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Community Highlights: Meet Denise Arand of Five Rings Financial, the Arand Agency

Today we’d like to introduce you to Denise Arand.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’m a true California girl (4th generation) and grew up on the coast a little north of San Diego, in Manhattan Beach, CA. I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Communications and that summer married my husband, who was completing his courses at PGA school to be a Golf Professional. I began to look for that dream career. I bounced around a bit, mostly because we moved ALOT for my husband career (Southern California, all over Colorado and New Mexico back to Colorado then back to California) When we got to New Mexico, I was again in search of a new position, and was offered a chance to work in Retirement Planning and Property and Casualty Insurance. But there were few jobs and I figured I’d give it a go. Growing up I never aspired to be a financial professional (who really does? Most kids don’t say that’s what they want to be when they grow up!) I was artsy, loved to read, and write and frankly didn’t love math and numbers. But when I found out what numbers could do for people – create the retirement of their dreams, send their kids to college or even just give them financial peace of mind – if handled properly, I was hooked. My favorite part of my job was the planning, and eventually I moved to a company that didn’t do the property and casualty part of insurance. I was (and am) passionate about helping people understand what they can do to be more financially successful

A few years later we had moved to North County San Diego and I was building my practice Carlsbad. I realized that a lot of women have had little, if any, education about money. In 2007 I read a statistic from a US Department of Labor report that 90 percent of women will have sole control of their money at some point in their lives, yet 72 percent of them are completely unprepared for this. That frightening statistic began my journey of educating and empowering
women about money.

On top of that, most women have little confidence and little involvement with the money that they have: married women who have given much of their financial control over to their husbands (Really? In this day and age?!), single women who have just put their heads in the sand and let the chips fall where they may, widowed women who have decided they would just spend all of their money to ease their grief.

I was (and am) fortunate to work for an amazing company, Five Rings Financial, where I was encouraged to pursue the idea of creating a women’s social and educational workshop. This event would be designed to educate women about their relationship with money in a relaxed environment and build a community of women who support one another as they strive for more financial success. There would be no sales pitch; it was a purely educational and social event.

I begin formulating a plan as to how this women’s event would work. As I previously mentioned, I had just moved back to California from Colorado, and although I was back in my home state, I was in San Diego, not in the LA beach cities where I’d grown up. I didn’t know anybody except my dog, my brother-in-law, and my husband—all male.
I needed some girlfriends! I had awesome financial information to share! And I love wine! That was the thought process that launched Wine, Women and Wealth. Wine, Women and Wealth began with four new girlfriends in Carlsbad, California, at a tiny wine bar near the beach. We had originally met at a networking group about a month earlier, and we clicked right away! They were all entrepreneurs and wanted to know more about how they could create more financial
success in their lives.

Over time, many of my colleagues at Five Rings Financial began to offer this women’s social and educational event their own areas, and now we have groups in 46 states! I am very proud to have started this movement toward financial education for women. And feel that this is truly my life’s calling. I wrote a book titled (surprisingly – haha) Wine, Women and Wealth to help empower more women, who are not in areas where our events exist.

As it turns out Wine, Women and Wealth is a big part of my/our practice, but it’s not all we do. My husband works with me now that he has retired from golf. Because education is the cornerstone of our business, not only do we host the Wine, Women and Wealth events, we also offer a basic money principals class (Money 101) and have added a course called Money, Mommy and Me that is designed to help parents (not just mommies!) start educating their children about money as early as preschool. We are also often asked by employers and non-profits to provide lunch and learn classes for their teams. I feel that by providing free financial education, we are raising the bar to create financial success for all Americans.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My dad always said anything worth doing will have challenges, and those who can power through those challenges will be the winners, whether it’s athletic endeavors, relationships, education or business. Certainly some of the hurdles I faced were:
1) just getting my practice started in Colorado and then starting over in San Diego/Carlsbad
2) going from corporate position (with my previous two companies) to an entrepreneurial structure with Five Rings Financial,
3) Mastering the technological changes over the years – when I started with Five Rings Financial in 2006, we were very limited to work with in the geographical area we lived in. Now with the advent of video conferencing services like Zoom we have been able to connect more fully with people in all parts of the country, whether colleagues and teammates, or clients. We were blessed to have fully adopted that technology well before 2020 and Covid, so we were able to maintain our business almost without a hitch.

We’ve been impressed with Five Rings Financial, the Arand Agency, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We are an education-based financial services company – that makes me proud. We make sure that our clients know where there money is and what it’s doing, so they can sleep at night. While we do have some quite wealthy clients, our primary focus is on middle class Americans – those who traditionally have not had access to personal financial education and consulting. We are a non-fee based company, so our consultations are always complimentary. We are paid by the companies we contract with. Our goal is always client based – no two people have the same financial goals, and first and foremost, we what to know what those goals are. We do not have a minimum asset base, as many brokerage firms do. I am most proud, brand-wise to be the founder of Wine, Women and Wealth and to have helped thousands of women (as well as their families) become more financially successful.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I feel like San Diego, especially North County is the best part of California. The people are more laid-back, and there’s less hustle and bustle than those other cities north of us. I love the beaches and the ocean (we love to fish and have a 38′ sportfishing boat in Kona Kai Marina). We travel a lot, and the airport is amazing. I would say the thing I like least is the traffic is back after Covid.

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Image Credits:

Nikki Achartz, Stephanie Blue, mockup shots program,

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