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The Healthy Advisor

The Healthy Advisor: Persevering in the Face of Adversity With Maria Castillo Dominguez

Maria Castillo Dominguez discusses her journey from a small Spanish town to becoming a senior financial planner with a major advisory firm in the U.S., and how her faith and family helped her get there.

Maria Castillo Dominguez grew up in Ronda, a small mountaintop town in the south of Spain. And while she had a great support system, she also had a very humble childhood, and things were difficult for her family financially. Because of that background, she lacked a lot of opportunities. Most of her family members worked labor jobs, and no one went to college.

But Maria was determined to be the first person in her family to go to college, and eventually get a desk job. She left home at a young age, and worked any job she could to pay her way through college. But when the financial crisis of 2008 hit Spain really hard, she lost her job and decided she needed to get out of the country. At age 25, with only about $400 to her name and no English under her belt, Maria went to the United States.

But moving to the U.S. brought new challenges to her life, as she had to overcome a language barrier and not having family around to support her. Despite that, she persevered.

In this episode, Managing Editor Diana Britton speaks with Maria Castillo Dominguez, senior financial planner with Apella Wealth, on the adversity she faced on her journey to becoming a financial advisor.

Maria shares her relationship with money and family and how they pushed her to achieve her goals.

Maria discusses: 

  • What it was like to relocate to the United States not knowing English and with only $400 to her name
  • The struggles she faced trying to enter the financial industry as a Hispanic woman
  • How spirituality helped her overcome both personal and professional issues
  • How she’s overcome work/life balance challenges
  • How her own strength and loved ones helped her through dark times
  • Why she doesn’t regret her past mistakes


Maria, left, with her mother, Encarni.


Connect With Maria Castillo Dominguez:

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About Our Guest:

Maria Castillo Dominguez is a senior financial planner at Apella Wealth, an employee-owned advisory firm. She is originally from Spain and moved to the United States in 2010 after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Sevilla. Maria has over 10 years’ experience in operations, compliance, personal banking and personal finance. She holds the CFP designation. She became interested in personal finance after she moved to the United States and realized the potential for helping others improve their lives. Maria most recently worked as a Financial Consultant with TD Ameritrade before transitioning to Inspired Financial, which merged with Apella in 2023.


If you have a struggle and wish to share your experiences and help others in similar situations, please reach out to Diana at [email protected].

The Healthy Advisor podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, Spotify and wherever podcasts are found.

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