Deerfield

Client Stories

The most important benefit I get from working with Susie is feeling financially confident and stable.

I decided to seek the help of a financial advisor after my husband died. He was 46 and I was 43. While my husband had just begun working with a financial advisor prior to his death, I was very uninvolved with our finances.

Coincidentally, the company where my husband was COO was sold the week before his accident. We were planning on our financial situation significantly changing, but suddenly there were catastrophic and unexpected changes which I was in no way prepared to navigate on my own. 


My brother-in-law was working with Deerfield Founder Dick Belmer at the time. He was very fond of Dick and considered him a friend and mentor as well as his financial advisor. Within hours of my husband’s death, he called Dick, who (without hesitation) told my brother-in-law, “Kara needs to work with Susie.” 


We set up meetings with the firm my husband had been working with and a meeting with Susie as well. Within minutes of speaking with Susie, I felt seen, heard, and cared for. That was not the case with the other firm. The decision to move forward with Susie and Deerfield was a clear one.


Susie has taught me everything I know about my personal finances and so much more. My husband handled all of our finances. I didn’t even know how to pay a bill online. As a stay-at-home mother of three young children, I was not only grieving, I was terrified. I was completely overwhelmed…how would I provide for my family? How would I pay the bills, what about college, and the financial future of our family?! Susie gently walked me through everything and explained things step by step. She understood I was new to making financial decisions and completely overwhelmed. She educated me and was always patient and caring, never once condescending. She saved me.


The most important benefit I get from working with Susie is feeling financially confident and stable. That has been a godsend over these past 8½ years. I trust Susie and her team completely, and I never hesitate to recommend them when I know someone is looking for financial help. I will always be grateful to Susie and her team. 

Kara

I feel at ease knowing that Susie and Deerfield are managing the money I’ve worked for, and which will one day help my two daughters and their families.

As an attorney now in my mid-50s, I’ve partnered with a financial advisor for approximately the last 20 years. In around 2014, I wasn’t liking some of the investment advice I received from my current financial advisor, so I decided a switch was in order. I reviewed the Deerfield website and after doing my research, I met with Susie to discuss hiring Deerfield.

Susie and Deerfield excel in providing input and resolving a variety of financial issues. For example, I mentioned to Susie I was about to receive a windfall from a case settlement, and she immediately offered several sound suggestions as to how to invest the funds to offset taxes, invest in my business, and otherwise use the funds wisely. They go above and beyond the call of duty, which is what I like in a professional. Going the extra mile makes Deerfield and Susie stand out from the rest.

I have recommended Susie and Deerfield to several people, sharing how I always receive very individualized attention and they are very personable. This is important because no one wants to be a “number,” especially when it comes to investing. I have never felt like a “number” or just another client. And their response time to an email is incredible!
Additionally, Susie has an encyclopedic knowledge of the various financial markets and is able to quickly analyze the macro-economic situation and determine what is best for my investments within the context of the overall economy. Finally, Susie does her homework and is always prepared to discuss my particular situation during our meetings.

In the past two years, my wife has gotten more involved in our meetings, and we’re strategizing around more ways for her to feel comfortable should anything happen to me, and to know she has the support of Susie and the whole Deerfield team. I feel at ease knowing that Susie and Deerfield are managing the money I’ve worked for, and which will one day help my two daughters and their families. – John S.

John

They inspire possibilities beyond our own smallness or small thinking and continue to walk alongside us.

We had worked in ministry for 31 years, and although we did contribute to a 401(k), we never had a savings account! In 2020, when we were looking to leave ministry and start a new business, we thought it was impossible. How would we live?! We knew it was time to seek the advice of a financial advisor.

A friend connected us with Brad Cougill and Aidan Finet at Deerfield Financial Advisors. Not only did they teach, direct, and advise us on how to make our goals happen, we felt known on a deeper level—who we are, what’s important to us, our family dynamics, all of it. Even when we couldn’t see it ourselves, they showed us that our dreams really could be a reality.

We are more than grateful and truly feel that Deerfield saved our lives. After four years of this relationship, we believe we know their “magic.” They don’t leave us to do this alone; they go with us. They tell us that it’s going to be okay. On December 23, I sent a frantic email to Lori (Client Services Associate). She called me back immediately saying, “It’s going to be okay. We don’t want you to lose any sleep over this.” On April 15, after a terrifying tax bill, Aidan’s first words to us were “It will be okay. We have a plan.”


We live in an epidemic of loneliness and anxiety, and the world tells us, “Look out for yourself, consume, produce at any cost, don’t think.” Deerfield operates in complete contrast; they seek to know and serve us well. They show us what’s possible even when we don’t believe it’s possible due to a lack of imagination, fear, doubt, or living in the past. They remind us of our dreams and keep them in front of us. They inspire possibilities beyond our own smallness or small thinking and continue to walk alongside us. — Linda and Jack

Linda & Jack

It is a testament to the expertise and care that Susie offers that we have continued our relationship, and even while living in another state, our trust and confidence in her have only grown.

We’ve always made decisions for our family jointly, and in the past, we’d used various investment counselors in other communities as we moved around the state to assist us in accumulating retirement savings. But with our move to Carmel, Indiana, and retirement approaching, we felt it was time to work with a professional to support our efforts. So in June of 2009, we began our search for a financial advisor.


We interviewed three “fee-only” financial advisor firms, all of whom were professional and knowledgeable, but we both felt strongly that Susie Steel provided the most expertise and a genuine concern for our well-being both financially and personally. She provided us with excellent counsel in determining a workable distribution of funds into retirement while meeting our needs for passing along funds to our children.


When we moved out of Indiana, we discussed finding another financial advisor but both agreed we were very satisfied with the service provided by Susie and Deerfield. We think it is a testament to the expertise and care that Susie offers that we have continued our relationship, and even while living in another state, our trust and confidence in her have only grown.


Susie and her team are good listeners and have always offered options to best meet our needs and goals. We truly believe Susie always has our best interest at heart. — Tom and Sally

Tom & Sally

The most significant benefit I get from working with Susie and the Deerfield team is knowing that my children and grandchildren will be comfortable when I’m not here.

My husband liked finances and he was smart, so before he passed away, he handled all of our money, our taxes, everything. As he explained things to me, he called it “widow training.” I always said, “I don’t intend to take responsibility for all our finances, and when you go, I want someone to do this for me.” So in 2001, we agreed to look for a financial advisor. After a lawyer friend recommended them, we met with the Deerfield team. We both immediately felt comfortable with the firm; everyone was very friendly and personable. They felt like friends.


Although I had been involved in our finances, I never made any financial decisions without my husband. We made all the decisions together. When my husband passed, Susie helped me organize my life. I called her constantly with so many questions and she would explain things and make graphs. She was so good at making things understandable. Any question I had, she patiently answered. I’ve learned so much, and today I feel confident in making financial decisions on my own because of this.


I tell my friends I have a great financial advisor who I trust (and I don’t trust very easily). I share that I wouldn’t go to anybody else and they don’t charge commission. I like that they are small and personable and have teams of people to help us. When one of our family members died, they left everything to our daughters. My husband and I recommended they partner with Deerfield and have the team assist with their finances. They have been very happy with this relationship. The most significant benefit I get from working with Susie and the Deerfield team is knowing that my children and grandchildren will be comfortable when I’m not here. I’m confident Deerfield will take care of everything for me. — Suzanne

Suzanne

Our confidence and trust are reaffirmed by the fact that the financial affairs of all my children are in the hands of Deerfield Financial Advisors.

When we moved to the US to take up a new position as a physician in a multi-specialty clinic, we faced two problems. The most immediate one was to learn about the business of medicine, billing practices, insurance, and management of a private practice. The second was money management with an eye to building personal financial security for our growing family and our future. Initially, we were protected by a salary, but when I moved on to become a partner in a profit sharing situation, our lack of sophistication in investment strategies had some unhappy effects on our budding portfolio.

In the 1980’s, financial advisors were a rare bird. The ones we contacted required a base portfolio in the six to seven figure range. We had to deal with stock brokers and insurance salesmen who were mainly interested in pushing commission-based products that seemed to benefit their portfolios more than ours. In addition, fees and other expenses diminished our returns even further. At that time there were hardly any index mutual funds available.

By the late 1990’s, our portfolio had grown to a level in which the fee-only advisors would consider advising us. Our search led us to an article in Medical Economics titled “Best Financial Advisors for Doctors”. Two were located in Indianapolis. The first one we interviewed was primarily interested in pushing insurance products and other instruments which came with hidden costs. The second one was Deerfield Financial Advisors. We were fortunate to meet with Mr. Dick Bellmer, who after initial assessment decided that he could assist us in achieving our objectives. He was very knowledgeable and approachable. He requested all of our financial records and proceeded to organize them. This lifted a huge monthly burden of evaluating gains and losses from the voluminous statements from various brokerage houses. He also recommended changes in our investments to eventually meet our goals.

Within a couple of years DFA clientele had grown significantly and Mr. Bellmer brought in a new associate to help his clients. Ms. Susie Steel initially worked with him on our portfolio and her professionalism, approachability, and deep knowledge of finance and her understanding of our financial goals and concerns drew us to her immediately. Later he asked us if Susie Steel could take over as our financial advisor, and she has been our advisor for more than 20 years.

Our longstanding relationship with Deerfield Financial Advisors has given us a sense of security and peace of mind that our financial affairs are in great hands. Their advice has allowed us not only to retain our principal investment but also to grow our portfolio over 23 years. We have been able to pay for the college education of our 3 children and our home and have been able to live comfortably on our required minimum distributions for over 18 years. With luck, we may even be able to leave some assets to our children and grandchildren. Our confidence and trust are reaffirmed by the fact that the financial affairs of all my children are in the hands of Deerfield Financial Advisors.

Sam and Maria

Disclosures

The clients that provided the preceding testimonial were solicited by Deerfield based on objective, non-investment criteria to seek feedback from a client that is representative of Deerfield’s clientele. Not all Deerfield clients are asked to provide testimonials and not all Deerfield clients provide surveys or feedback about their experience with Deerfield. Therefore, this testimonial may not be representative of the experience of other clients as each client’s circumstances and outcomes are unique. Our firm helped prepare the content of this testimonial based on interviews with the client. Testimonials or endorsements do not reflect every client’s situation and client results are not indicative of a guarantee of investment performance or financial outcomes. We did not provide compensation in exchange for the testimonial.