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Vice President of Wealth Management

Perry J. Johnson III, AIF®

West Covina
Retirement Planning
Comprehensive Wealth Planning
Business Owners & Private Practices
Qualified Plans
Clients in Transition & Mid-Career

“My goal as an Advisor is to bring organization and clarity to my client’s financial house. I love what I do because I get to see clients reach their dreams and have been doing so for 20 years.”

perry johnson

Vice President of Wealth Management

Perry J. Johnson III, AIF®

West Covina
Retirement Planning
Comprehensive Wealth Planning
Business Owners & Private Practices
Qualified Plans
Clients in Transition & Mid-Career

“My goal as an Advisor is to bring organization and clarity to my client’s financial house. I love what I do because I get to see clients reach their dreams and have been doing so for 20 years.”

Alumni DePaul University & MBA from Pepperdine

Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF)

Proudly serves L.A. County Employees

Coaches & teaches fitness to children

Enjoys traveling

Will video conference with clients to make it easier

Get to Know Perry

Perry J. Johnson III, AIF® focuses on advising and creating comprehensive financial plans for his clients that are in line with their specific goals and objectives. He’s been in the financial services industry for over 20 years and enjoys providing objective guidance to all his clients, businesses and individuals alike. He not only reviews investments but analyzes several key areas to ensure that the financial plan is comprehensive and that gaps are minimized.

While his goal is to provide organization and clarity to his clients’ overall financial plan, Perry recognizes that there is far more to financial planning than just having funds to save or invest. He also believes in reviewing the client’s current situation and life goals and creating a plan that puts them on a path towards pursuing those goals. He extends this life planning to the work he does with children, coaching and assisting them in being healthy and physically fit.

Perry earned his MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business. He also holds FINRA Series 6, 7, and 63 registrations with LPL Financial, Series 65 with Trilogy Capital, Inc., and also holds Life, Health, Disability and Long-Term Care Insurance Licenses.

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Meet Perry’s Team

Scroll through to see each of the Advisors

Featured in the News

Featured in the News

The addition of E. F. Heagan & Associates and Mandichak Investment Retirement & Estate Planning brings more than 500 new clients.

Trilogy Financial Services, a Huntington Beach, California-based hybrid managing $3 billion, has acquired E. F. Heagan & Associates of San Juan Capistrano, California, and Mandichak Investment Retirement & Estate Planning, of Laguna Niguel, California.

Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

The two firms add $160 million in assets under management to Trilogy’s total and brings more than 500 new clients. Read More.



Authority Magazine

By: Charlie Katz |

As part of my series about the “How to Navigate and Succeed in the Modern World of Finance”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Motske.

Jeff Motske is an author of a financial compatibility guide, an accomplished executive, radio personality and host of The Jeff Motske Show, and financial advisor. More importantly, he is a believer in the power of everyday Americans and is committed to helping them reach financial independence. He began his career in retirement planning out of college, and as he watched the landscape of financial services, Jeff saw how disconnected most of his industry was from the real-life issues of Americans. In partnership with Kevin Mackintosh, he created Trilogy Financial in 1999 to bring together resources on financial, tax and estate planning for middle-class Americans. Jeff started Trilogy with the vision of improving the industry, a vision that is still guiding him today. In 2016, he spearheaded the creation of Trilogy Capital, an RIA asset management firm that provides investment solutions for everyday Americans. Jeff has dedicated his career to helping everyday Americans, business owners, savvy investors and new couples build the business and lives they dream.

Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I was a math major in college, and one of my professors suggested I get into the mutual fund or financial services business. At the time, it wasn’t a very common business. So I thought about it for a bit, and found a wanted ad for a financial advisor in the local newspaper. I took the job and was blessed enough to have a manager that trained and mentored me. This person really taught me to be an advisor to my clients, and I grew my career quite quickly. If it weren’t for that professor, I’m not sure I would have considered finance as a career.

When he retired, he recommended I be the manager of the office — and I was the youngest guy in the office! And I managed it really well. Once you have that kind of confidence, it helps take you out of your comfort zone.

That’s exactly what I did. And it helped me grow in my success with both clients and team members. I was happy and in a great place in my career. But one night when my wife and I were visiting with friends, my buddy’s wife — who was a woman of few words, but a deep listener — said to me “well, you know you’re going to leave that firm and start your own, don’t you?” She said it so confidently, and it meant a lot coming from her. At the time, my wife was pregnant and I thought there is no way this is a good time to take a risk like that. But she made such a bold impact on me, and so I did — I went and started Trilogy Financial in 1999 because I was in a good place financially. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would have started my own company.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

There’s a lot of funny mistakes, but I think one of them stands out the most. When I left the old firm to start my own, I didn’t do it the “right” way. I didn’t have a business plan, I didn’t have office space, I didn’t have a team — nothing! I just dropped of my letter of resignation and that was that. Looking back, that probably was not the right way to do it, but it worked out somehow.

When I left, team members wanted to come with me! We had nothing — we worked out of my garage with cardboard furniture. It was late in the 1990s and when we had a new computer get delivered from Dell, people would calls dibs on the box to use it as a desk!

Integrity aside, I would have planned better. But it worked really well, and I’ve learned a lot from it and other mistakes.

It was funny, because when the pandemic hit, I needed privacy at my house to take calls (we have a lot of glass walls), and I found myself back in my garage with a make-shift desk and a water heater in the background — just like old times.

Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?

I’m a big reader. I’ve read so many books that have helped me in my career. I’m a big Patrick Lencioni fan, he writes on business and team management, and how to get teams to work better. I’ve read every book of his and love his disruptive style. His podcast The Table Group is great as well.

The book Learned Optimism by Dr. Martin Seligman is another great one. If you can get through the first third of it, I believe it’ll make you a better person, advisor, father and help you better speak for yourself. I’ve read it three or four times and I get something new from it every time.

Max De Pree wrote a great book called Leadership is An Art that looks at leadership as a kind of stewardship, stressing the importance of building relationships, initiating ideas, and creating a lasting value system within an organization. This book has also greatly helped me grow, lead and train teams.

All of these are a bit disruptive and unique, and I love that perspective because it really helps you step out onto a new platform of leadership.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are! We are working on a state-of-the-art client experience service center. As a financial advisor, many people perceive our job is to advise people how to save and spend their money. But we believe it takes more that to make an impact.

The service center is called the Mack Service Center, named after my late partner and co-founder of Trilogy Financial Kevin ‘Mack’ Mackintosh — a meaningful client service team was one of his core focuses. He designed and developed the service team based on what he learned over the years as an Eagle Scout, rowing crew member and in business. From day one, he had a clear vision of what Trilogy could accomplish when we worked together and focused on service. In fact, he was an early and passionate adopter of our ONE TRILOGY culture — One Purpose. One Plan. One Experience.

This service team consists of a group of people with a unique culture that will be delivering great, helpful service to our clients. This is contrary to what’s “the norm” for financial advisory companies. Most have an advisor-led the service model, and there’s nothing wrong with that except that not all advisors have service as their strong suit.

We’re building what I call a “trust transfer” — we want the advisors spending more time advisor-ing while the service team does what they do best.

Mack took the ball and really got it rolling for this project. He found the right people to lead it and get it off the ground. He passed in early 2020, and the Monday before he did…he told me it was ready.

He instilled the right attitude, built the right culture. And I’m proud that his legacy lives on.

Thank you for that. Let’s now shift to the central focus of our discussion. Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?

When I started Trilogy Financial, my vision and purpose was to help financial advisors be better advisors. However, as time has gone on, that’s evolved into something bigger. Now my purpose is to help everyday Americans gain financial independence. They are the group of people that often struggle to achieve their financial goals, and we want to focus and help those that need sound advice.

This is the culture we’ve built today. Our advisors want to help as many people as they can, and my job is to make those advisors more productive so that can do more for their clients. I know they’re making a difference. I see it, and clients tell me all the time “if it wasn’t for my Trilogy financial advisor, I don’t know where I’d be.” That is purpose-driven business.

Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?

I have so many, but the one that first comes to mind is that you have to wake up and challenge your comfort zone every day. Never challenge your values or morals, but always your comfort zone. If you do that, you’re going to continue to get better.

I’m a big fan of mentoring. I believe it’s important to know who is in your foxhole with you as you go through life. Who are the people you know will be there for you and you’ll be there to them? Know who they are, because they will help you succeed when you step out of your comfort zone.

As is relates to my business, I believe in One Trilogy, One Mission and One Vision. I wake up, think and talk that every day and it helps me challenge that comfort zone.

I also believe you have to trust your instincts. If they’re telling you something, you have to dig deeper to find out if its valid or not. That helps you be a better leader. And it is a muscle you have to flex. My instincts over time have grown and improved. It’s important to think through those instincts, because your words matter. You also can’t let your emotions get in the way of better decision making.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

The best form of advertising is word of mouth. It’s your reputation! If you do good work, you’ll get introduced to high quality people and new clients. Your digital reputation is right behind that — potential clients are going to do their research and Google you, and you may or may not get a call based on that.

When you get a good referral, the foundation of trust is built in. And it’s all driven by integrity and good work you provide from there.

If a fellow business leader would ask you for advice about whether to bootstrap or to look for VC capital, how would you help them weigh the pros and cons of that decision?

Well…I bootstrapped it and I think that was the best decision because I didn’t have a boss with a different agenda. I have friends who went the VC route and they almost left because of that voice hanging above their head.

I recommend bootstrapping and raising the capital yourself, if you have that luxury. But if you have to go the VC route, choose wisely. This goes back to the beginning of my story. We bootstrapped everything. We had heart and grit and integrity to make it all happen. That’s why we succeeded.

What measure do you use to determine the value of a company? What advice would you give to other leaders about how to get an optimal evaluation of their business?

The traditional answer is try to maximize revenue and get your margins in line. But there’s always a story under the numbers, and I think we have a great story.

Right now, we’re focused on attracting advisors approaching retirement age with a financial planning book of businesses they need to sell and pass off their clients. Our firm is attractive to those entrepreneurs because we have the right people paired with the financial stability to take care of their clients when they retire.

Your company value includes those resources, your culture and story. We have built teams with advisors of all experience levels who support each other and the various generations of clients we have. That’s valuable.

Another huge component in your valuation in your team members’ tenure. We have long tenure within our entire team and those that are looking to sell us their business see the value because they know our team will be there for their clients for the long term.

What would you advise to a founder who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?

This was Trilogy Financial in 2015. The best piece of advice I can give is to think about what the future looks like, and how you’re going to pivot to reach that place. It’s the old Wayne Gretzky story — he wasn’t the fastest guy on the ice, but he always knew where the puck was going. And he could put himself in a position to succeed.

So how do you go about figuring out what the future looks like and how to benefit from it? It’ll take reflection, reading, some discussions with mentors or friends and more. But don’t do it in your office, or with anyone from your office. Go on vacation or put yourself in a situation that takes you away from your everyday so you can think clearly.

For example, I travel a lot for my kids’ sports. When I’m on that plane, I can put in my headphones and really go to that 35,000-foot space to think. Sometimes it’s on a beach chair on the sand — same thing.

In was 2015 on a beach reading a book that I realized I needed to pivot Trilogy from a broker-client relationship to a true fiduciary and advisor platform. I was clear we had to make that move in order to have experienced advisors making a big impact for a bigger amount of people. It was going to be hard, but we had to do it.

As a CEO, you’re constantly making decisions. And there are a handful of pivotal ones that you HAVE to get right. Think them through, talk to people who can give you advice — maybe a mentor from the past, but it’s most likely not someone inside your company because it could impact the company negatively.

What are the most common finance mistakes you have seen other businesses make? What should one keep in mind to avoid that?

Early on, it’s easy to not have an organized budget and operating plan. But you NEED to do those things. You need to figure out your budget quickly, your costs and your cost controls. If you’re not thinking about your Return on Investment (ROI) on every dollar you spend, you might get to a point where you’ve gone too far. Don’t just spend money on something because you need it. You have to draw a line, see the line and know where you will get results if you cross that line. It’s easy to misunderstand your ROI or not be able to apply the concept to everything you buy, because they’re not very tangible benefits. That’s when you have to think through it to identify them so you don’t spend your way into trouble.

Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to succeed in the modern finance industry? Please share a story or an example for each.

There’s a lot of things people need to succeed in the modern finance industry. It’s always changing!

  1. You have to have grit: Grit and perseverance are huge because it’s not an easy business. The barrier to entry is getting harder and harder. If you have grit, tenacity and can get out of your comfort zone, you can be successful. There are elements within the industry that are naturally not fun, but you have to do them in order to succeed.
  2. You have to be able to cater to the masses: It’s very important to hone your people skills and your communication skills. If you can figure out how to communicate with people individually, in a manner that best works for all different types of communication styles, the sky is the limit. And this goes for both speaking and writing!
  3. Be great at follow through and follow up: You have to say what you’re going to do, and then do it. At Trilogy, we get our clients’ questions answered, and we follow through on everything we said we were going to do. Sometimes it requires 2 of us in a meeting, so things don’t get missed, but that’s ok! There’s nothing worse than telling someone you’re going to do something and then don’t.
  4. Position yourself well: To excel in any business, you have to get good at promoting yourself in a way that makes your clients talk about you when you’re not around. That’s the fastest and healthiest way to build a financial firm. Make that positive impact on them, service them well and they will tell their story. You may even get longstanding professional friendships that give your business value through obtaining good referrals.
  5. Structure your week: Plan your week, your calls, meetings and the time you need to build plans, recommendations, etc. If you plan well, have good systems in place and are focused on doing good work for your clients, you can spend 90% of your time working on your clients and 10% of your warm referrals that are coming in the door — instead of spending a significant amount of chasing cold leads.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

The best tip I can recommend is to build that structured week. The beauty about a financial career is that you have flexibility to carve out what you need to do.

It’s important to keep ahold of your support system. They matter. For example, for the last 26 years my wife and I have had a date night every Wednesday. And we stuck to it — if I had a late meeting or engagement, I made it clear that I had to leave by 7pm. I also make sure I’m at my kids’ games or matches. And when we take our vacation over 4th of July weekend, we maintain a “no electronics week” to make sure we get the release we need. The ability to “shut off” is important. So plan your vacations and your breaks. If you’re working hard, you need a break. It’s the best way to be great for your clients.

Another suggestion is to not give your clients your personal cell number. You need to set boundaries, and be able to let go. A lot of good advisors get too many clients they’re trying to service, and it ends up being detrimental to everyone involved. You have to trust people on your team to help you out. You can only do some much and you have to let go and trust others — this is that concept of trust transfer again.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

My movement would be to have a well-regarded advisor in front of every everyday American. They’re the neglected population! I hear people who only want to go after high net worth individuals, but it’s those who are 52 years old with $400,000 in their retirement that need someone to get ahold of them. These are the people who need the support and the education to get to where they want and need to be.

The hard part is, that person who needs support the most often doesn’t think they have to money to sit down with advisors. These are everyday Americans and they deserve for someone to help them pursue their dreams.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Click here to read the full story. 

Jeff Motske is a Registered Representative with, and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through TC, A Registered Investment Advisor. TC markets advisory services under the name of Trilogy Financial (“TF”), an affiliated but separate legal entity. TC and TF are separate entities from LPL.

Insights & Blogs

“I won’t be here to spend the life insurance benefit.”

Sure, one of the most popular reasons for buying life insurance is ensuring your family’s financial security after your homegoing. But the truth is, life insurance has many living benefits, too. Some term life insurance policies allow you to access a portion of your death benefit if you are ever diagnosed with a terminal, critical or chronic illness, which you can use however you wish.

Power of cash value

And permanent life insurance has the ability to accumulate cash value. You can use that money for whatever you like, such as for an emergency, a down payment on a house, or college—no questions asked! Or you can let the cash value continue to grow, which could supplement your retirement income.* The choice is yours.

Learn more about life insurance’s living benefits. Contact an Trilogy Advisor today.

Download this comprehensive blog as a concise one-page here: Life Insurance Myth

In the heart of a bustling town, Ernesto “Peanut” Folks stood as the owner of an auto body repair shop, where years of hard work and dedication had woven into the very fabric of his business. His vision for the future was crystal clear—passing the torch and the legacy of his shop to his son, Ernesto. This is the remarkable story of how life insurance, often overlooked, can emerge as a beacon of hope and resilience when we need it most.

Ernesto “Peanut” Folks was the proud owner of an auto body repair shop, and his plan was to one day pass along the business to his son, Ernesto. Life insurance was never on Peanut’s radar until an insurance professional spoke to him about how it could help him protect the business and its 10 employees.

Downturns in the business would sometimes make it hard for Peanut to make his premium payment. He considered dropping the policy but ultimately kept it in place.

When Peanut was diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer, his doctors gave him just six months to live. The treatments that followed kept him away from work, and medical bills mounted.

Given his terminal diagnosis, a provision in his life insurance policy called an accelerated death benefit allowed him to access a portion of the money from that policy while he was still alive. In the months before his death at age 49, Peanut was able to pay off his debts and turn the body shop over to Ernesto, fulfilling his dream.

Talk to an insurance professional about how life insurance can protect your business and your legacy.

Download this comprehensive blog as a concise one-page here: Life Insurance Keeps a Business in the Family

The pandemic’s economic disruption altered people’s views on a wide range of money topics—from the feeling of financial insecurity to the extra burden of debt, to how best to protect their loved ones, physically and financially. People’s interest in life insurance—knowing they have a need for it—was heightened during the pandemic and remains so, as people take a closer look at their financial security and well-being. The 2023 Insurance Barometer Study, by Life Happens and LIMRA, shows this trend is prevalent among the younger generations, as well as with single mothers.

Single Moms Need the Industry’s Help

Fewer women own life insurance than men, 49% vs. 55% respectively. And that number is even starker for single moms: Just 2 of 5 single mothers (40%) own life insurance. That said, 6 in 10 single moms (59%) know they have a life insurance need gap—meaning they need coverage or more of it (vs. 41% of all adults) equaling about 5 million households. And 4 in 10 (38%) say they intend to buy coverage this year. With 7.9 million single-mom households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is a dire need for single moms to
purchase life insurance, or more of it.

The primary reason single moms own life insurance (63%) is the same as the general population: to cover burial costs. However, only 26% say they have it to replace lost income. And more than half (51%) say they are “extremely concerned” about leaving dependents in a difficult financial situation if they died prematurely, vs. 29% of the general population.

That’s not the only area of financial concern. In fact, single moms have increased levels of concern over a wide range of financial issues—often double-digits—over the general population.
• Having money for a comfortable retirement: 58% vs. 44%
• Saving for an emergency fund: 56% vs. 38%
• Paying monthly bills: 50% vs. 32%
• Ability to afford college: 40% vs. 22%

Owning life insurance makes people feel more financially secure: 69% of life insurance owners feel secure vs. 49% who don’t own. For single moms, this is 52% of owners feel secure vs. 30% who don’t own. The good news is that while only a third of single moms (35%) work with a financial advisor currently, more than half without one are looking for an advisor (52%) to help them navigate their finances.

Desire and Need Are on the Rise

Gen Z is growing up—they’re adults now who are in the weeds of financial responsibilities and stresses. Half of Gen Z is now 18-26 years old, which means 19 million young adults are ready for life insurance, most of whom are non-owners; and Millennials, at 27 to 42, are well into their careers and starting families. The study took a look at life insurance ownership among different age groups and found that half of all adults (52%) own life insurance, with 40% of Gen Z adults and 48% of Millennials currently owning it.

As Gen Z starts hitting life milestones such as finding a partner, buying a home and having children, half (49%) say
they either need to get life insurance or increase their coverage. And Millennials are not far behind, with 47% saying so. And they are ready to take action: 44% of Gen Z adults and 50% of Millennials say they intend to buy life insurance this year.

They also want to purchase it where they have become comfortable—online—and that goes for all generations. In 2011, 64% of people said they preferred to buy life insurance in person; by 2020, just 41% felt this way. In 2023, it dropped to 29%.

Education Is Key for Gen Z

There is work to do on educating people about ownership: 42% of all adults say they’re only somewhat or not at all knowledgeable about life insurance.
A quarter of Gen Z and Millennials say that not knowing how much or what kind of life insurance to buy stops them from getting coverage. And 37% of Gen Z and 27% of Millennials say
they “haven’t gotten around to it.”

Across generations, cost is cited as the top reason for not getting life insurance. But only a quarter (24%) of people correctly estimated the true cost of a policy for a healthy 30- year-old, which is around $200 a year.* More than half of Gen Z adults (55%) and 38% of Millennials thought it would be $1,000 or more.

With the current climate adding financial uncertainties to Gen Z and Millennials, including layoffs and inflation, it is imperative that the two age groups learn how to protect their loved ones financially. Education around finances in general, inclusive of life insurance, will be extremely beneficial, particularly for Millennials, who cite the highest overall level of financial concern (39%).

Download this comprehensive blog as a concise one-pager here:Millennials and Gen Z Lead Growing Need for Life Insurance in 2023


*Survey respondents were asked how much they thought a $250,000 20-year level term policy would cost per year for a healthy, nonsmoking 30-year-old, which is around $200.

Please source all statistics: 2023 Insurance Barometer Study, Life Happens and LIMRA© Life Happens 2023. All rights reserved.

No one really wants to think about life insurance. But if someone depends on you financially, it’s a topic you shouldn’t avoid. Are any of these reasons stopping you from getting the life insurance coverage you need? If so, read on!

1. My family can rely on loans or other family members.

We know we can rely on our families for support as we navigate life. However, if you were to die, your family’s world would shift on its axis—emotionally and financially. A time of grief is not the time to crowdsource funeral funds or make phone calls for money every month when bills come due. Life insurance means there can be an affordable solution in place so that doesn’t need to happen.

2. Money is tight. I just can’t afford life insurance.

Bills, rent or mortgage, car payments, childcare, food, gas … and the list grows as your family does. So what would happen to them financially if you died? If you’re gone, so is your income, but their bills and expenses will stay the same. If money is tight, you can’t afford not to have life insurance. It picks up the financial burden for your family when you are no longer there to do it.

3. Life insurance will be a free ride for my kids.

Your parents taught you hard work, and it’s what you’re teaching your children. But life insurance isn’t about leaving your kids a financial windfall. It’s about practicing—and teaching—the principles of personal financial responsibility. Preparing for the future with life insurance is a lesson in goal-setting, budgeting and discipline that ensures your loved ones will be OK financially, which is a valuable lesson to pass on.

Don’t let these myths stand in the way of getting life insurance—or more of it.

Download this comprehensive blog as a concise one-page here: 3 Myths About Life Insurance

Experience the Trilogy Difference

We believe that real Life Planning is progress, not perfection.

Financial Life Planning is about actually starting — taking a few good steps in the right direction and then taking a few more.

Financial Life Planning is fundamentally about taking a few good steps in the right direction and then taking a few more. Trilogy Financial has established regional offices from coast to coast with the clear vision of helping millions of Americans pursue financial independence, every day.

Get Started on Your Financial Life Plan Today

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