CD Financial January 2019

Give us a call! 949.359.5100




30270 Rancho Viejo Road Suite D San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Why I Plotted My Own Course


T he journey to opening CD Financial began with a request from my wife, Angie. It had nothing to do with me starting a business or even entering the financial sector. Instead, it was based on moving somewhere with a less severe winter. We were living in Philadelphia at the time when I received a job offer in California. It was perfect timing, as Angie had endured more than enough of the East Coast’s weather. “I’ve given you 10 years in the snow,” she told me. “I think it’s time we move somewhere warmer.” She’s Southern, after all. After landing in California, I began working for a rather large financial advisory firm. It was during that time that I realized our federal workforce was grossly underserved by the industry. The federal retirement system is its own animal and requires expertise that most financial planners simply do not have. After working with these folks and coming to appreciate their daily contributions in assisting the government’s smooth operation, I had a newfound respect and admiration for them. I decided that I wanted to focus on helping them prepare for the retirement of their dreams. To do that, I knew I needed to become a fiduciary and run my own practice. A fiduciary is somebody who, by law, must always act in the best interest of their clients. As scary as that sounds, only about 15 percent of people who call themselves financial advisors or planners are required to hold themselves to the fiduciary standard. How many fiduciaries understand the federal retirement system in any depth, though? Likely far less than 1 percent of all advisors. See what I mean by underserved? “While working at other firms, I asked questions about why we were offering only certain products and not others. The response I’d hear most often was, ‘Stop asking questions and don’t worry about it.’ Well, I want to worry about it.”

The second requirement was that I’d run a totally independent practice whose only goal was to provide the best possible retirement plan for our clients. While working at other firms, I asked questions about why we were offering only certain products and not others. The response I’d hear most often was, “Stop asking questions and don’t worry about it.”Well, I want to worry about it. I believe I have a responsibility to turn over every possible stone if there’s a chance it will benefit my clients. I wanted to operate in their best interest, not the best interest of a huge organization. No more influencing of the financial instruments we were going to use by some outside force. To do that, I had to do it on my own. And so, CD Financial was born. We’ve been operating since 2010, with a particular focus on helping public-sector employees, though we do work with clients in private-sector jobs as well. Our goal is to provide clients clarity about their future and jointly develop a written retirement income plan, allowing them to retire with confidence. There are so many misconceptions about federal employees — some of my clients are even sheepish to admit they work for the IRS — and it’s important that everyone who walks through our doors feels comfortable, welcome, and cared for. When I’m not working, I spend a lot of time as a volunteer minister with my congregation doing community outreach work with those who are struggling. It’s incredibly meaningful to be able to help in whatever small way I can. I also love hanging out with Angie and our three wonderful children. While Angie spearheaded our move to California, I’ve found the Pacific ocean to be my home away from home. Any chance I get, you’ll find me stand-up paddle-boarding, swimming, or simply enjoying the beauty of the seaside. I’m looking forward to sharing more of my story with you over the coming months. And I can’t wait to hear yours when you come into our office. After all, retirement isn’t just about dollars and cents. It’s about living the best possible life after your career is done.

-Charles Dzama


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What You Didn’t Know About Chocolate

Do your kids get enough nutrients in their diet? If they’re like most kids, the answer is probably no. You want your children to eat more vegetables and less processed junk, but they certainly don’t make it easy. Even getting the average kid to chow down on a serving of broccoli can be a huge chore. In fact, food manufacturers have built an entire industry that takes advantage of our kids’ penchant for sugary cereal and fast food. However, a diet of highly processed foods can lead to a host of problems. Not only do these poor dietary habits carry over into adulthood, but a poor diet can hinder brain development and may even cause behavioral issues. A study in the American Journal of Public Health found links between poor diet and the development of depression in kids and teens. But how can you encourage your kids to eat healthier? Often, it comes down to presentation. A mound of plain old veggies is not appetizing — not to a 10-year- old and not to a 40-year-old. Instead of presenting vegetables as a boring side dish, think of them as an ingredient. Take lasagna, for instance. This tasty, familiar dish is easy to modify. Instead of using lasagna noodles, use zucchini. Simply slice the zucchini into thin, noodle-like strips, then layer them as you would typical noodles. The same can be done with other pasta dishes, such as spaghetti. Zucchini noodles — or “zoodles”— are delicious in marinara sauce and decadent in Alfredo.

Chocolate is a treat savored by people all over the world. What we know as the sweet, creamy decadence that is so well loved actually has greater historical and cultural significance. Fermented chocolate drinks have been dated back to as early as 350 B.C. The Aztecs believed it was the beverage of wisdom, and the Mayans saw it as something to be worshipped. While the history of chocolate is as rich as its flavor, there are some common misconceptions about the treat. Dutch chocolate doesn’t necessarily refer to chocolate made in the Netherlands; the name refers to a specific chocolate-making process that uses the cocoa press. Before Dutch chemist and chocolate-maker C.J. van Houten invented the machine in 1828, chocolate was only used in beverages. Dutch chocolate is chocolate that has been modified with an alkalizing agent in order to produce a milder flavor, making it a fantastic option for use in baked goods, candy, and ice cream. German chocolate actually has nothing to do with the country of Germany, either. It used to be called “German’s chocolate,” named after its inventor, Sam German, an American who made sweet chocolate for baking. Adding sugar to the chocolate made it a go-to option for bakers around the world, and the base for German chocolate cake was born. For chocolate to be classified as Swiss, it has to be made in Switzerland, as chocolate-making is considered an art form in the country. Known for its “melt in your mouth” quality, Swiss chocolate uses condensed milk to add a velvety texture. Many chocolate makers outside of Switzerland will refer to their interpretations of Swiss chocolate as milk chocolate instead.

If push comes to shove, you can easily hide vegetables in foods your children already know and love. Did you know you can make brownies with avocado and black beans? Slipping in a few healthier ingredients here and there can deliver those nutrients in a pinch, especially during a chaotic school week.

But, if you’re hoping to foster long-lasting healthy habits, the best thing you can do is offer your child a choice. Say something like “You can have

the cauliflower, or you can have the broccoli. It’s up to you!” Let your child have that control. Psychologists and social scientists, including the famed Dr. Maria Montessori, argue that when kids feel in charge of a decision, they are more likely to embrace one of the options — even if it’s a vegetable.

Ultimately, as a parent, you are in charge of your child’s diet. Help them explore new foods and foster a positive culinary environment. Your kids will develop a taste for healthy eating in no time!

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MOM REALLY DOES KNOW BEST 3 Wives’ Tales Proven True

“Make a face like that, and it’ll stay that way forever.”You may have heard something like this from Mom’s book of wisdom. Maybe you never disputed the idea that mother knows best. But as you grew up, it slowly became clear that hair doesn’t grow back faster and thicker if you shave it, cracking your knuckles doesn’t cause arthritis, and gum doesn’t stay in your stomach for months after you swallow it. After a whirlwind of wives’ tales over the years, many common claims have been put under scrutiny. Wives’ tales have been known as pseudoscience and blind intuition, but even as many were disproved, some surprisingly proved to hold weight. Here are three wives’ tales that have proven to be true. Garlic Cures Colds For decades, moms have professed the healing properties of garlic, suggesting it can cure colds and help the body fight sickness. It turns out they were absolutely right. Garlic has antiviral properties that strengthen the immune system and nutrients that help combat illnesses. The effects of garlic can actually be more effective than over-the-counter flu medications. Some studies show that regular consumption of raw garlic lessens the likelihood of getting a cold, so if you feel a tickle in your throat, try a clove before you open the medicine cabinet. Heartburn Means a Hairy Baby It’s hard to list wives’ tales without bringing up one about pregnancy. Many are solely based on intuition, but a few that sound odd are legitimate. In 2007, a

study done by Johns Hopkins attempted to debunk the myth that heartburn during pregnancy

would mean a hairy baby at

birth. Instead of proving it wrong, they found that 82 percent of women with severe heartburn during pregnancy gave birth to hairy babies. Turns out the hormones that cause heartburn in pregnant women also affect fetal hair growth.

Joint Pain Predicts the Weather Did you ever look at your mom with skepticism when she would predict rain because her knees hurt? If so, you might owe your mom an apology, because there is a scientific connection. The drop in barometric pressure that’s common during storm weather causes pain in arthritic joints.



Inspired by The New York Times


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2 large or 4 medium chicken thighs

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2 teaspoons sugar

3 pounds bok choy, cut into 3–4-inch ribbons 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 4 tablespoons water

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2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Salt and pepper, to taste



In large pot, boil three cups of water. Add chicken and reduce to simmer, cooking for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool. Once cooled, remove skin and bones, chop, and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid. In a large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil. Once simmering, add bok choy and cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout. Add half of reserved cooking

liquid, cover skillet, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a plate. Add remaining cooking liquid and chicken to the pan, maintaining high heat. Heat chicken, then add oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch-and-water mixture, sesame oil, and bok choy. Season to taste, toss together, and serve over rice.



Solution on page 4


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INSIDE 1 30270 Rancho Viejo Road Suite D San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

A Firm That Serves Clients First and Foremost


All About Chocolate

Trick Your Kids Into Healthy Eating


3 Wives’ Tales That Are True Chicken Chop Suey


What Happens to Military Service Dogs?

Reuniting Brothers in Arms There are around 2,500 military working dogs currently in service, and their efforts help save the lives of countless soldiers and civilians every day. One of these brave military dogs is Sgt. Fieldy, This wasn’t the only IED Fieldy found. His sharp nose and dedication helped save thousands of lives. After his deployment, Caceres returned home, but Sgt. Fieldy served several more tours without him. While Fieldy continued to protect soldiers and civilians by tracking down IEDs, Caceres worked tirelessly to make sure he could bring Fieldy home when his service was over. Military working dogs can be adopted by former handlers, law enforcement, or qualified civilians when they retire. After three years apart and a total of four tours served, Sgt. Fieldy was reunited with Caceres. In 2016, Fieldy received the K9 Medal of Courage Award, and in 2018, he won the American Humane Hero Dog Award for his service. Sgt. Fieldy Comes Home

an 11-year-old black lab who was trained to locate the No. 1 threat in Afghanistan: IEDs. Sgt. Fieldy was deployed to Afghanistan with his handler, Cpl.

“These dogs are out there with us,” said Caceres when he and Fieldy accepted the Hero Dog Award. “The dangers we face, they face them too. They deserve to be recognized. We ask so much of them, and all they want is to get petted or play with a toy. They’re amazing animals, and Fieldy is just an amazing dog. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for him.”

Nicolas Caceres, in 2011.

Early in their deployment, their vehicle struck a pressure plate while they were on patrol. Fieldy and Caceres were all right, but one of the other Marines in their company was badly injured in the explosion. The injured Marine could not be evacuated by helicopter until the landing zone was secured. Fieldy found another IED in the area and alerted Caceres. The bomb was quickly disarmed, and the injured soldier was taken to safety.

If you are interested in supporting our nation’s working dogs or would like to adopt a retired working dog yourself, you can learn more at

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