Money Checkup Podcast

Money Checkup Podcast With Dasarte Yarnway

Episode 59: Designing Your Wealth with Dasarte Yarnway

Dasarte Yarnway founded his own wealth management firm at age 24 out of a desire to help people create multi-generational wealth. At Berknell Financial Group, he encourages clients to think deeply about their relationship to and beliefs about money, then works alongside them to create a unique, holistic plan that reflects their values across all aspects of their financial life. Then, he helps clients use their wealth to invest in themselves, their families, and their communities. 

“How do you create that better life when no one’s telling you what the rules are to this system?… If they had a compass, how could that change the trajectory of their financial life?” 

The child of immigrants from Liberia, Dasarte is passionate about making financial planning more accessible to everyone. 


Dasarte Yarnway is the Founder and Managing Director of Berknell Financial Group, an innovative independent wealth management firm focused on helping millennials and seasoned investors design their best lives. Coined a financial thought leader” and “financial guru” by Nerd Wallet and Financial Planning Magazine, Dasarte believes in meeting clients where they are and helping them design their wealth on their terms. He offers advice and insight through several popular books and a podcast. 

Social media, website, book link:


  • Dasarte’s parents are from Liberia, and moved to the U.S. fleeing a civil war. His father died when he was 12 years old. As the only boy in a family of six kids, Dasarte wanted to fulfill his father’s legacy in his family and in their community. 
  • Dasarte’s early memories of money include not being able to afford things that his classmates had and his parents filing for bankruptcy. As a young wealth manager in a large brokerage firm, he saw clients building multi-generational wealth, and wanted to give more people access to that kind of service. 
  • At 24, Dasarte launched his firm, Berknell Financial Group. He serves high-net-worth clients as well as those in their “accumulation years,” especially those who may not have learned how to navigate the financial planning space. 
  • Dasarte believes conversations differ between those two types of clients because “we’ve made it that way.” He thinks the process should be the same for every client — developing a holistic financial plan, addressing immediate concerns, and reflecting on personal beliefs about money. 
  • Dasarte developed a model called the RIITE planning process. RIITE stands for retirement, investments, insurance, taxes, and estate planning, which are the foundational elements of a personal financial plan. Historically, he says, lots of advisors have focused on one or two of those elements rather than piecing them all together. 
  • Dasarte uses the phrase “designing your wealth” intentionally, recognizing that what makes each person feel wealthy might be something different. There are lots of conflicting ideologies about how to manage your money, and sifting through all that information can be confusing and exhausting. Dasarte encourages his clients to know themselves and their values first, then figure out whether certain approaches are relevant to those values and goals.


“When I got [a job at a wealth management firm], I saw how multi-generational wealth was built. I saw how people thought about money. I saw how people were intending to pass the baton to their beneficiaries and people who would take it to the next level. I felt in awe of this.”

“I charged myself with being a Robin Hood in the personal finance and wealth management space — I wanted to take all of this information and give it to the people who needed it the most.” 

“They just wanted a better life for us. But how do you create that better life when no one’s telling you what the rules are to this system? As I think about my passion for financial services, my passion for planning, our process, I think about that… if they had a compass, how could that change the trajectory of their financial life?” 

“We think, act, and behave in ways that are totally rooted in our past, in our upbringing.”

“Because of the lack of access, typically people are learning through their mistakes. Can we get to a point where we are giving people tools early so that they can potentially avoid some of those mistakes that we’ve had to make?”

“To really provide value to your clients, you have to look at every part of their financial life.” 

“Time works. Give it time. Think about what you truly want to give to your community, to your family, and to the world, and when that idea comes to you, plan for that. Don’t rush to do anything that you are not passionate about.” 

“Knowing yourself is critical in building your wealth design. Having a financial advisor can only assist with that.” 


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If you liked this episode, here’s another I think you’ll enjoy: Episode 47: Planning for a Career in Tech with Chloe A. Moore, CFP®

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