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What a 700 year-old Castle Taught Me About Money

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What a 700 year-old Castle Taught Me About Money

Created by: Jeff Bullock


I hope this monthly newsletter finds you well. Money management and finances can be complicated, stressful, and exuberant, and yet, they are so very personal. My goal with these letters is to give you a few ideas and principles that will hopefully spark thoughts, conversations, and potentially even nudge you to make small changes in the way you approach money.

A number of years ago I was traveling through Great Britain and visited Beaumaris Castle in Northern Wales. In the years since that trip, I’ve grown to love the history and story behind its construction and architecture. For its time, Beaumaris had a state-of-the-art defensive design. If you look at a picture, you will see a moat, a drawbridge, a small outer wall, a larger inner wall, big towers, and a firing platform. The design was a “walls within walls” plan, and some scholars consider it the pinnacle of military engineering for the time period. Beaumaris Castle wasn’t built to simply be another castle, it was meant to be a mighty fortress. Unfortunately, this fortress was never completed because improper financial planning led to money shortages and eventually to abandoning the construction. Ironic, isn’t it? What should have been a beautiful and strong fortress was derailed, not by poor design or engineering, but by improper financial planning.

There are a few principles and applications we can learn from Beaumaris Castle as it relates to managing money:

Principle 1: How to build a fortress: The principle of building a fortress, and not merely a castle, requires a “walls within walls” approach, or said another way, “layers upon layers” of defenses. The Beaumaris design was fantastic. Redundancy upon redundancy was thought of and (almost) built, creating what surely would have been an (almost) impenetrable fortress.

  • Application: When building a financial plan or investment portfolio, the approach of organizing your money into “buckets” that have different jobs or intentions can help create these “layers upon layers.” Different types of buckets that could be part of your plan might be: a rainy day bucket, a short-term needs bucket, an insurance bucket, a long-term investment portfolio bucket, a college savings bucket, a retirement bucket, etc. Organizing with intent is the key to a proper plan.

Principle 2: Poor planning and poor execution usually leads to poor outcomes: We see in the example of Beaumaris Castle that fantastic intentions and designs can be derailed by poor planning and execution.

  • Application: Successful financial outcomes are a biproduct of proper goal-setting, planning and execution; each of these pillars must be in alignment. It’s important to be realistic and understand that most financial goals take years, not months to achieve, but getting on the right path early can make all the difference decades down the road.

At Fidelis Wealth, we help you build your personal financial fortress. By implementing sound principles including planning, building, and using a long-term financial approach, we want to help you improve your financial situation, regardless of the current state.

Feedback from these newsletters is not only welcomed but encouraged. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at If you think this might be useful to any of your friends or family, feel free to forward it to them.

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Nancy Tagovailoa


Nancy has worked in the financial services industry for the past 25 years.  She is passionate about providing an unforgettable customer experience throughout onboarding, account opening and throughout the relationship.  Nancy works hard to make the client experience as easy and efficient as possible.



Nancy was born in Norfolk, Nebraska, but has been in Colorado since she was 6 months old so considers herself a native.   In her free time, she enjoys gardening, painting, and spending time with her family and grandchildren.  Nancy lives in Centennial, Colorado with her husband, Lima.

Karley Winder

Karley Winder recently joined Fidelis Wealth Advisors as an intern. She is an undergraduate at Arapahoe Community College and is soon transferring to University of Colorado Denver business school to earn her Bachelor’s in Financial Management. Karley also has several years of entrepreneurial experience from starting her own local businesses. She has sincere interest in the field of finance and is eager to gain experience.


Karley is a Colorado native and has lived in Castle Rock since she was a young girl. She enjoys horseback riding, Pilates, and mountain biking in her free time.

Rilee Erickson

Rilee comes to Fidelis Wealth Advisors with a background in Financial Services, having previous experience in property and casualty insurance, as well as life insurance. Rilee graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness and Horticulture Sciences. Rilee’s passion is helping people protect their family and their future.


Rilee is a Wyoming native and resides in Big Piney, Wyoming with her husband and two boys. Rilee enjoys spending a lot of time outdoors and exploring the beautiful and rugged Wyoming Range.

Skye Fineran

Skye comes to Fidelis Wealth Advisors as an Administrative Assistant in 2021 and is a recent graduate from West Texas A&M University. There she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. Skye also completed Amarillo College’s paralegal certification program. Skye enjoys the rewarding feeling of helping clients to achieve their financial goals and looks forward to making a difference at Fidelis Wealth Advisors.


Skye grew up in Tecumseh, Michigan and currently resides in Castle Rock, Colorado with her family. Skye loves art history, playing golf, and spending time with her family and friends.

RIA Innovations

Fidelis Wealth Advisors has a strategic partnership with RIA Innovations, a Division of NWAM, LLC. RIA Innovations provides administrative support services for registered investment advisors nationwide. This service is under the direction of Nelly Mubashi, the Chief Operating Officer.


NWAM, LLC, dba Northwest Asset Management & RIA Innovations is an SEC registered investment adviser. NWAM, LLC dba Northwest Asset Management & RIA Innovations and Fidelis Wealth Advisors, LLC are not affiliated companies.

Gabriel Jones

Gabe started with Fidelis Wealth Advisors as an Investment Research Assistant in 2018, and has an intense passion for investment research.

Gabe is currently in college to obtain his Bachelors in Finance, and enjoys spending time outside of work hiking and reading.

Dawn Folmer

Dawn Folmer comes to Fidelis Wealth Advisors with a background in the finance industry, having previous experience with a registered investment advisory firm in Denver. Dawn is a recent graduate of Colorado State University Global, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership. As a skilled financial planning assistant, she enjoys the rewarding feeling of helping people reach their financial dreams and retirement goals.


Dawn is a Colorado native and resides in Castle Rock with her family, where they enjoy being adventurous and active in the outdoors. Additionally, she is passionate about travel, food, and playing golf.

Jeff Bullock

Jeff joined Fidelis Wealth Advisors after spending nearly 10 years working at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management in their Private Bank. As Chief Investment Officer, he is responsible for the overall investment strategy, portfolio construction, and market insights for clients.


Jeff held various roles during his decade at J.P. Morgan, including working as an investment specialist on their trading desk, where he was responsible for managing and trading investment portfolios for High Net-Worth families and non-profit foundations throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Jeff helped co-manage over $4.0 billion of investment assets and gained broad experience in portfolio construction and investment strategy, as well as in-depth knowledge in a variety of asset classes and markets. In recent years, Jeff was part of the leadership team that trained new advisors and established an expansion office in Utah.


Jeff loves helping people with their money-related questions and management. Very simply, his goal is to help others continuously improve their financial situation, regardless of the current condition. His framework centers around sound advice and proper decision-making by engaging in honest discussion and taking a long-term approach.


Jeff holds a B.S. in Accounting from Brigham Young University. He is a native to Colorado and loves playing golf and being outdoors. He lives in Highlands Ranch with his wife Nicole, and their two children.

Lorie C. Jones, MBA, CFP®

Lorie began working in financial services in 2013 with a Registered Investment Advisory firm in South Denver. She started as a paraplanner and provided technology and operations support before transitioning to a Client Services Manager role with Empower Retirement. There she managed a book of 300+ Core Market plans before joining Fidelis Wealth Advisors.

Lorie enjoys the challenges presented by financial planning and is rewarded by helping clients thoroughly understand the complexities of finance so they can be better informed and in control of their planning.

In addition to securities licenses, she holds health, life, accident, property, and casualty insurance licenses in the state of Colorado and completed her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation from the CFP® Board of Standards. She is also a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

Lorie graduated from Colorado State University with an MBA. She enjoys running and has participated in several marathons and half-marathons around the country. She also enjoys hiking with her family, traveling with her husband David and their five children, and working with the cub scout and boy scout programs, including volunteering with the district.