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067: Dawn Santoriello – Manifesting Your Financial Goals

Dawn Santoriello is a CFP, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and the Founder and CEO of DS Financial Strategies, an e-based financial planning firm just outside of Philadelphia. Dawn is focused on empowering women and couples to reach their financial goals with peace of mind. She’s been featured in Forbes, Investment Advisor, and MarketWatch.

Today, Dawn joins the show to discuss the law of attraction and the power of manifestation, having the right mindset when it comes to financial planning and advice for keeping it simple.

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Key Takeaways

00:58 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Dawn Santoriello, who joins the show to talk about her upbringing in foster care, her entrepreneurial origin story, and what led her to the financial industry

09:32 – The Law and Attraction & Manifestation

13:37 – Defining ‘manifestation’

16:06 – Planning, effort and having the right mindset

18:58 – Attracting the right people

23:16 – Five Money Blocks

28:20 – The importance of accountability

30:32 – One thing that we can do to lead to greater personal and financial success and one thing to avoid doing

33:30 – The last thing Dawn changed her mind about and one place Dawn visited that had a profound impact on her

34:31 – Jonathan thanks Dawn for joining the show and lets listeners know where to connect with her

Tweetable Quotes

“My friend who’s trying to get a new job called me the other day and they asked her, ‘What do you want?’ And she replied, ‘Oh no, I’m good. I don’t need anything.’ I told her that she’s not receiving. They’re asking you what you want; you have to tell them. The universe is trying to bring you stuff and you’re saying, ‘No, I’m good’ and then you’re miserable. So, just now ask for what you want and receive it this time. Ask for what you want, believe it’s already yours, let it go, receive and give gratitude for it.” (14:07) (Dawn)

“Action is the big thing [with manifestation]. You can’t just be like, ‘I want a million dollars today. I’m just gonna sit here on my butt and it’s gonna come to me.’ No, it’s not gonna come to you. You have to do something.” (16:23) (Dawn)

“Make a decision. Go out and educate yourself. Take the first step and meet with someone like us. Learn more and take baby steps. Keep track of your finances.” (26:16) (Dawn)

“I keep investing simple. It’s boring, but it works. It’s called ‘evidence-based investing.’” (30:54) (Dawn)

Guest Resources

Dawn’s Website

Dawn’s Twitter

Dawn’s YouTube Channel

Dawn’s Facebook

Dawn’s LinkedIn

Tools Mentioned:

Right Capital


Dawn’s Books:

Manifest and Invest: Live Your Best Life Get Your Money Right

The Spiritual Path to Prosperity… The Truth about Money Revealed

Mindful Money Resources

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Episode Transcription

Jonathan DeYoe: Hey, welcome back. On this episode of the Mindful Money podcast, I’m chatting with Dawn Santoriello. I should have asked if that’s the correct pronunciation before we started. Dawn is a CFP and is the founder and CEO of DS Financial Strategies, a, uh, e based financial planning firm just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dawn is focused on empowering women and couples to reach their financial goals with peace of mind. She’s a member of Ed Slott’s master elite advisor group. She’s got a YouTube channel, financial Fridays with dawn, and she has been published on multiple platforms including CPI client Advisor, wealth planning advisor, South Jersey mom, and she’s been featured in Forbes investment advisor and market Watch. I wanted to have dawn on the podcast because she’s the author of two books, and her two books are the Spiritual Path, Prosperity and Manifest and invest, both of which are similar to mine in that she blends some spirituality along with her personal finance, uh, tools and techniques. She knows I mix a little bit of woo woo into my finances, but I have a hard time with the culture of manifestation. So I’m happy to have her on the show to help us understand it and so we can talk about a little bit more. Dawn, welcome to the Mindful Money podcast.

Dawn Santoriello: Thank you, Jonathan. And yes, you got my name right on the first try, so thanks.

Jonathan DeYoe: Lucky. Just lucky. I’d rather be lucky than smart anytime. So where do you call home? And where are you connecting from now.

Dawn Santoriello: I’m in Yardley, Pennsylvania, which is just about 35 minutes north of Philadelphia. Uh, I originally grew up in New York, so I guess that’s always my home base. But where I currently live now is just outside of Philadelphia.

Jonathan DeYoe: Great. What took you from New York to Philadelphia?

Dawn Santoriello: I like to travel a lot. I guess I move around, if you want to know the real truth. First I moved to Scranton. It was for a guy, and then I wasn’t meant for the Scranton vibe, so didn’t want to go back to New York. It was all that craziness. And Philadelphia just seems like a great city, more laid back, and it just kind of feels more like home. These.

Jonathan DeYoe: Growing. So how many years did you grow up in New York? Was it. And were you talking Manhattan or upstate?

Dawn Santoriello: Uh, the real New York? Come on. No, upstate.

Jonathan DeYoe: I don’t know. Yeah.

Dawn Santoriello: I was born in Brooklyn. I lived there till I was five, then went to long island, and then when I was 21, I moved back to Brooklyn and then back to long island. And I totally left New York when I was 26.

Jonathan DeYoe: Got it. So what did you learn about money and entrepreneurship while you were growing up in New York?

Dawn Santoriello: Well, I grew up very poor. I like to refer to it as the plastic spoon in my mouth. I was so broke, like my parents. Well, m my dad, who I thought was my dad originally, wasn’t my dad, and he had passed away at two, so it was my mom who was out doing what she did at that time. People. Not really. I don’t want to blame her or anything, but, yeah, she was just living her life involved with drugs and alcohol, and so my grandmother was the one that really raised us, so it was hard. She had me, my sister, my other half brother, and she was like a single mom, so trying to raise us. So, like I said, we didn’t really go to the dentist. I had a black hole in my tooth. Thank God that was a baby tooth. And then, unfortunately, we were just too much to handle. Like a senior person taking care of kids, running around, it’s kind of hard to do. So we were put up for adoption, and at that point, I realized, okay, I got to work hard because I don’t want to go back to my upbringing and how that we came into the world, which you didn’t have much. And then when I got to my adopted family, they taught, if you want something, you have to work hard for it. They gave us all these chores to do, and then we would get paid, like, for example, picking up apples from the apple tree. We get ten cents a bag, me and my five sisters at the time, so I had to be the best and get the most money. So I hustled. Then I guess I kind of developed my entrepreneurial spirit because then when it would snow, I don’t know if you guys have snow where you’re at in California. Yeah, but we had snow in Long island and I was like, okay, well, I’m going to make a little business. We’ll shovel driveways. And then I would get my sisters in on it and they would give me a cut. And then that’s where I just like, oh, this is great. Being an entrepreneur and having total freedom, I can make as much as I want and not being stuck to just having that lack mentality. So I learned through my parents, yeah, work hard if you want something and you could be anything that you really want to be as long as you focus and put your mind on mind to it.

Jonathan DeYoe: And this is your adopted family? Yes. I’m sorry, what age were you adopted?

Dawn Santoriello: I was adopted at ten. I was taken away when I was five, in and out of foster homes, and then when I was seven, placed with this family. And then it takes time, like your mom has to give up her rights and all that. And then finally at ten, I was fully adopted. So I was lucky because I was kind of old. Nobody wants someone who’s that old. They want the babies, they don’t want someone like me.

Jonathan DeYoe: Wow. So I didn’t know about this part of the story. I don’t know if it’s just I didn’t do my research or it’s just that it didn’t come up. So I’m wondering, uh, how does the multiple families in the history affect your thinking about money? Some of the beliefs. Do you retain some beliefs from the early family before you were ten?

Dawn Santoriello: Yeah, it was kind of all about survival. It’s like I have to do this all on my own because nobody’s going to be there because they could just leave at the drop of a dime. So I was just like, okay, I have no one I could depend on. It’s all going to be me, I have to do everything. And then of course, it circles back, like being with the adoptive family. I was like, okay, well, I have a family here that loves me. They’re meeting my basic needs, taking care of me. But then when I get out into the real world and starting in this business, it’s like you’re back in that survival mentality. Like, how am I going to do this? There’s no one there to help me. But then what finally had me fully let go, uh, of the whole scarcity and lack mindset, was when Covid hit, because that’s when I realized I’m not alone. The whole world is going to deal with money issues. And it was crazy how I just didn’t worry after that. And it’s very ironic for someone who’s a worrier. That would be the time to worry. But I was like, oh, no, it’s just going to be good. I expanded my business. That’s when I brought my woo woo ness into the business. And, yeah, my first client was someone from California. And I was like, why did you want to meet with, like, because of your story and you’re real and how you combine your woo woo side with.

Jonathan DeYoe: So I want to look at the work you’re doing in some of your books and things. But just before we do that, what led you from. You grew up, you moved away, you’re in Phil. What led you to this industry? Like, how did you become a CFP, a financial advisor?

Dawn Santoriello: Well, I went to school for finance because it was easy, but it wasn’t my first love. My first love is I wanted to be an actress and a model, so I probably should have went to California, but I tried it in York, and then I met a guy, and he’s like, well, Dawn you’re getting old. I was, like, 26 at the time. So he’s like, if you’re going to do something, you’re probably not going to make it as an actress, so you might as well give that up. So I was like, you know what? I always had my finance degree, and all these financial services companies were always trying to hire me. I’m like, let me go give that a shot. So I did that. Uh, I completely moved to an area where I didn’t know anyone. I had two brothers that were, like, about half an hour from where I moved. And, yeah, it was very shocking leaving a big city, like, big area, going to a small town, little Scranton, Pa, totally giving up my dreams. But this, I was like, wow, if only I had known about this industry beforehand, I could have stayed in New York and did this and had all the flexibility in the world to go on auditions. But that’s kind of the theme of my life. I always do everything the hard way.

Jonathan DeYoe: So you mentioned earlier, six sisters and now two. How big is your family?

Dawn Santoriello: Yeah, let’s see. We have, including me, there’s six of us. Then I have my three brothers. Then I just found out who my real dad actually is, and he’s alive. So I have another half brother from him, and we had another half brother who I found out also, he just passed away recently, like, a couple of years ago. So how many is that? Uh, I, uh, lose track. So there’s nine of us in my adoptive family and then the other two brothers, so eleven of us. Yeah.

Jonathan DeYoe: Wow.

Dawn Santoriello: You need a spreadsheet.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, right. Across two families. Across two families. I don’t know if you run to this and just tell me if this framing works for you. Think of there’s four things that will improve people’s personal, financial, and well being outcomes. I think of them as earn more, save more, spend better, like, more, focus on what’s important to you, and then own more equities. Does that general framing make sense to you as the things that people can do, any individual can do to improve their personal financial well being?

Dawn Santoriello: Yeah, I never, always added the last one about equities, but, uh, it is kind of ownership, so I guess. Yeah, it does make sense. I just never kind of included that. I always kept it more basic, but that makes sense, too. Yeah.

Jonathan DeYoe: Okay. So I’ve always looked at, and this is one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the podcast, because in the financial services industry, we do a really good job of, like, two, three, and four. We help people save more, we help them do the plan, help them figure out how much they need to save, focus, uh, their spending on what’s important to them, and we help them focus on buying equities over fixed income, these sorts of things. We do two through four really well, but the first one, people have to have that one figured out before they come to us. And this has always been kind of frustrating for me. I’ve kind of focused my own career on inspiring and supporting entrepreneurialism, like, uh, people starting their own businesses, et cetera. But theoretically, at least, the idea of manifesting might be another way for advisors to help people in that first thing that how do I earn more? So, set the stage for us. Describe the laws of attraction or this plain idea of manifesting, and then I’m going to pick it apart to the best of my ability.

Dawn Santoriello: Okay, I’ll tell you my story. So I was, like, stuck in a parking garage. I think it was January 7, 2013, because I spent all my money on my real estate investment project, and business was slow and I couldn’t get out. I had $200 to my name, but I had no cash, and my credit card was maxed out. Doing the rehab, that was the most embarrassing time ever. Then finally the security guard came over and just let me go through. And then I went home. I sat on my porch. I was crying. I’m like, what am I going to do? And how does this even make sense? Um, I’m like, I’m a financial planner. How the heck do I not have money? I’m like, I know what I’m doing with money. I help my other clients, but it was just not having enough clients to manage. So then a couple of months later, it was just like a great awakening year. I hit my car. It was, uh, coming back into my house, and I didn’t judge the other car next to me, so I scraped aside, and I had 144,000 miles on my car. And I’m like, just dropped the collision. I’m like, I don’t want to fix this. I’m like, this is not even going to be worth the money. So I prayed that night. I did my little manifestation. And then, um. Well, no, it gets even worse. Before I did that prayer, I had to go meet a client at a country club. So I was like, oh, God. I’m like, I’m just going to park in the back so no one sees my car. As soon as I walk in, he’s like, Dawn what happened to your car? I’m like, yeah, okay. That’s when I went home and I prayed. I’m like, you know what? I can’t do this. I’m like, I have to manifest. I need something better. Please help me. So I was in my yoga class the following day, and I kid you not, my car got totaled. Someone came into class, and he was like, whose car is outside? I’m like, that’s white. And this. I’m like, that’s my car. He’s like, you might want to come out here. I’m like, oh, gosh, why? And then I was like, oh, my God. It was smushed up against pole, the tire was bent, it. And I’m thinking, oh, my God, I have to go to a conference tomorrow. I’m like, oh, no, I don’t have any money. How am I going to buy a new car? What am I going to do? I’m freaking out. And then I calmed down. I was like, wait. I kind of prayed for this. I’m like, okay. I’m like, now what? I’m like, well, I don’t need a car right now because I’m going to a conference, so I’ll be okay and I’ll just worry about it when I come back. So I went to that conference, who, by the way, that guy who got me to the conference, I was ignoring him for four months because he kept trying to sell me, or at least I thought he was trying to sell me newsletters. And I’m like, listen, I don’t have any money. I’m not going to buy newsletters for my clients. I do enough. And I go there. I learned something that made me 80 grand in one month. And I went on to have my first over six figures year. And the main thing is, one was asking for what I wanted, and then I had to let go. If I would have sat there and not let go of, oh, my God, how am I going to pay for this? I wouldn’t have had, maybe I wouldn’t have learned that technique. I would have been still stressing out, how am I going to buy my car and not paying attention at the conference? But I was open it. I prayed, I was open, I let it go, and I was able to receive. And then I came back and I bought my first luxury car. And I was like, wow. So that was one example, just my first example of using manifesting and all that, the law of attraction. I had read the secret, all those kinds of books, listened to Abraham Hicks, and I just kind of dove into it from kind. And then I met a spiritual teacher a few years later and she taught me this prayer. And I’ve been doing it with other people, and it’s really wonderful. It really works.

Jonathan DeYoe: So lots of things going on my head right now. So the first thing that’s going on my head is this. I do have clients who have expressed to me their belief in this concept called manifesting. Story is a great story, but could you just give us, like a skeleton, what is manifesting?

Dawn Santoriello: Asking for what you want.

Jonathan DeYoe: It’s asking for what you want.

Dawn Santoriello: Yeah, asking for what you want. Believe that you already have it. You own it if you have it. I have this beautiful life. I have this brand new car. I love my brand new car as it’s your own. And then being open, you got to let it go so you can be open to receive it. For example, I just had my friend, she called me the other day, she’s trying to get a new job, and she had this great referral for someone in her, kind of like a colleague. And he’s like, well, what do you want for it? She’s like, oh, no, I’m good. I don’t need anything. And I’m like, you’re not receiving. He’s asking you for what you want. You have to tell him, I’m like, the universe. They’re trying to bring you stuff, but you keep saying, no, I’m good, and then you’re miserable. So I’m like, oh, my God, I never realized that. I’m like, yeah, so just now, ask for what you want. When people ask you and receive it, this time, ask for what you want. Believe it’s already yours. Let it go and receive and give gratitude. Give thanks for it, of course.

Jonathan DeYoe: How much of it is potentially coincidence?

Dawn Santoriello: I don’t know. There’s no coincidences in life. Everything kind of happens for a reason.

Jonathan DeYoe: Okay. There’s a fundamental belief there, right? Everything happens for a reason. So is it always stuff, or could it be, I want a new job? Could it be a better partner? Uh, for me, it’d be a sangha. Like, I want a spiritual group that I can meditate with that have a similar belief system that I have. Right. So you can use manifesting to apply for request, ask for anything. Okay.

Dawn Santoriello: And sometimes I struggle with this is, I want everything immediately, and it doesn’t happen that way. It’s all in divine timing, and then making sure you’re not blocking it too. Like, my friend, she was blocking it.

Jonathan DeYoe: Right. So in our first conversation, you know, we first spoke, and I let you know that I’m super skeptical of anything that claims like, an easier and easier path to an income or a stuff or whatever. So I was born and raised to believe that the results come from planning and action. To get results, you’ve got to do something. To get big results, you got to do something great. To get 1% outcomes, you got to put in 1% efforts and maybe get lucky at the same time. So I take that totally for granted. I think many of financial advisors in the world sort of also take that method or that thinking for granted. So can you square the two things? Is it possible that. Yes, it takes planning and effort, and if you have the right mindset going in or the right manifestation mindset, that can be helpful. Do they work together? Can they work in opposition? Can you square the two viewpoints?

Dawn Santoriello: Yeah, it does work together. And like, you are right, action is the big thing. You can’t just like, oh, I want a million dollars today. I’m just going to sit on my butt here, and it’s going to come to me. No, it’s not going to come to you. You have to do something. Maybe you get an idea, you hear something on the radio, okay, I’m going to go buy this piece of property, or here’s if someone’s looking for they need, I don’t, on whatever skill you have, they’re offering a job and you know you’re perfect for that. So you go pitch yourself to that job. So yeah, you can’t just sit and do nothing and wait for it to come. So you have to kind of take action. And for me in this business, I knew at the beginning it wasn’t showing me that I was going to be successful, but I knew it. But I was just stuck in my own way because again, I was going to that scarcity mind. So that mindset was working against, so I guess, yeah, it was working against me because I was like, no, I know this could happen, but I’m stuck and no, that’s not going to work. I got to do this and this. But then once you let it go, once you know you’ve done everything you can do and you’re like in your heart space, you’re doing the best thing for your clients and just let go of that worry. Then you allow the stuff to come in because like you said, you’ve planned, you’ve know what you’re doing for the year to help your clients and you’re taking action by, okay, this is what I’m going to do. You’re educating yourself further. Educating, doing whatever little baby steps that you can do and then that brings about the results. But yeah, even people who don’t believe in this stuff, they’re doing it unconsciously. They don’t realize they’re doing it, but that’s how it happens because we’re all like in a universe of energy. So we’re putting it out there taking action. But they might not be as fulfilled. There’s a lot of rich people out there who they’re not really kind of fulfilled, some of them, but if you’re more spiritual and open to this, you’re going to be happier, you’re more fulfilled. I believe you can have it all. You can be happy, rich and fulfilled. You don’t have to just be rich because eventually, I don’t know, I guess something happens at some point, like maybe you die of cancer or something. If you’re a miserable, horrible person and you screw people over to get rich, your life’s probably not going to end well. But if you do things from your heart and you’re here to really help people, they could see that too. So one, you’re just going to attract more people. And I guess don’t compare yourself to other people because, for example, if I compare myself to another advisor, I’m like, oh, they’re so far ahead of me. I want to be like that. Well, they, uh, might be on their own path, and as long as I keep staying in my lane and just focusing on what I do, I’m naturally going to expand. I had no idea I would get clients across the country, clients I never even met when I first got in business. I didn’t even know how that happened. I didn’t even know I would write two books. I didn’t know. I just knew that I’m going to help people. I’m going to change the world. I’m like, yes, I’m not going to be poor anymore. I’m like, this is going to be great. I didn’t know how all of it just happened, but I just started attracting people.

Jonathan DeYoe: Do you follow Seth Godin at all?

Dawn Santoriello: No.

Jonathan DeYoe: Seth Godin, he’s a marketing guy. He talks about, I’d say sort of marketing or design guy, and he’s awesome. He talks about sort of inhabiting your true Persona, like being yourself in the world. And by being yourself in the world, you will attract people like you. You’ll attract people that are attracted to somebody like you. Right? So you find your. And, uh, he calls it your tribe. When someone comes to you, do they believe in manifesting? And do they come to you because they see a connectivity there, or do they not believe? And then you teach them and they see the benefit, and they’re like, oh, my God, this is great, and they become clients. How does the system work in terms of you attracting, finding people that are like, you finding people that are attracted to that message?

Dawn Santoriello: Okay, well, it kind of just happens, like, for the people. Like I said, that one person in California, she’s like, I love that you’re woo woo. She’s like, no one really. Advisors don’t really talk about it that much. Now, if I’m with an engineer or somebody, I got to read the room. So if I could see that they’re like, shut down. I don’t even go there. I just stick to the numbers, this and that. But I kind of just know if I could go there. It’s just like an intuition, like a knowing, and then I’ll tell the people about it. Um, actually, one guy, I did it with him, and he got his house. He’s like, wow. Because he’s like, Dawn it didn’t work. I’m like, yeah, we asked, but we don’t know what’s going to happen. So you didn’t get that offer, so it’s okay. It wasn’t the best thing for you. Two months later, he’s like, dawn. He’s like, guess what? I got a house and it was $50,000 less. He’s like, oh my God, I can’t believe it worked. I’m like, yeah, it works, just not in our timing. So, yes, it was about reading the room, knowing someone, but then there’s some people who are just, they’re not open to it all. So I’m not even going to go there. But usually I’ve been attracting more people who are at least curious about it too. Like, I did a workshop a couple of weeks ago and I gave, ah, one of the prospects there, my book. And she’s like, wow. She’s like, I really felt what you were saying now. She was on the religious kind of side, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. And she’s like, I really resonated with you. She’s like, I really want to help you. And she’s like, I just want to pay you. I’m like, well, I offered a free consultation, so I’m not going to charge you, but in the future if you want to work together or if you want me to manage your money. So, yeah, so I guess I kind of opened her. So that’s like two different worlds kind of colliding. Like maybe spiritual and hardcore religion. I don’t know. Have I turned anyone who is like strictly in numbers person? I’m not sure.

Jonathan DeYoe: You probably don’t attract them.

Dawn Santoriello: I attract the people who are like me and things like that. But it’s crazy because now even, ever since the pandemic, too, but more like cpas and even attorneys are into this stuff. And, um, I’m like, that’s pretty cool. So it’s becoming more available to people, I guess, because you got to put it in ways that they could digest it, like money blocks. That’s a little bit easier than saying, hey, I got this prayer I’m going to do for you.

Jonathan DeYoe: I want to talk about the money blocks in just a second. But just before we go there, is it more than mindset? You know what I mean? Because people talk about having the right mindset for success, the right mindset for. But it seems like there’s this idea of releasing it and the idea of expressing gratitude for something you’ve received before you’ve received it, whether that’s a job or whatever the thing is, right? So the idea of releasing it and then expressing gratitude for the thing before you receive it, that seems to be two important steps. That’s not just about belief in self or belief in a better future or it’s not just about your mindset. Is that fair?

Dawn Santoriello: Yeah. And it’s also about how you view yourself. You need to have self love and clear the blocks because you may be blocked. Like, you might get money. Like, I was talking to a guy today. He’s like, yeah, money comes in. I made a lot of money, but it’s all gone. So internally, there might be scripts that are going on. Like, okay, I’m not really worthy of money. I’m not good enough to have enough money. So every time it comes in, it’s gone. Like, lotto winners. They’re, like, broke within two years. So that’s another thing, clearing those blocks. And the way to really break through those blocks is with yourself. Love yourself more. Know that you are worthy. You deserve to have things. Because there’s all these programs in us about, oh, money is the root of all evil. Or, I shouldn’t have enough money because then I’m going to become. My friends won’t want to hang out with me anymore because, uh, they’re going to think I’m too rich for them. Or these stupid things that are stories that we’re making up in our head, but we don’t realize they’re stories because we’ve been told them over and over. We tell ourselves over, and we believe that they’re true and they’re fact when they’re just an opinion. So just switch that belief. Like, okay, well, it’s okay to have.

Jonathan DeYoe: Money from a buddhist perspective, and I’ve been meditating for 25 years. And so think of this in terms of recognizing reality. It’s awakening to the truth that’s in front of us all the time. And I don’t know why it was that it’s sort of manifesting and the secret and these things sort of rubbed me the wrong way a little bit when I read them and when I started thinking about them. But the building blocks make sense to me. The idea of manifesting and just having a wish and expressing gratitude for it, that all makes sense because it creates a programming in your mind. And when you reset your mind does the work for you. Your mind’s an incredibly powerful tool if you know how to use it. Right? So, uh, let’s talk about these blocks that you mentioned. There’s five blocks. Could you just list them real quick and then talk about one?

Dawn Santoriello: Is women do this all the time. So prioritizing needs, everybody else’s needs above your own. Like, trying to make sure, okay, the kids are fed doing this, that and the other thing, and then self care. Oh, I didn’t have time to work out. I’ll do it tomorrow. And then they never get to it. No, you have to take care of yourself first. And it’s funny how I probably have done this in my life, too, because now I’m attracting people. I’m in the whole dating world, and I’m attracting, like, this one guy. I’m like, he always is concerned about everyone else. I’m like, you need to start taking care of you. You come first. It’s not selfish. So it’s like, you’ll see the universe will give you stuff so you could work on it. So I was like, oh, that’s an area where I need some improvement because I’m always like, oh, I got to do everything for this evil give away stuff for my clients and everything. And it’s like, well, no, I should owe myself worth more. And people, if they want to work with me, they should pay me instead of always like, oh, no, I’ll do this because I like you. So that’s the number one money block, prioritizing everyone else ahead of yourself. Two, money, secrecy. A lot of people we were taught, like, okay, especially women, don’t know the man. They handle all the money. You just be quiet. You just go do whatever, the housework. The man will handle the numbers. Or it’s like, don’t talk about salary. That’s taboo. Be grateful you have a job. Like, all this stuff meant to hold you down. But you’re limitless, lacking the confidence in your own ability. Maybe you didn’t go to school for finance, so you don’t know how it works. And it’s, like, scary. So it’s like, I don’t want to even think about that. I was always told I’m never good with numbers. Maybe a teacher said, oh, you know what? Good thing you’re pretty because you don’t know how to handle numbers or some stupid things that teachers innocently say. Another one is, uh, that doesn’t sound innocent to me.

Jonathan DeYoe: A teacher saying that sounds completely destructive. I hope teachers don’t still say that.

Dawn Santoriello: They probably don’t now. Everything’s all changed. This was like years ago and stuff. People say, yeah, because I just ramble. Sometimes things come out of my mouth. That was good. Call me out on them. Uncertainty and decision paralysis, like, we’re bombarded with. There’s all different things you could do, different pieces of information. Is this true? Can I trust this? Which also goes back to number five. Lacking trustworthy financial advice, like the Bernie Madoffs and all these other people who are trying to take people’s money. So you don’t know who to trust. You don’t know what to do. So you’re like, I got plenty of time. And time flies because you might be 20 now, then boom, you’re 40, and then now you’re 60. Like, oh, whoa, I got to retire soon. What am I? I just wasted all those years. So make a decision. Go educate. Take the first step. Like, meet with someone like us. Learn more, and take baby steps. Keep track of your finances. Like, I, uh, met with a guy today. He read my book, and he’s like, Dawn I didn’t get up to the investment part, but I got up to just where you talk about getting out of debt. He’s like, because that’s where I’m stuck. I have the money coming in, and then it goes right out, and I want to pay off my debt. So now he has. So. And he reads other books, too. Like, Robert Kiyosaki was telling me, all these other books he’s reading. So he’s taking steps. He’s learning how to take action, get that budget going. So now he’ll be free and not be afraid, and now he’ll actually be able to hold on to his money. And the advice is really simple, basically, I don’t know if you probably give the same advice. Save 20% of your money. When you get your check, just save it automatically. Have it come around direct. Deposit it, put it into your retirement plans, put it into your emergency fund. It’ll make it easy. Automation.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah, totally. So do you have any tools that you use for, uh, basically educating people on just the little nitty gritty details that we don’t get. There’s no education unless you seek it out. So do you use tools for your clients? Book is the first one, right? Yeah.

Dawn Santoriello: And then another online debt. Helping you pay your debt is on debt. It. That’s kind of helpful to show people the different, uh, methods, like the avalanche method, the snowball method you put in all your credit cards. It’ll tell you when they’re going to be paid off, which way saves you the most interest. So that’s kind of helpful. When I do planning for my clients, we use, like, right capital, so they could see all their accounts. It’s all integrated in there. But, yeah, definitely use some kind of app or something. So you could see, like, this one guy said, he’s like, I can’t believe I spent $6,500 last month. He’s like, I wasn’t really aware that I had that much money going through my hand. So, yeah, so if you can’t see it, you don’t know what’s going on, but when you see it, you’re like, oh, whoa, I got to adjust that. What if I took 2000 or 1000 and just saved that? Having a visualization tool there to see, okay, this is where my actual money is, or that greatly helps. It makes you more accountable, because now you’re like, you can’t say you don’t know because it’s right there in front of you.

Jonathan DeYoe: You talk about being accountable. How important is it to be accountable to something? Like, to have an idea, uh, having a plan, it’s fine to just say, I’m going to do the right thing. But then if you don’t have a direction, if you don’t have a destination in mind, I know there’s a lot of people that are young, that are just, they’re 25, they’re just getting their first jobs, they’re just out of college, and they don’t really have direction. They’re just trying to develop and become better people, so maybe advancing their career, what have you. If they don’t have a direction, what are they accountable to? I have a plan. I’m going to try to get from here to there. I’m accountable to my plan. What are they accountable to?

Dawn Santoriello: Yeah, they need to have something to be accountable to, like maybe their spouse or somebody or even themselves. Like, I’m single, so I’m accountable to myself. I’m like, okay, I have goals. I want to go buy a townhouse, so I’m saving towards that, too. And now I realize I can’t just put all my money to that. Because you can’t just sacrifice your happiness. You got to have a little money to enjoy life along the way because you could drop dead and you didn’t enjoy the way there. But, yeah, be accountable. Just keep it simple. Especially when you just graduate college. You’ve never had this kind of money before, so saving 20% is easy. You’re probably living at home with your parents, so you have all this extra money. Don’t just go out and live it up. Make sure you have your accounts, open up your Roth Ira, contribute to that. Make sure you have six months for an Emergency fund. And then have some play money, like go travel, go out and do things. But like you said before, do buy things or invest in things that are going to bring you meaning that are purposeful to you. Like constantly spending your money on beer money. It’s really probably not meaningful for you, and it’s going to bring you, like, it’s very toxic to your liver and stuff, so it’s going to cause you health problems down the road. But if you did something else with that money, you’d be better off and you’d have a better, fulfilling life.

Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. Um, it seems so simple. And I just go back to this whole idea of, we give such basic advice, and it’s because people don’t hear it often enough or because they haven’t thought about it in their own context that they don’t really know what to do with it. But I think I can summarize all my conversations with earn more, save more, spend better, and own equities. I say this all the time, that framing is everything.

Dawn Santoriello: Don’t spend more than you make. That’s easy, too. Don’t spend more.

Jonathan DeYoe: So the world of money advice is so noisy, there’s just so much garbage out there. Can you really simplify it for us? So when you’re talking to a new client, somebody that’s brand new comes to see you, whether they come through, they read your book, or they find you on the website, whatever. What is one action that she can take that will improve her personal and financial success?

Dawn Santoriello: Well, she already did take the action by working with one of us. I keep investing simple. It’s boring, but it works. And it’s called evidence based investing, where basically you diversify globally. Low cost etfs get your risk score up front. Like, your risk score of, like, okay, you’re a, uh, 50, so maybe now you’re a moderate investor, so maybe a 60 40 portfolio is what you need for that risk. So 60% equities, 40%, like, fixed income rebalance. Four times a year, my firm rebalances on the off quarters. So not when all the other big name brands are rebalancing. And then we also have guardrails, which is if the market drops, like, 30%, they’ll rebalance again. And all rebalancing means, as you know, but just for your audience, bringing you back to your original 60 40 allocation, if that’s what your risk tolerance score said you were.

Jonathan DeYoe: So the piece of advice is, uh, once you’ve had an advisor, then keep investing simple. Um, this is not a plant. So my book comes out in September, and it’s called mindful investing, and it is the simplest path to investing, so I’m glad you said it. Beautiful plug. So that’s a positive piece of advice. What is one piece of advice that maybe she’s relying on or listening to that she should just ignore that someone’s trying to sell her something with, oh, God.

Dawn Santoriello: Oh, I’m going to say something that’s probably controversial. Crypto. I tell my clients, get away from that. There’s no way to get rich quick. I don’t pick individual stocks. So if you got to be right, no one’s going to be right in the long term. All the academic research proves that no one can pick all the winners consistently for the long term. You might get lucky a couple of years here and there, but when you’re trying to save for your retirement, luck is not a strategy. So, yeah, if you want to have extra money to go gamble, then you can go do your stocks or your other things on your own. But my goal and your goal is to basically, we want to just help people get to their retirement and reach their goals and have it simple, because those same people, they’re going to cry. Like, my brother is a perfect example. He bought, like, back, I think, when I first got in the business. Oh, solar is going to be great. All this stuff. His stocks went down to zero. Now he only put $1,000 in, but still he’s out $1,000.

Jonathan DeYoe: Don’t follow the hot dot. Like, whatever the media is talking about today, you can pretty much ignore that. So I wrote this down yesterday. I’m thinking about creating a presentation that is sort of universal, whatever the hot thing is of the day. I mean, it was crypto a little while ago. I think m now it might be AI, maybe next month it’ll be something new. Right? But the idea is, how do you invest so that you don’t have to think about every headline? How do you invest? And you just said it’s evidence based investing. It’s what I talk about as well. Asset allocation, diversification, rebalancing. It’s so simple. Our job is to convince people not to do the crazy things that they want to do, just to keep it simple. That’s absolutely it. I love it. But before wrapping a couple of personal questions, one, what was the last thing you changed your mind about?

Dawn Santoriello: Uh, what did I change? Oh, about what I wanted to eat. I was like, okay, it’s so dumb. I’m like, I could go get a bagel, or I could go have some cucumbers with avocado. Well, I chose the cucumbers and avocado because it was healthier.

Jonathan DeYoe: That’s awesome. I might have chose the bagel because it’s tastier, but yeah, I’m going to be healthy. Maybe with cream cheese, some locks. Oh, so good. So can you name a place that you visited that had a really deep impact on you as a person? And definitely what was the impact?

Dawn Santoriello: The Bahamas. I love it there. My friends live on a place called Love beach, which that’s my whole mission in life, besides helping people financially, is to show them how to love. And it was just so magical and healing just being in that caribbean water. I don’t know, it helps me develop so much self love and it grounded me and it’s like my happy place. I love it there.

Jonathan DeYoe: Well, I hope you get back there soon. Tell us how people can find you and connect with you.

Dawn Santoriello: Sure. You could go to my social media. I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, my website, dsfinancialstrategies.com that has links to everything. My book is on Amazon.com, also on my yep.

Jonathan DeYoe: Beautiful. Dawn thanks for coming on. We’ll make sure everything is in the show notes, including your disclosures, so remember to send those to me though. Thanks for coming on.

Dawn Santoriello: Yeah, thank you for having me. This is great.

Jonathan DeYoe: Awesome.

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