We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Erica Gargol. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Erica below.
Erica, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Is there a lesson you learned in school that’s stuck with you and has meaningfully impacted your journey?
I was first introduced to investing many years ago when my grandmother gave each of her 11 grandchildren a high school graduation present in the form of money to invest. We were instructed to invest in a stock we had researched and were personally interested in. My Grandmother and I established a joint account and purchased the stock I chose with the funds gifted. Every year around the holiday season I would converse with my cousins and inquire about the performance of their chosen stock. I was the only one who ever knew the value and growth of my investment or even slightly paid attention to “our stock”. Once college graduation came around my grandmother removed her name from our joint account so that I could do as I wished with proceeds. This was a wonderful learning lesson for me and from then on I knew my future was in finance.
Erica, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER¬™ Professional, I understand that the future brings unique challenges. I focus on helping clients with a full spectrum of investment and planning solutions, ranging from retirement planning to crafting financial plans incorporating tax-efficient strategies. I accomplish this through a comprehensive planning approach based on core beliefs of communication, integrity, honesty, and hard work. I have worked with LPL Financial since 2003 joining the Stratos Wealth Partners team in 2015.
I attended Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!!) where I obtained a B.A in Marketing from Arizona State University before getting my licenses to become a Financial Advisor.
I continue to increase my knowledge of the financial markets while acting in the capacity of a Financial Advisor. Along with the required registrations to invest for my clients, I also hold the prestigious CFP® designation. To use the CFP® certification I had to meet rigorous professional standards and continually adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism, and diligence when dealing with clients.
Additionally, I recently achieved the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® Designation
A CDFA™ is trained to provide financial advice on divorce cases and to educate clients on the financial implications of different divorce settlement proposals. The CDFA™ designation is sponsored by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysis. Certification requires successful completion of exams within the course of study, continuing education in the field, and commitment to uphold the Institute’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.
I’m excited to have attained the CDFA™ designation. The program not only enhanced my understanding of the complex financial issues regarding divorce, but also prepared me to better serve individuals who are either contemplating divorce or building a new life after divorce.
Divorce cases by their very nature are going to be very intricate when it comes to the finances. There are a lot of moving and complicated parts. Even your standard divorce could use a CDFA. Finances make up 3 of the 4 core parts of divorce – child support, alimony, and equitable division. When dealing with the person who may have been a stay-at-home parent, they may not understand what goes into a 401(k), or a pension plan, or what stocks are. I can step in, show them how to streamline, and how best to put those finances together to benefit them as they go forward from the divorce.
When I am not working with clients, I dedicate time to my family. My husband Ryan and I enjoy watching our three children (Blake, Tyler, and Weston) play sports and we participate in their school PTA. I enjoy running, traveling, and fine wine. I organize and runs financial workshops within my church and am very involved in the Junior Achievement Program in the Paradise Valley School District.
Do you have any insights you can share related to maintaining high team morale?
We have worked to create a culture where the team is engaged and driven to see our overall success. We set goals for ourselves personally, professionally, and as a company and strive to achieve them daily. Everyone has individual strengths, and together we work to support and encourage those things that make us unique. We spend time getting to know our clients and celebrate their accomplishments and joyful moments along with them. Most of all, we have fun every day.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
We believe that big opportunities come from doing the small things, and we do the right thing for our clients, all the time. As a result, our clients appreciate us and referrals are a natural result of that mutual admiration. We genuinely enjoy and care about our clients and their families. Word of mouth is a very important tool and people remember how you make them feel. We believe it takes 20 years to build a practice and a reputation, but only 5 minutes can destroy it. We are always cognizant of that.
LPL Tracking #1-05283599. Original article first published on CanvasRebel.