Wealth Podcast Post

Overcoming Adversity with Cary Carbonaro

George Grombacher July 21, 2023

share close

Overcoming Adversity with Cary Carbonaro

LifeBlood: We talked about overcoming adversity, navigating impossible situations, how to advocate for yourself, the importance of evaluating companies for fit, and how to keep moving forward, with Cary Carbonaro, award-winning financial advisor, women’s wealth expert, CFP Board ambassador, speaker and author.      

Listen to learn how to prepare yourself for life’s uncertainties!

You can learn more about Cary at CaryCarbonaro.com Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review here:


You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook or you’d like to be a guest on the show, contact us at contact@LifeBlood.Live. 

Stay up to date by getting our monthly updates.

Want to say “Thanks!” You can buy us a cup of coffee.


Invest in yourself. Bring it All Together.

Work with a coach to unlock personal and professional potential.

Our Guests

George Grombacher

Cary Carbonaro

Cary Carbonaro

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Hey, what’s this George G and the time is right, welcome. Today’s guests are Uncle Paul for Kerry Carbonell, Carrie, how are you ready to do this?

Cary Carbonaro 0:09
I am ready. Thanks, George.

george grombacher 0:11
Let’s go excited to have you back on carry you were one of the early guests on the podcast back in 2018. And just to refresh everybody’s memory, Carrie is an award winning financial advisor. She’s a women’s wealth expert CFP, board ambassador, speaker and author. And a female advocate, Carrie excited to have you back on the show. Tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

Cary Carbonaro 0:38
Sure, so personal life happily married living in Florida right now have spent half my career in Florida and New York and my clients are in both places. So it’s a little bit strange. This was like a little come out of COVID and wound up in Florida full time. So I’m still deciding if that’s going to stick or not. Because I’m such a New Yorker. And then professionally, I have had started my own business, Ria and then merged with the United capital, United capital was sold to Goldman. I almost lost my career. And then I emerged on the other side after having to quit run out my non compete. And now I’m at a small Ria, where I’m leading women in wealth for them and starting that starting that whole thing up. But I still have and what what gets me out of bed in the morning, is my passion for women and women in wealth and helping them and overcoming all the challenges that they have. And getting to a place where women really want to control their own financial future. And as you know, it’s it’s also related to our industry, because the only thing I want to do, which is all again, part of my mission is making the industry more female friendly for clients, bringing more women into the profession, and just changing the whole attitudes around money and women. And so it’s all related, but it’s all kind of all different sides of the wheel, so to speak. Right?

george grombacher 2:10
Yeah, certainly appreciate that. And understand what your mission is. And everything you’re working on is congruent to that and helping everything move, move in the same direction and be an advocate. You’re, you’re sharing a little bit about, about your story, and certainly the recent history, and how frustrating and hard and challenging it was. And you’re somebody who is who is an expert in in this stuff, and so that it can happen to anybody is probably a scary thing, but reinforces how important your work is.

Cary Carbonaro 2:42
Well, what’s ironic about this whole thing is that I that I am a female advocate, that I was in a terrible situation. And ironically, for me, it’s the second time in my life, it’s happened. So here I am, practicing what I preach. And I was in a horrible situation with my ex husband, you know, 20 years ago, where I almost lost my career, my life. And here I am, couple years ago, back again, in that same situation, you know, where I almost lost everything again. And so twice in my lifetime, it’s happened to me. So if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody. Yeah. Anybody?

george grombacher 3:23
And what why does this happen? Carrie?

Cary Carbonaro 3:32
You know what, the first time I’ll say that, it was my fault, I will own it, I will take ownership of it, I made the wrong choice. I married Mr. Wrong. And because of that I you know, suffered for years and years and years, because I was in a you know, controlling marriage with a, you know, abusive ex husband. And I did everything I could to get out of it. But it took me a long, long time. And, you know, all he wanted to do was have take my money control my business control, my, you know, control pretty much the rest of my life. So it was very, very difficult to get away from him. But I did it. I you know, I was strong enough and survived and got out on the other side and then grew my practice to be, you know, very successful financial planning practice for women. So, the second time it happened to me 100% Not my fault and 100% not my choice. You know, my company was sold to Goldman Sachs. And I was, you know, put under the thumb of Goldman Sachs and you know, coming in as a name brand, having my own brand, having my own name having my own brand, everything is not going to sit with Goldman. You know, they don’t want anybody who has their own. They only want the Goldman brand and so not only did was I not known by them, and I actually never was known by them, but They did not want me to have my own brand. So from the minute I walked in the door, they, you know, cut off my arms and my legs and put a gag around my mouth, and then said, Go, and I said, but I can’t move. And they said, Too bad. And that was my experience and lot more for the next couple of years. And I just could not get out of my contract. No matter what I did. I even tried to find my business back. And they reneged on me at the last minute. And so then I had to quit and run out a non compete and take a leap of faith again, to start all over to see how many clients would come with me and start from scratch again, at this late age in my career, so it was definitely definitely not not exciting. It was more petrifying than anything else. But you know, I took the leap, I took a jumped without a net, and I survived. And here I am, you know, on the other side.

george grombacher 5:55
Yeah. Well, I’m sorry that you went through that and glad that you’re still standing and filming and doing the things do you feel like it was purely because of your personal brand, and all the work that you do in the media and the way that you hold yourself out, which is awesome, and it’s helped to be successful? Or because you are a woman, some kind of a combination?

Cary Carbonaro 6:20
I probably think the first one was more, because, you know, when I first got there, one of the things, probably I got that award from Investopedia. You know, we’re both on that. And I was like number four in the country in August of 2019. And so that when that award came out, we were like two weeks into Goldman. And I said, you know, hey, I just got this, it’s going to be announced in the press, it’s going to be all over the media, you know, what are we going to do with this? And they said, you can’t tell anybody, you can’t talk about it. You can’t tell your clients, you can’t share it on social media. And I was like, what? And then they and then they put me through anti bribery training. Because they thought I bribed myself, I bribed the award, which, by the way, I don’t know how you can bribe Investopedia, you were part of that, too. I mean, that’s like what happened. And I was like, What is going on? Like, I was literally like, I thought was a twilight zone. But back to the media thing. One of the things with the media was during that timeframe, they called me and they said, We want you to do a retirement segment on on a national news show. And I was super excited. I was like, great, give me a lot, then they gave me lots of time to actually prepare and get it approved. And so they came back with too many people will see it. And that was the reason why I was not allowed to do it. So

george grombacher 7:49
too much exposure. The Vampire, people will see it, the great vampire squid worried about bribery, and too many people being aware of somebody. So anyway, yeah. Anywho. Okay, so a very frustrating, scary experience going head to head with one of the largest financial institutions on the face of the earth and coming out on this and yes, lessons, takeaways.

Cary Carbonaro 8:19
So, you know, so many, so many, I don’t even know if I can summarize them all here. But I did write a chapter on this in my new book, which I don’t have a title for. And I don’t know what’s coming out yet. But it’s, it’s, it’s finished. And it was my experience with Goldman Sachs, and, you know, profits over people. And again, 100% my experience, you know, other people love the company. It’s just, I think it depends on what happens to you where you are in your career when you go in, you know, if you’re going to conform or not, there’s a lot of factors, but my experience was very, very different than most people’s. And so I really would like to share what to do in that situation with other people and see, you know, what could I have done differently? And you’ll see in my, when I, you know, write my notes, I mean, I tried everything. I mean, I tried, I felt like I was banging my head against the wall every day, you know, what can I do? What can I do better? What can I do else? What can I you know, constant constant, what can I do to make this better? And I just always went, went into a wall every single time and, you know, I had a ex colleague of mine say, well, Carrie, if you It’s like being on Mars, and you can’t breathe, because it’s the wrong environment. And I’m like, okay, sort of makes sense, right? So, and when you know, it’s wrong, you have to do you have to do what’s best for yourself, and you have to get out. And that was really, really scary and And I know there’s a lot of people there now who are would love to get out, but they’re very, very afraid of the lawsuits and you know, the big bad wolf and the vampire squid as they’re called. And you know, it’s, it’s it’s incredibly scary to have the number one firm with all the money in the world going against you, when we’re just little registered investment advisors like it’s very, very scary. I lost a lot of sleep. Yeah, yeah. I don’t doubt that I like my sleep.

george grombacher 10:29
Right. Sleep, sleep, sleep is essential for sure. So when is somebody who’s trying to make a good decision they’re getting into the financial space? Probably, I think I started my career with with New York Life. And certainly the work that I do today would not have been a good fit within New York Life, they would have said, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, there’s just not happening. And so that would have been made a bad decision on my part. Now, I know, you didn’t have a choice because your firm was acquired by this company. So it’s not like you went in there thinking that you were going to do things, it was just it was sort of thrust upon you. What, what is your advice to two financial advisors, both male and or female, on trying to figure out what what the best firm to have a career as?

Cary Carbonaro 11:20
Well, I don’t know, if it’s interesting, I feel like being being independent gives you the most options, right? So if you’re independent, then you get to choose more for yourself. And they and the only reason that I actually was not independent was because I went to United capital, because I needed help with the back office, I needed help with, you know, I didn’t have problems getting clients, I had problems doing all the other stuff. And which is the opposite of like, most, most people have problems getting clients. So I really, really needed back office help. And so for me, that’s, and I really wanted to be part of a bigger organization, and, you know, one plus one equals 11, and all that, all that kind of stuff. So for me, you know, joining United capital was not a mistake. It was it was actually fantastic for me, you know, the whole experience was great. I really loved my entire, you know, time there, I just never in a million years thought that we would be sold, it was never even on the table. It was you know, we just went for a regular recapitalization. And then the next thing we know, we’re sold to Goldman Sachs, which is literally the opposite, or the antithesis, antithesis of what we were because we were united capital, changing the world for financial planning. And we were, you know, fiduciaries and fee only, and, you know, putting the client first and now we are swallowed up by the big, bad wolf. And we don’t even exist anymore. Like it was we used to kind of kid and say, you know, United capital was murdered. And it was. So I guess my two second version of that is, if you’re an advisor, and you’re going to affirm, make sure that that can’t happen to you. And the only way that I can tell you that to make sure that does not happen to you is if there’s a majority stake of private equity. And if there’s a majority stake of private equity, there’s a chance that that could happen to you. And you do not want you do not want to be in the situation that I was in.

george grombacher 13:25
Got it. So doing the due diligence on on the front end, and making sure that you understand how the firm is owned, and just getting a sense of I mean, if it’s knowing that you’re somebody who is a creative and you want to create a personal brand, you need to make a good decision, because you’re not going to do that within a wonderful firm like Goldman Sachs.

Cary Carbonaro 13:51
Right? And the other thing, too is, you know, is your firm is the firm supportive, right? So of what you want to do, you can talk to other people within the firm. And they’ll tell you, they’ll tell you right in advance, will they support you? And it’s interesting, because when I first got to United, they were less supportive of me because they didn’t know who I was. So I feel like I had to prove myself. And then after I did, then I could do anything I wanted within, you know, the United capital brand. And so I did, and I never got the answer. No, you know, and that was fantastic. Because I never had to even worry that I was going to get the answer now. Where, you know, on the other side, I never got the answer. Yes.

george grombacher 14:33
So, yeah, I appreciate that. So, is there anything that you could do to prepare yourself from a personal financial standpoint, to be able to be nimble and to be able to move and I know that your situation was so unique because just because it was but for maybe advisors just to protect themselves?

Cary Carbonaro 14:57
Well, I always feel like you know, I’m I I’m a huge saver and investor, right? I always, you know, practice what I preach, you know, financial planning one on one on myself, I’ve done everything that I’ve told my clients to do over all these years. So I have a vast amount of resources to be able to nimbly move. At any time, I had the money to buy my my practice back from Goldman, in cash sitting in the bank waiting to write them a check, which was fantastic, because they were people were like, Oh, we can finance it for you. I’m like, nobody needs to finance it for me. So that was great. Of course, they I wasn’t able to do it. But I still had that I still had the ability to do that. Then I also had the ability to retire at any moment. And I could have actually walked away. And that’s a great thing, too. I just felt like I was too young. And I hadn’t, I haven’t done what I wanted to do in this profession, and made my mark. So I just didn’t feel like I felt like if I quit or retired, that they would be winning. And I just didn’t want that to happen. So I said, You know what, I’m going to, I’m going to continue, I’m going to persevere. I’m going to pick myself up and start over again. So I’m, you know, I look at like Madonna who like reinvented herself, like 100 times. So here I am reinventing myself again.

george grombacher 16:18
I love everything about that I love. You know what, I could walk away, I could retire. But that would be like them winning? And I’m disinterested in that?

Cary Carbonaro 16:28
Yes, yes. I mean, and the funny thing is, they could care less if I live or die. They don’t even know what’s happening to me. I just, it’s so it’s so funny. So I have this like, thing where I’m like going against them, but they don’t even know I’m alive. So it’s really funny, because it’s not really real.

george grombacher 16:44
No, yes, I appreciate that. But it very much is and then it gets a very real thing. Is that always I don’t want to call it a chip on your shoulder. Do you think about it like that?

Cary Carbonaro 16:56
So I don’t know. I don’t think I would call it that. You know, it’s funny when I came back from with my ex husband. And my, my brother was like, you’re like, you know, carry the bull. And I’m like, like, coming back, like fighting back. And I’m like, I’m not carry the ball. Like, I just thought that was funny. And he’s like, that’s how I see you. And I’m like, I don’t think of myself as that. No, I think I’m, I think I’m above fighting back. But I just feel like it would be my gift to the world is to change the industry and to do what I’m doing with women. And if I was not able to do it any longer than it would be, I would be doing a disservice to the world. That’s my view, my view or my opinion.

george grombacher 17:43
Yeah, well, I think it’s the right one. And I commend you for it. There’s much work to be done. And I think I think you’re a perfect person to do it. And I think that you are anybody who stands up in the face of adversity and continues fighting and does whatever it takes, whether it’s self inflicted, which this is not or not, or you know, it’s done to you, it’s we have the choice and to think about and react and feel the way that we want to and then move forward accordingly. And that’s exactly what you’re doing so

Cary Carbonaro 18:21
Right, exactly. And I definitely definitely don’t want to feel like a victim because I’m not you know, I’m definitely just want to just share the story that you know, there is you know, everybody has adversity everybody, right, no matter what it is health, wealth, whatever whatever’s going on, you know, relationships, there’s some something you know, it’s never a straight line up. I always say that to my stepson. I’m like, it’s never a straight line up. It’s life is like this, right? So it’s how you recover from from the you know, when you get kicked down, that makes you who you are. So I’m, you know, second time in my life, I’ve been kicked down and got up, so I’m doing good. Yeah, man too big too big times too big times.

george grombacher 19:04
Yeah. I love it. Well, Carrie, it’s so great to see you and talk to you again after a couple of years. Thank you so much for coming back on the show. Where can people learn Thank you for having me? Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you? Sure, I’m

Cary Carbonaro 19:18
so easy to find because I’m the only carry Cognero on the planet. So you can find me at my website at Carey carbonaro.com. You can find me at Twitter at Carey Carbonaro. You can find me at facebook at Carrie Carbonaro you can find me at LinkedIn Carrie Carbonaro you can find me on Instagram at Carey Carbonaro so I’m really easy to find and I’m very social on social media so love to connect with you and answer any questions.

george grombacher 19:43
Excellent. Well if you enjoyed as much as I did show, care your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to Carrie carbonaro.com CARY Car bonaro.com Find her on Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram be social with Carrie there link all those in the notes of the show thanks again Carrie

Cary Carbonaro 20:05
You’re so welcome

george grombacher 20:06
Thanks George and until next time remember do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review wherever you listen and we’d be grateful if you’d subscribe as well.

You can learn more about us at LifeBlood.Live, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.

Our Manifesto

We’re here to help others get better so they can live freely without regret
Believing we’ve each got one life, it’s better to live it well and the time to start is now If you’re someone who believes change begins with you, you’re one of us We’re working to inspire action, enable completion, knowing that, as Thoreau so perfectly put it “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Let us help you invest in yourself and bring it all together.

Feed your life-long learner by enrolling in one of our courses.

Invest in yourself and bring it all together by working with one of our coaches.

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, or you’d like to become a Certified LifeBlood Coach or Course provider, contact us at Contact@LifeBlood.Live.

Please note- The Money Savage podcast is now the LifeBlood Podcast. Curious why? Check out this episode and read this blog post!

We have numerous formats to welcome a diverse range of potential guests!

  • Be Well- for guests focused on overall wellness
  • Book Club-for authors
  • Brand-for guests focused on marketing
  • Complete-for guests focused on spirituality
  • Compete-for competitors, sports, gaming, betting, fantasy football
  • Create-for entrepreneurs
  • DeFi-for guests focused on crypto, blockchain and other emerging technologies
  • Engage-for guests focused on personal development/success and leadership
  • Express-for journalists/writers/bloggers
  • General-for guests focused on finance/money topics
  • Lifestyle-for guests focused on improving lifestyle
  • Maximize-for guests focused on the workplace
  • Numbers-for accounting and tax professionals
  • Nurture-for guests focused on parenting
  • REI-for guests focused on real estate

Feed your Life-Long Learner

Get what you need to get where you want to go

Rate it
Previous post