Debra’s career in the financial industry has spanned over 28 years. She passed her exams at Emory University and began her career with IDS American Express, when it was still known as Investors Syndicate, the first company to introduce mutual funds to the investing world. She went on to open the first Alfa Insurance office in Warner Robins, Georgia. Five years later, under her direction, it became the largest Alfa agency in Georgia.
Longing to expand her career and broaden her horizons using her financial background, she partnered with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton in his financial management company. After several years of travel and investing for some very influential people, she longed to return to work closer to home and family. Debra saw a need to help veterans receive aid and assistance from the Veterans Affairs office when her 19-year-old son joined the Navy. After working with veterans, she realized she loved working with retirees and had a passion for helping them keep their hard-earned money and helping them invest in areas where their money could grow safely and provide them with better financial security. This inspired her to start her own business, and Secure Wealth was born.
Secure Wealth was founded in 1999 with one goal in mind, to help families prepare for their future in a safe and secure way. Debra’s career path has given her a unique insight into a variety of strategies to protect clients from volatile and risky financial investments while helping them grow their retirement income.
Her successful customer service-based philosophy has always involved asking questions:
“Even if you find an advisor who meets your initial criteria, don't stop asking questions,” says Debra. “Find out who the advisor is as a person: Do they invest in the community? What are their likes and dislikes? Do they have the ability to advise you on all sorts of risk-based investment, or do they lean toward more conservative or more risky investments? And good advisors should be asking you questions. They need to know about your lifestyle, if you travel or like luxury goods, if you are a homebody, etc., in order to determine the financial or retirement plan that best suits you. The questions an advisor asks you can indicate how honest they are.”
Debra also recommends that people never let an advisor pressure them into doing something that makes them uncomfortable. “Now, advisors cannot dodge the fact that they are in this business to earn an income,” she says. “However, there is a right and a wrong way to accomplish that goal. Having said that, I am confident that if you do your homework, you will find an advisor who will treat you in the manner you deserve.”
After many years in the financial industry, Debra was awarded a spot among 250 of the most prestigious financial advisors at the American Tax Planning Institute. In 2014, Fortune Magazine published her article, “How to Find an Honest Financial Advisor,” which is also available on the Secure Wealth website at YourSecureWealth.com.
“At Secure Wealth Management, we pride ourselves on a no-pressure approach to financial management,” says Debra. They work with you to develop a plan to fit your needs and goals. They are not captive to one company, but represent many firms in order to give you the greatest selection possible. They are also a one-stop financial shop for all your portfolio needs: life insurance, annuities, long-term care insurance, Medicare Advantage and Supplemental plans—and, their specialty, retirement planning. They also have extensive knowledge of TSP plans and the various options you have, whether you are retired or still working.
Away from office Debra enjoys spending time with her 3 children and 3 grandchildren.