Financial Literacy

Waking up to Financial Literacy

Educating 'One Sip at a Time'

Expecting to launch in time for the holiday season, Bull & Bear Brew will allow you to order coffee – with a shot of financial literacy.

The brainchild of entrepreneur Jason Steele, who’s also founder and CEO of Weston Banks Wealth Partners in Raleigh, NC, Bull & Bear Brew is a fresh organic, fair trade financial literacy coffee brand.

“Our mission is to educate the next generation,” Steele recently told Advisors Magazine in an interview. “Put them in control of their finances, ‘one sip at a time’ (the coffee’s tagline). Young people weren’t learning or being taught the most basic stuff – saving, spending, budgeting.”

steele quoteThe idea came to Steele about five years ago. He went to a Starbucks® and there was nowhere to sit. He recalls that the popular gathering place was filled with people mostly under the age of 25 who had spent a lot on a latte, Frappucino® or Americano.

“While there, someone I knew asked me for a stock tip– knowing I was in the financial services business – and I jokingly said, ‘Starbucks, just look at this place. Some of these kids need to buy shares of the company’s stock, because it might pay for their habit in dividends one day.’”

At that time, Steele hadn’t fully realized his idea for blending financial literacy with coffee. But over the years, his firm kept getting calls from college students and recent graduates wanting to learn about finances and investing.

“During the pandemic, I started to make something of this dream and to flush out the thought process,” he said. “The notion was to make something that you could drink and also make you a little more financially savvy, save a little more money and make better life decisions.”

Jason BBThe coffee brand, which can be ordered online ( merges different market investing terms with different tastes. Some examples are: Dead Cat Bounce, a medium roast; Black Monday, a bold roast, and Irrational Exuberance, a decaf. The bags and mugs have QR codes that can be scanned to provide a quick, 15- to 30-second financial or life lesson along with a cup of coffee.

“Plus, with every bag someone buys, a portion of that will eventually go into their personal Bull and Bear savings account,” Steele explained. “We’re ready to launch in time for Christmas.”

Fact is, Steele wasn’t all that interested in stocks and bonds even when in college. He was always interested in being an entrepreneur, but not necessarily a financial planner. After college he took a job selling Aflac® insurance and other benefit programs, but soon became bored with the limited scope of products. Still, he loved selling, and during a sales call to eastern North Carolina he met his future mentor who was teaching about 401(k) plans and providing solutions to people. Impressed, Steele ended up joining the future mentor and staff at Morgan Keegan in Memphis, TN.

“The joke was James Bond was the closest thing to what I thought a real bond was,” Steele chuckled. “I just didn’t understand anything.” But over the years he went for more intensive training, decided one day to make his own leap and founded Weston Banks Wealth Partners in 2010. His current credentials include Series 7, 63, 65, and Certified College Planning Specialist (CCPS™). Not wanting it to be all about him, the firm’s name reflects the middle names of two of his three sons.

Today, the firm services about 150 households by providing holistic financial planning. The typical client has $2-3 million in assets. Their home is usually paid for, and most are business owners who might also own a beach house. Weston Banks Wealth Partners is affiliated with Prospera Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.

“We’re pretty much referral-based,” Steele said. “We sit down as a team and interview prospective clients, to see if they fit our model and our process. We’re not a stock brokerage firm. We don’t pitch stocks over and over to make money.”

He added that the firm adheres to the belief that success means different things to different people. “For some, it’s about accumulating wealth, to others it’s about having enough to meet their family expenditure needs and obligations. For us, success is not just measured by what’s desirable, but what’s attainable,” he said.

Steele likes to talk about building the road to take a client to their destination. But ever the entrepreneur, he takes that to the next level with his ‘Lessons From the Yellow Brick Road.’

“We use illustrations of the yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz,” he explained. “We depict the Tin Man, the Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, and we use those characters as analogies for the emotions around market volatility.”

A client’s own yellow brick road is discussed during meetings. “For example, the yellow brick could be retirement, which is Oz — or for someone who is already retired, their yellow brick road could be end of life expectancies and transferal of wealth,” Steele said.

Weston Banks Wealth Partners manages client assets and other wealth issues aligned with its philosophy – or FILLosophy, as Steele pointed out.

FILLosophy is an acronym for Financial Investing for Life and Legacy, he explained. The idea is to FILL client lives with more than just money. The goal is to craft a plan that provides stability so clients feel confident about their financial plan, even in challenging markets.

“We share this FILLosophy in prospect meetings and emphasize it is not about picking stocks, there is so much more to it,” Steele said.

Financial education is one of the pillars of the firm, he insisted. “I want clients to know all the options on the table — the benefits and the pitfalls. A foundation in personal finance is critical,” Steele stressed.

And considering Americans consume more than 450 million cups of coffee each day according the National Coffee Association, a foundation in financial literacy could soon get a nice boost from Steele’s Bull & Bear Brew concept.

For more information about on Weston Banks Wealth Partners, visit:


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