Published May 2006

Personal beliefs, goals
often define money’s

What’s important about MONEY to YOU?

In his book “Values-Based Financial Planning: The Art of Creating an Inspiring Financial Strategy,” author Bill Bacharach poses this question to investors and advisers alike.

In using this tool in my practice for several years now, I’ve discovered that most people want what money can do for them, not necessarily dollars for their own sake.

During these conversations, clients’ initial answers focus on security, quickly morphing into flexibility and then to the ability to make decisions for themselves and their families.

Welcome to Terwedo

Dale Terwedo, founder and principal of Terwedo Financial Services LLC in Edmonds, is the newest columnist for the Snohomish County Business Journal. Along with seasoned financial investment insight, he will offer fresh ways of looking at how and why we spend money, save money and invest money. It will be a different style of financial column, he promises, one that will discuss lifetime and retirement financial planning goals, not simply where to put your money.

Terwedo’s writing will take the place of the financial planning column provided for the past five years by Eric Cumley, an Edward Jones investment representative with offices in Everett. The business journal staff is grateful to Eric for his more than 70 fine columns and his longtime commitment to our readers.

— John Wolcott, SCBJ Editor

Often, it is only after extensive probing that we get to the core of why money is important. Many couples have never discussed this amongst themselves, yet their desire is to enhance the lives of their families and the communities around them. Ultimately, I believe we all want to make a difference at some level.

An amazing thing happens when people truly answer the question “What is important about money to me?” This happens because the question “What is important about money to you?” is not about money at all. It’s about your beliefs, goals and aspirations.

A big question is “How do I implement strategies to manage the fundamentals of my financial life so I can spend my energies on those things more important than money?”

Think about it, at the most basic level. If it is a struggle to pay the rent, how can you think about changing the world?

Welcome to this first installment of a different type of financial column. As a financial adviser with over 23 years of experience, I’ve seen many experts talk about the next best stock or sector that will, if you only invested in it, set you up for life. It is my experience that success in financial matters is more about discipline, focus and using what works, even if it is boring.

The payoff is that when these exist, energies can be spent on those areas more important than money — such as family, relationships, community, faith and other lifelong goals — without sacrificing the fundamentals.

What I bring to this space is a comprehensive view of those things that work. Remember, there are many “right” roads. No one has all the best ideas. I believe that your best interests are served by hearing the wisdom of a team of advisers who specialize in specific areas. The more complicated your situation, the truer this becomes.

Therefore, I will involve various experts on many topics in future articles, including an attorney, CPA, mortgage principal, business psychologist and several professionals in finance, economics and behavioral finance, among others.

I have several ideas for topics in future columns, many of which I’m not seeing in the normal articles and press, which should offer you new resources and other points of view.

I’ve challenged myself and I hope to challenge you to think of this financial column in a much different light. You will not hear about the latest hot stock or fad to follow, just tried-and-true concepts that can be successfully put into practice every day.

I challenge all of us to manage the fundamentals of our finances well so that we can all follow our passions for those things more important than money. But how to get there? Stay tuned. ...

Dale Terwedo, certified as a CFP, ChFC and CLU, is principal of Terwedo Financial Services LLC, an independent financial services firm in Edmonds. In practice since 1983, Terwedo is affiliated with FSC Securities Corp., Atlanta, Ga., a member of SIPC/NASD. For more information, call 425-776-0446 or visit

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© 2006 The Daily Herald Co., Everett, WA