Our Advisory Team
David R. Anderson
Financial Advisor/Managing Partner
David Anderson is a co-owner and managing partner of Moneywise. As a fiduciary Financial Advisor, he meets with clients, prepares financial plans, thoroughly discusses and develops appropriate strategies based on their financial goals and makes investment recommendations. David is also the lead host of the Moneywise Guys Radio Show + Podcast.
The Moneywise Guys Radio Show + Podcast is a bit of an anomaly in the sea of financial shows and has allowed David’s personality to emerge as one who can easily break down complex financial issues while being both humorous and thought provoking. This quality seamlessly translates to our wealth management company and the community. David is regularly and enthusiastically called upon by local media as a favorite expert in the field of finance.
David has 15+ years of financial planning experience, with a specialty in retirement planning and portfolio management* and focuses on collaborating with and managing our high net worth clients with specific investment needs. He studied Technical Sales at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He holds a Series 65 license.
David has been a supporter and volunteer with Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children and is a Bakersfield Museum of Art (BMoA) board member. He has four children, three of which who were adopted through the foster care system. He enjoys seeking nature, writing music, relaxing in his backyard hammocks under his favorite pomegranate tree and despises cilantro.
*Moneywise uses third-party money manager (*TPM*) partners including but not limited to, SEI Investments Management Corporations (“SIMC”), Assetmark and Fidelity. Investment portfolios held with a TPM are designed, implemented, maintained and rebalanced by the TPM. In addition, a TPM conducts the investment research and analysis used as the basis for the portfolios and executes necessary trades on behalf of Moneywise.
“My core philosophy is that to become financially independent you need to focus on those things that you can control rather than those that you can’t control. Life is unpredictable. Focus on your own personal management and decision making.”
Sherod B. Waite
Financial Advisor/Managing Partner
Email: Sherod@moneywiseguys.com • CA Insurance: #0C67086
Sherod Waite is a co-owner and managing partner of Moneywise. He wears multiple hats as CEO of the wealth management company, a fiduciary Financial Advisor and registered representative with 15+ years of regularly advising clients on investments and financial planning. He and David have been in business together since 2003, originally founding WA Consulting which specialized in seniors’ investment needs. In 2008, they officially acquired Moneywise.
Sherod is also a main co-host on the Moneywise Guys Radio Show + Podcast, and since getting involved with the radio show in 2006, he has unexpectedly and enthusiastically embraced the medium and the opportunity to engage with as many people as possible. The show pushes him to stay current on financial news and accountable not only to our clients but to the community at large.
Sherod has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance from California State University, Bakersfield. He holds his Series 7, 24 and 66 securities licenses.
Sherod is married and has three boys, whom he loves teaching about budgeting, finance and economics. He is an active board member for Kern Citizens for Sustainable Government (KCSG) and is often found hiking with his loyal poodle, studying the life of trees, concert going with his wife and avidly reading.
“I enjoy the interaction with our listeners and sharing information on what’s new and current, whether it’s financial reform or upcoming legislation or new planning techniques or investment strategies. I believe in financial education and hope for every listener and every client to seek practical information in order to realize their own financial well-being.”
Garro L. Ellis
Garro Ellis is a fiduciary Financial Advisor and an original co-founder of Moneywise. He is a well-known face around town, a dynamic personality that clients, co-workers and acquaintances just can’t seem to get enough of – he is the epitome of a people person. In his role, he regularly meets with individuals, couples, families and businesses to understand their life or company goals and help them plan how to reach those goals financially – especially when it comes to retirement. He is an incredible resource and has extensively worked in just about every facet of the financial industry – insurance and securities, state pensions, business ownership and advisory services. He tends to work with many clients in the energy and agriculture industries.
Garro received his license to sell securities in 1998 and still continues to be extremely knowledgeable and current in this area. He has a degree in Business, Commerce and Industry from University of Wyoming, where he also played football on scholarship. He has 20+ years of experience keeping tabs on financial markets by using technical analysis – a way of analyzing the market by comparing past trends to indicate future performance.
In addition to his duties as a financial advisor, Garro is also a co-host on the Moneywise Guys Radio Show + Podcast.
Garro was an actor in the early 1990s and has appeared on stage, in film and television. He also moonlights as a country music singer and has written more than 30 songs. He and his wife are proud parents and now grandparents. If you visit our office on a Friday, you will see Garro’s Harley Davidson parked out front and as long as it is baseball season, he can always be found watching a Dodgers game with friends.
“I’m intrigued by all of the moving parts on Wall Street, where there is never a dull moment. I love using humor to explore market trends, stocks and bonds and economics. There is always something to learn or understand, which motivates me to make an extra effort to study something new on a regular basis. My goal is to make Wall Street accessible to Main Street, if you will. If I can make people laugh in the meantime, all the better.”
Email: Kris@moneywiseguys.com • CA Insurance: #0F20931
Kris Pelster is a registered representative and a fiduciary Financial Advisor. With Moneywise since 2006, he has extensively worked with employer sponsored retirement plans (i.e. 401k, 403b, SIMPLE), effectively consulting clients as well as the public through numerous seminars and workshops dedicated to helping people maximize their company’s offered investment strategies and benefits. Knowing that the transition into retirement is a huge life milestone, Kris thoroughly enjoys the process of working closely with clients to make sense of their financial reality and implementing strategic planning based on their unique life goals. He is also a co-host of Moneywise Guys Radio Show + Podcast.
Before becoming a financial advisor, Kris worked for eight years at multiple levels within special education. That same drive to be a reliable mentor and educator directly applies to his advisory approach at our firm and the ever-changing financial industry.
Kris holds both the Series 7 and 66 securities licenses, as well as a California Life Insurance license. He has a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Business from California State University, Bakersfield.
He enjoys donating his time to events like the “Night to Shine,” which is part of a global effort organized by the Tim Tebow Foundation and offers a prom experience for people that have special needs. He also serves on the board for Bakersfield PAL (Police Activities League) and Lovewater. He is married and has three daughters, is highly active in his church and enjoys counseling young married couples. He can often be found coaching his daughters’ softball teams, camping with his family or off-road, dirt biking with friends.
“Money cannot buy happiness, but it can be an empowering tool. When there is a solid plan in place to properly manage your finances, money can be used to afford the ability to focus on what matters the most to you in this life.”
Justin T. Leland, CFP®, AIF®
Director of Business Services/Financial Advisor
Email: Justin@moneywiseguys.com • CA Insurance: #0K33214
Justin Leland, CFP®, AIF® is a registered representative, fiduciary Financial Advisor, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ PROFESSIONAL – CFP®, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, AIF®, and a co-host on the Moneywise Guys Radio Show + Podcast. After 11 years of experience managing businesses in the transportation industry, he decided to re-direct his focus towards the financial world. Enjoying working with people from all walks of life and backgrounds, Justin finds strength in diversity. He loves assessing and implementing clients’ appropriate investment strategies and financial planning blueprints in order to facilitate their freedom to do the things that make them happy. Also, he has quickly recognized the importance and value of fiduciary services in company sponsored retirement plans (i.e. 401k, 403b, SIMPLE IRAs, etc.)) – helping companies construct and manage the most strategic, optimal plans that benefit – both the employer and employees.
Justin has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, holds a CA State Life and Health Insurance license as well as his Series 6, 63 and 65 securities licenses.
He is a proud Eagle Scout, is married with three sons and is actively involved in his son’s Boy Scout Troop. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield and currently serves on the board. He also serves on the Waterman Foundation Board and the Executive Board for the Southern Sierra Council BSA, is a Leadership Bakersfield 2017 graduate from the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and a long time financial supporter and Board Member of the Kern Community Foundation. In his down time, Justin loves to take his sons camping and hiking, playing music and cooking a mean chili.
Director of Client Relations
Dessie Claffy oversees the Moneywise team in all aspects of client services and relations. After years of experience in the local banking world as a Bank Teller and a Senior Group Leader Administrative Assistant at Target, she joined team Moneywise in 2012. Within our company, she assists the financial advisors and account coordinators with the diligence and consistency that is necessary to support account transfers, processing distributions and anything else that our team members or clients may need. She is masterful at coordinating our client events and, at that, one of her biggest strengths is essential to the core of the Moneywise values – putting the client first and ensuring that everyone feels like they belong to a family that they can trust and look forward to seeing.
When not at the office, Dessie is often hanging out with her husband, participating in two car clubs and travelling around to car shows in their 1966 Mustang. She has great pride in her California hometown – Wasco, adores her daughters, has a weak spot for Diet Dr. Pepper and is very active in her church and various other community organizations.
“Caring about our clients goes beyond our office doors. We genuinely consider our clients to be a part of our family. We care for our clients and our clients’ families. We care about the all-encompassing well-being of our community and for us that starts with establishing honest, kind relationships on the personal and professional level. We believe in the ripple effect.”
Client Relations Coordinator
Michele Burrow is the welcoming face and voice of Moneywise. Starting with our team in 2011, Michele came to us with an extensive background in retail management and customer service. She is magical at assisting clients and visitors as they first arrive at the Moneywise office and seamlessly streamlines and supplements our clients’ and visitors’ experience with personable humor and relevant information. Regularly, she manages our phones, the advisors’ and team members’ calendars as well as other office duties that keep Moneywise running smoothly. She is our client relations and office queen and keeps all of us on track.
Outside of our office, Michele has a passion for fast cars and racing. In the past she has worked for NASCAR, and since 1996 she has worked as a race official for the SRL Racing Series. She loves spending time with her family and supporting her kids in all of their extracurricular activities and is quite the cat whisperer.
“I love the fact that I get to deal with different people every day. It is extremely gratifying to be able to make someone feel good and to help in shaping and navigating their experience with Moneywise.”
Director of Marketing & Business Development
Debbie Lewis started with us at Moneywise in 2017. Originally assisting our financial advisors and clients as an Account Coordinator, she now focuses her attention on our company’s business development, communications, marketing and community building. She brings a knack for strategy and finding creative solutions and, as a natural facilitator, connects us with great people and local resources. Also, with a soft spot for performance and writing, Debbie loves dabbling as comedic relief and learning along with our listeners as a co-host on the Moneywise Guys Radio Show + Podcast.
Previous to joining our team, Debbie had experience in sales, account management and coordination in the purchasing, film/tv/commercial production and hospitality industries. Debbie holds a bachelor’s degree in World Arts and Cultures with a concentration in cultural studies, theater and the arts’ role in community at University of California, Los Angeles.
Away from work, she is regularly seeking adventure in travel, is a comedy and music nerd, has a racquet sports fetish, volunteers with the Bakersfield Museum of Art and obnoxiously favors the beagle breed. She is passionate about positively contributing to and helping shape the landscape of her hometown by connecting people through the power of food + drink, the arts and, now, financial education.
“I am thrilled by the opportunity to work with the Moneywise team. Our company ethos of compassion and intelligence is both inspiring and refreshing.”
TJ Bryson started with us as an Account Coordinator and after about a year and a half of assisting our beloved clients and our financial advisors with all of their day-to-day administrative needs, he has naturally transitioned to working closely with our CEO, advisors, marketing team and account coordinators with all operations support and logistics. We appreciate his quick-learning, detail orientated go-getter attitude which helps us stay organized and efficient.
TJ has a background working with companies ranging from construction to event planning and possesses a unique blend of multi-tasking and positive, contagious interpersonal skills with an emphasis in marketing, administration and account coordination.
While on his path to become a teacher, he found his way to Moneywise in 2018 and was instantly won over by the opportunity to help make a difference in people’s lives through a different form of education – financial education. By working with Moneywise, he is continuously inspired to help people empower themselves to take control of their own financial success.
Outside of the office, TJ is a passionate patron of the arts, loves his uncle time and is always looking forward to his next adventure. When not in town, he is often on the Central Coast enjoying wineries with family and friends. Also, he has a curious love for the color “camouflage.” TJ is a graduate of Fresno Pacific University and by 2019, TJ will be near completion of his Master’s degree in “Workplace Communications with an Emphasis in Education” from Grand Canyon University.
Cydney Fries is a part of our incredible support staff that is here to help make our clients’ financial lives less stressful, better organized and, at that, enjoyable. She assists our clients and financial advisors by transferring accounts, tracking rollovers + distributions and any other administrative needs that our clients have. Cydney also assists our business services branch by supporting our in-house retirement plan specialist in coordinating account needs for our clients who are business owners.
After years of working with our office neighbor and go-to tax + accounting partner, John D. Duffield CPA/MST, Cydney decided to jump over to the Moneywise team in 2019 to further engage her love of working with and helping others. She is excited to adapt and apply her knowledge in the tax field towards supplementing our company’s arsenal of services that we provide for our wealth management clients.
Outside of the office, you can find Cydney playing with her dogs, cruising on her bike or chasing a hiking trail with her husband, Tyler. She is passionate about her family and friends and prioritizes her weekends around quality time with loved ones. Also, she is big on DIY home projects and is always working on something fun. Cydney will find a way to dance to any type of music, has a self-described “shameless, goofy laugh” and is usually the butt of her own jokes as long as it makes others smile.
Sr. Producer & Community Development
In 2013, Steven Nicklaus started full-time with our team but has been contributing to Moneywise for much longer. Starting way back in 2003, Steven helped our very own, Garro Ellis, provide the market numbers on Jeff Lemucchi + Ralph Bailey’s news program on KGET 970 AM. After years of building a natural repertoire, we eventually hired Steven as our Sr. Producer + Media Coordinator and he now assists in much more than just producing our radio show, he nurtures key, local media + client relationships and our community involvement, is developing our show as a podcast and assists our sales/marketing department.
He brings years of experience and a genuine, necessary passion for community involvement in our beloved Kern County. We love and appreciate the easy going yet resourceful, go-getter approach that Steven adds to the team.
Pre-Moneywise, Steven was the Program Director for KERN Radio while producing other radio shows including “The Moneywise Guys.” He continues his love for football on his own radio show on ESPN Bakersfield on the weekends, “The Fantasy Breakdown,” which is LIVE Sundays from 7 to 9:30 AM. He is a proud graduate of Ridgeview High School.
When not in the office or the studio, Steven enjoys attending and promoting local music, spending time with his family – he is the very proud father to his kids, Ryan and Harleigh – and working in his garden. He has been collecting vinyl, KISS and Miami Dolphins memorabilia since he was 3 years old. No joke.