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Financial Planner, Charter Oak Financial: Age 37

Terrell JoynerTerrell Joyner describes his life as an ever-expanding journey.

After graduating from Springfield College and earning an MBA at Western New England University, Joyner had planned to open a restaurant.

But before a restaurant could be reality, he had to earn some money. So he began a career in finance with Equitable Life, where he became a retirement specialist for public school systems, and his career possibilities began to diverge from the original menu.

“As I spoke with people, I realized they needed more financial advice than just retirement,” he said. “Clients need a comprehensive plan to know if they are on track with their goals and what changes they may need to make along the way.”

Joyner then moved to Charter Oak and obtained the securities and insurance licenses he would need to better serve his clients. He said he takes an education-based approach to working with them.

“Instead of telling a client what to do, I educate them on the reasons why certain things we recommend are beneficial for their situation,” he explained. “The best compliments I get are ‘you speak to me in laymen’s terms, but you don’t speak to me like I’m stupid.’”

Joyner enjoys the ‘a-ha’ moments when clients realize that following a smart plan made their finances more secure.

He also enjoys volunteering. At Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, he took part in a program to help students act professionally in areas such as job interviews, the way they send email, and community involvement. When the class graduated, one student asked Joyner if he would be his mentor.

“He is the first one in his family to attend a four-year college, so I could not say no to that,” he said. With the student maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Joyner is now helping him apply to Ivy League schools for a graduate program.

“I hope to be a role model for young Black and Brown children who don’t have those role models,” he said. “I want to bring financial education and literacy to the African-American and LGBTQ+ communities. I’m part of both communities, and both are underserved.”

When the journey gets rough, he take it one step at a time, and credits his husband, Dustin, for being his traveling partner. “We have been together for 16 years, and he has been instrumental in my success by continuing to be my cheerleader during tough times and making sure I don’t settle when things are going well. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without him.”


—Mark Morris