At True-View Financial in Middleton, owner/coach/mythbuster James DesRocher helps people overcome their fears and take control of their financial situations.
While picking tobacco one leaf at a time at the age of 10, James DesRocher knew there just had to be a better way. So, he went out and found it. The Middleton resident and business owner now helps other people find their own, unique, better way.
DesRocher is the owner of TrueView Financial at 2 Central St. Sitting in the bright, open space by a wall labeled, “Innovation Alley,” featuring photos of the Declaration of Independence, the Wright Brothers and “The Men Who Built America,” he talks about having grown up poor in the area of Connecticut’s Tobacco Valley.
His mom was a waitress, his dad a truck driver. They didn’t even have a phone.
“Everyone was happy if we ate three times a day,” DesRocher says.
But, he had an entrepreneurial spirit. He started delivering papers at age 8. That was considered underage for the job, but he convinced the manager to give him a try. He said that if he missed even one house on the route, the manager could fire him.
From age 10 to 13, he picked tobacco. That he was picking the best cigar leaves in the world didn’t blunt the fact that it was hard work. A friend’s mom told him it was the perfect job precisely because he wouldn’t want to keep doing it.
“I wasn’t infatuated with it,” he says.
It was the first of several aha moments that would lead him in a new direction.
Desrocher says him mom always encouraged him.
“My mom was always like, ‘Jim, you can do anything you want,'” he says.
But, she also told him he had to get good grades, and he would go on to attend St. Anselm College. He says he wanted to study finance and economics so he could teach people about money so they wouldn’t live the way his family lived.
He’s been in business now for 11 years. Before opening his TrueView office in downtown Middleton, he worked in Wakefield. He now lives with his wife and two young children within walking distance of the office.
“This really is my American dream come true,” he says.
Another aha moment came when he attended a training in Arizona that took an approach that was, he says, the complete opposite of the traditional Wall Street way he learned in college. And, he said to himself, “This is the right way. I have to change things.”
DesRocher holds monthly financial coaching sessions that help people overcome their fears and take control of their situations. He calls them financial myth-buster workshops. Since most people don’t love finances, he says, he knew he needed to make the material less dry and more engaging. So, he uses games in his teaching, and he awards prizes.
“We have fun with it,” he says. “I care about people first. I call them my family of clients.”
When potential clients come in, he says, the first thing he does is learn about them.
“That’s more important than the trade secrets,” he says.
He says he often asks, “Who is your best coach you ever had,” and people always talk about the mentor who was tough and brutally honest, but who also encouraged them.
Take the case of a couple heading into retirement with $150,000 in savings. Although $150K isn’t enough, he says he wouldn’t try to help them hide from that fact. Instead, he would encourage them to do things differently, to look at all the possibilities, to turn over every financial rock.
“It’s a lot of little steps that turn into a big leap,” he says.
DesRochers says he often tells his clients, “If we look at 100 areas of your life and make each one 1 percent better, now you’re 100 percent better.”