Okay, I need help. It’s just the the actions that need to be taken at that point are so much they create they require so much more change and so much more effort, than if that person had just started, you know, earlier. So you want to keep all changes like are my goal is just make sure that all changes that you’re making are small and that you’re building momentum on top of them. And the best way to do that is just to start early.

Maggie Germano 38:18
That’s great. So starting early even if you feel like it’s not exactly the time for you.

Deri Freeman 38:24
Yeah, yeah, it’s never I mean, we meet people that are like yeah, I’m retiring next month and I’m not ready to do any of this but you know, like some it might not ever feel like the right time because it’s very exposing right like talking about your money it’s like can be nerve racking might be like a little people sometimes feel like shame or embarrassment, even though I can tell you like, we don’t care, I promise, like we care, but we’re never like, Oh my gosh, you know. So getting over like the emotions behind it, I think is probably the hardest part for everyone and that first meeting whether they’re 20 or 70, but once you do it, it’s like, oh, okay, like, wasn’t that bad? And,yeah, let’s go.

Maggie Germano 39:12
Yeah, it’s never as bad as we think it’s gonna be, especially when it comes to trying to get our money in order. I just feel like, there’s so much fear and shame ahead of time. And then you get to the end of the meeting, you’re like, oh, that wasn’t bad.

Deri Freeman 39:25
Yeah, exactly.

Maggie Germano 39:28
Great. So. So how can folks get in touch with you?

Deri Freeman 39:32
Yeah, so you can find me on LinkedIn. Pretty. I try to stay on that fairly frequently. So you can always connect with me or message me there, or you’re welcome to send me an email. Or you could even call my cell phone numbers really the best way as I’m kind of in and out of the office a lot. So you’re welcome to give me a call or send me an email and just say hey, heard you Can we chat? And that’s not just to work with me like, I’m pretty involved with the community. So if you just kind of want to have a conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Maggie Germano 40:11
Great. And I’ll put all that information in the show notes too so people can get to you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks so much for being here today and help giving all this helpful information. I know that I even work with a financial advisor and I still feel like I learned a lot in this conversation so that it’ll be really helpful for others too.

Deri Freeman 40:31
Yeah, well, thank you so much, Maggie. This was really fun the time just like flew by.

Maggie Germano 40:35
I know.

Thank you so much for listening again this week. Don’t forget to rate review and subscribe in your podcasting app so that more people hear about the money circle podcast and listen. If you’d like to get more connected with money circle or with me, there are lots of ways you can do that. To join the free Facebook group, visit To stay informed of any upcoming events. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter at to sign up to attend the next money circle meetup visit To learn more about my financial coaching services, my speaking and workshop offerings or just to read my blog visit You can also follow me on instagram and twitter @MaggieGermano. Thanks for listening and have a great week.