Storytelling is the heartbeat of human connection.
It allows us to convey messages and emotions in creative, memorable, and lasting ways. We love a good story around here, and there’s nothing quite like one this time of year.
As days wane into longer twilights and a chill coats the air, cozying up with a warm story is a favorite pastime.
Today, we’d like to tell you a special story, one close to our hearts: ours. This is the story of TFS: our founding, mission, values, and the incredible team who give the business life and meaning.
We hope that in learning a little more about us, you’ll see just how dearly we care for the incredible people we have the privilege to serve.
In The Beginning…
So, how did TFS Advisors get its start?
For the answer, it’s probably best we start at the beginning with our precocious protagonist (our founder), Dale Terwedo.
As a young man, Dale displayed creativity, resilience, and strength, carving a path for himself as young as 15. Throughout his schooling and career, Dale found a proclivity for math, numbers, and, as our clients well know, people.
After working several jobs (a stint in the military, selling dictation equipment, etc.), he became president of a church board and was in charge of a million-dollar budget (at only 23, mind you). His success in this role caught the pastor’s attention, who suggested Dale consider a career in the insurance business.
While Dale found success in insurance, he never stopped learning and taught himself the core principles of investment management and was trained in financial planning. He self-studied the Chartered Life Underwriter and the Chartered Financial Consultant programs as well we the securities exams. He passed his first Registration Exam in 1984.
The more knowledge he gained, the clearer it became that he couldn’t serve people the way he wanted as an agent.
Soon after, he took a leap of faith and opened Terwedo Financial Services, which after several years and service additions, morphed into the RIA firm, TFS Advisors.
The Mission That Guides Us
TFS Advisors isn’t your typical financial planning firm. We aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it, talk-once-a-year, check-the-box business.
Instead, our guiding principles center on forging lasting and meaningful relationships with our clients because that’s how we can serve you best. We love diving into questions like
- What energizes you in life?
- What’s most important to you? (people, places, activities, causes, organizations, etc.)
- Where are you finding the most fulfillment in your life? How about the least?
- Do you know your core values? How are you living those values right now? Is your money intimately connected with those values?
- How do you view your money? What are your emotions concerning money today?
- What are your most important financial goals, both short-term and long-term? What roadblocks stand in your way? What actions help put you on the right path?
- What is your “why” from a financial, personal, and professional perspective? What gets you up in the morning, motivating you for another day?
Questions like these open a window into what matters most to you, and when we can identify those things, we can help you craft a tailored financial plan that empowers you to create a life you love.
Money is deeply personal, and you deserve a firm that understands money’s technical and emotional side—we’ve always believed you need both to flourish. When you couple financial and emotional readiness, you set yourself up to live your life in a value-centric way.
As we always say at TFS Advisors, we are serious about your money and excited about your life!
Our team has unparalleled technical expertise in retirement coaching and comprehensive planning, so we can help you bring context to your money and do so in a purposeful way for you and your family.
Read more about what it’s like to be our client here.
The TFS Engine: Our Team
At TFS Advisors, we’re honored to have a team of inspired, curious, knowledgeable, and compassionate professionals. Each person brings a unique perspective and helps us bring you unmatched service and client experience.
Here’s a little more about everyone on our (and your) financial team.
Keep in mind that TFS Advisors has dozens of people that work remotely to help our clients reach their potential, so the following is just the tip of the iceberg. These three people you are about to meet are the ones responsible for getting things done for you. So let’s dive in!
Dale Terwedo, Founder And CEO
Over nearly four decades, Dale has enjoyed watching his small firm grow into a family of professionals and clients.
His goal was to make TFS a significant place where people were empowered to improve their lives, whether through small things like negotiating utility bills and house hunting and big things like retiring the way you want or navigating tough transitions like losing a spouse.
Money can be a source of confusion and frustration for many people, and he helps clients tell a different story: to make clear, confident financial decisions in ways that honor their values and goals. He has always believed that what sets us apart is our superpower: caring relationships.
Diligence, determination, fortitude, and passion have marked his career path and are traits he tries to embody daily.
In 2003, Dale decided to put his pilot’s license to good use by flying for AngelFlight West – a nonprofit organization of volunteer pilots who, at their own expense, provide transportation to people who are financially distressed or have a time-critical medical condition.
He has found his work as an AngelFlight pilot to be similar to his work as a financial advisor. At AngelFlight, his attention to precision and logic help him get people where they need to go when they’re on a critical timeline. As an advisor, those qualities allow him to help clients make smart financial decisions so they can pursue what is most important to them.
Dale married Tara in 1981, and they have two sons: Ryan and Aaron. The Terwedo family’s interests include camping, volunteering, church activities, and super oval racing, among other things.
Dale’s professional qualifications include
- Certified Financial Planner®
- Chartered Financial Consultant®
- Behavioral Financial Advisor™
- Certified Life Underwriter®
- Certified Retirement Coach
- Securities registrations—6, 7, 22, 24, 63, 65
- 2008 Small Business Executive of the Year – South Snohomish County Chamber of Commerce
- 2008 Edmonds Citizen of the Year
- 2004 Wings of an Angel Award
Aaron Terwedo, Vice President of Financial Planning
As our VP of Financial Planning, Aaron Terwedo leads the charge for building comprehensive financial plans for our clients. His story is a unique one, full of twists and turns that form a tapestry of strength, fortitude, vision, and passion.
Aaron entered the US Army at 19 and served for eight years, including four deployments overseas during the Global War on Terrorism. After his time in the Army, he worked at a VA counseling center in Mesa, Arizona, during which he also earned an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Mesa Community College. He is now a Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™. He also holds the National Social Security Advisor NSSA® certification, which enables him to give top-tier Social Security advice and guidance to our clients.
Aaron’s view of financial planning is that it’s all about helping people find and forge strong connections between their life and their money. He views financial planning as transformative and enjoys experiencing the value a plan and concrete action can have on a person’s life.
He finds so much fulfillment in witnessing the joy on a client’s face when they realize they can retire tomorrow, the sigh of relief knowing that they will be okay during a difficult life transition, and the freedom that financial confidence brings to their lives.
Financial planning is all about improving people’s quality of life, which he believes extends to his family as well. Aaron and his wife have three kids with special needs, so his outlook on his family’s financial future is different, as he wants to support himself, his wife, and their three children.
Navigating the world with the special needs community gives Aaron and his family a different perspective on financial clarity and freedom. He hopes to serve more special needs families in the future.
To pursue this goal, he’s working for his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation and will then add on a special needs designation. He is actually in the last class and will complete the designation by the end of 2022!
Special needs families are a vibrant and diverse community, and he’d love the opportunity to share the joy and freedom that strong financial planning brought to his family with others.
You can learn more about Aaron and his story here.
Dessie Spasov, Financial Paraplanner
Dessie has twenty-two years of experience in various aspects of the financial services industry, which allows her to develop strategies to help solve client problems quickly and thoroughly. She has a lot of respect for the idea of independence and loves helping clients work toward their own financial independence.
Dessie isn’t afraid of hard work; in fact, she thrives in it. Growing up on a farm in a rural town in Bulgaria, her first job was selling eggs at the local farmers’ market. And it taught her discipline and the value of money at a young age.
In high school, she worked as a teller at Bank of America, which initially piqued her interest in the financial services industry. While pursuing a BA in International Studies at the University of Washington, she worked as a receptionist for a firm that offered life insurance and some investments.
Enjoying the work, she took another position assisting a financial advisor, helped build the practice, and is pursuing her licenses in the process to lay the foundation for becoming an advisor herself.
Dessie is the operational glue at TFS!
Dessie incorporates her extensive administrative knowledge into providing operational and service support and acting as client liaison for ongoing relationships and client service matters. She holds FINRA Series 7 & 66 securities registrations and an insurance license with the state of Washington and is now a Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and watching every Hallmark movie and soccer (football) match available.
A Story With One, Powerful Ending: You.
We believe that TFS is a unique and special place, and we can do what we love every day because of the incredible people we serve.
Our clients play a pivotal role in our business, inspiring us to continue innovating and delivering beyond the expected high-quality financial planning services.
We work with many people in Washington state and across the country to create comprehensive financial plans to help them reach their goals. But what does comprehensive financial planning actually look like?
Here’s an overview:
- Goal development, planning, and execution
- Custom investment analysis and ongoing Wealth Management
- Proactive tax planning and strategy
- Detailed risk assessment
- Cash flow analysis
- Income planning
- Retirement planning
- Retirement coaching [as needed]
- Non-financial transition coaching [as needed]
- Education planning
- Legacy planning
Yes, that’s a pretty long list, but in reality, it just scratches the surface of the rich story of your financial life. We’re excited to help you bring your story to life and make it one you love to tell.
Now that you know more about our story, we want to hear yours! Set up some time to speak with our team. We’re delighted to help you on your journey to financial success.