Steven Devlin has nearly 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, yet he does not define himself as simply a financial advisor or consultant. Rather, as one driven by the desire to improve the lives of others, he prefers to use his knowledge and skills to help people live the life they desire. “All of my experiences define who I am, and how I approach my business and serving my clients,” he says. “My license plate reads, ‘Live Life.’ It’s something I believe strongly in and it’s what I help people do.”
Upon graduating from college, Steven began his career working at an insurance company where his emphasis was on long-term care. While he was successful, he knew he eventually wanted to work in other capacities, such as financial planning. Five years later, he made the move and began a new phase of his career as an investment advisor. Then, in 2013, he and five others left their companies, and became independent. Today, Steven is an independent advisor/consultant within Freedom First Wealth Advisors, a department of Freedom First Credit Union, where he is a senior financial consultant and retirement specialist, as well as owns his firm, Devlin Consulting.
We spent time with Steven, discussing his unique partnership with institutions, his clients, and his passion for giving back.
Tell us about your unique relationship with a local credit union. How did this begin, and how are they benefiting from your partnership?
In 2008, I realized once you understand the needs of a prospective client you can do a lot to help them. The struggle I faced was getting in front of the right prospective clients. I went to a couple local banks and credit unions, pitching my idea: For them to be competitive with national banks, they would have to consider offering wealth management and financial planning services. We eventually developed a relationship with Freedom First Federal Credit Union and built a wealth management program. The benefit for the institution was they could now be competitive with larger banks in financial planning and wealth management. Clients benefited from the warm introductions to our advisors inside the branches of Freedom First for financial planning and wealth management.
Speaking of your clients, who are they, exactly?
Since my focus has always been retirees or those planning for retirement, my clients are primarily concerned with living in their retirement or are within 10 years of entering retirement. Freedom First Credit Union provides introductions to people of all life stages, so my team has been specifically built for broader expertise and servicing clients in different stages of their lives. Jason focuses on young professionals who are building their careers and working toward a future retirement. Ryan assists our clients with getting started on their future. Robert brings wisdom of experience to our team and assists with our retirees too. Michelle heads up our admin/service team as our director of operations and client services.
What makes your company unique, Steven?
My objective in working with someone is to help them define their goals and values and how to achieve them. I finish every plan with, “This is how to live your best life.” When we invest someone’s money, it is always about matching their allocation to achieving their goals so they can live their best life without concerns. The other part is we make it our responsibility to not just be involved in our clients’ financial needs, but to be like friends and family to them – helping them with any decisions they need to make in life. At the end of the day my Faith and Values demand the highest standards of care for our clients.
You are also involved with a company called Level Four Financial. How do they play a role serving your clients?
Our relationship with Level Four Financial began in 2013. With advisors across the country in all walks of life and expertise we believe this collaboration of research and ideas makes us even stronger as the complete financial resource for our clients.
You’re also deeply committed to giving back. Can you share some of your work in this regard?
It’s very important to me and it is part of my core values. Over the years, I have served on various boards, church committees, and coached youth sports. Today, most of the time spent giving back is focused on kids while coaching youth sports, our church high school youth group, and I do mission work for Pathway Dominicana, an international organization we partner with to take high school students to work with villages in the Dominican Republic. I want to create a generation of kids with a passion for serving others.
Senior Financial Consultant, Retirement Specialist, Senior Management Advisor
Devlin Financial Consulting/Freedom First Wealth Management