Lifelong learning is the key to success, a philosophy Diego A. Verdugo embraced as a kid and carries on to this day. As Director of the Knowledge Hub for Principal Global Investors, he spends much of his professional career helping advisors amplify their businesses.

Growing up in a family that struggled to make ends meet after immigrating from Mexico, Diego learned the value of hard work early. He saw his father supplement his income with weekend landscaping jobs and his mother work in a grocery store while making money on the side cooking for neighbors or making small loans.

“They were entrepreneurial and financially focused, even without an advanced education,” he says.

But he knew that college would be the ticket to the American dream and worked hard to earn an almost full-ride scholarship to Cornell College in Iowa, sponsored by Principal Financial Group, where he has built his career.

Today, Diego pays that forward as an active community volunteer, serving on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Arizona and working with the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA).

In today’s episode, Diego talks to Ana and Jamie about how his childhood shaped his attitudes toward success and money, where his family-first mindset comes from, how he almost went to culinary school (and still makes an impressive taco!) and shares a great story about the lucrative ending to one of his first money memories.

Key Takeaways

  • Always look for how you can help others, but remember you’ll never “have” the time – you have to make the time.
  • Harness your passion. Seeing the people you’ve inspired with your service makes any related sacrifices worthwhile.
  • Talking to clients about their situations reminds you of their real-world struggles and allows you to give better, more empathetic advice.


“One time I asked my mentor how I could repay him for all his support, and he replied that, while there wasn’t much I could do for him, I could pay it forward when someone came to me needing similar advice. Those words inspired my calling to give back.”


Carson Group is committed to advancing financial literacy at all ages. Schedule a consultation to learn how Carson can help you help your clients.

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