Fathers Share Two Cents on Money

Three PNC employees share the best financial advice their fathers gave them—and how they’re applying that same wisdom at home and work today.

Fathers can give some of the best advice—from how to throw the perfect pitch, tie a sturdy knot or change a flat tire. But for many, good old dad also gave us our first lessons about money. Whether he taught you that money doesn’t grow on trees or gave you tips on budgeting your allowance, his advice was often memorable.

We asked three of PNC’s own father/child pairings to share some of the best or most memorable advice they received from their fathers. The results? In three videotaped interviews, these fathers have a lot to say about learning how to earn, investing in the future and knowing your limits.

Participants included:

  • Celandra Deane-Bess, senior wealth planner in the PNC Asset Management Group, who grew up in Wheaton, MD, with father Cordell, whose own dad helped him budget his money to immigrate to the United States from South America.
  • Augustine “Gus” Faucher, PNC's deputy chief economist, who grew up in Philadelphia with father Dennis, a long-time attorney whose own dad was a small business owner.
  • Thom Melcher, chief investment officer for the PNC Asset Management Group and son of two teachers from Cleveland, with daughters Hailey, 13, and Dylan, 9, who learned early on that money requires work (or chores).

Deane Family: Timeless Advice Spans Generations

Celandra Deane-Bess grew up the oldest of three siblings, with father Cordell Deane as the money manager in the family. He grew up in Guyana, South America, then came to the United States as a young adult and quickly learned the importance of budgeting his finances.

“When I lived with my parents, my father, who was an accountant, made me give him part of my paychecks. I didn’t know this at the time, but he was setting aside that money for me. When I moved to the United States, he gave me that money and told me it was mine, but that I would have to budget it and make it last,” he said.

Deane-Bess with parents
Celandra Deane-Bess at her wedding with mother Derrice (left) and father Cordell

Cordell taught his daughter that same lesson, reminding her to budget her allowance each week, along with the line, “if you fail to plan, then plan to fail.”

Deane-Bess, now a senior wealth planner in PNC’s retirement practice, finds herself sharing that same advice with her clients, although on a larger scale, to help them develop financial plans. “My dad always told me that luck is preparation plus opportunity, so for myself and my clients I think about what could happen in the future and how we can prepare for that by considering risks, challenges and opportunities,” she said.

Deane-Bess has also seen the results of her father’s advice in her own life – at 24 she bought her first home based on his advice to invest in real estate. “That investment turned out to be one of my very best, and it’s where I now live with my husband and three sons. The preparation of making a sound investment early has served me well later in life.”

Watch video (1:34) of Cordell Deane's financial advice to his daughter, Celandra Deane-Bess


Faucher Family: Teaching by Example

Dennis Faucher, father of PNC’s Deputy Chief Economist Gus Faucher, led by example when it came to teaching his three sons about managing their finances. “We didn’t have explicit conversations about how to manage money, but we were always very frank about what we could and could not afford,” said Dennis, a former lawyer.

Faucher with father
Dennis Faucher (left) with Gus after he accepted an academic award in high school

Inspired by his father’s guidance to follow his passion in a career, the younger Faucher earned a Ph.D. in economics and today analyzes economic data to provide insights. He and his brothers are now the ones giving their parents financial advice.

The elder Faucher explained, “Now our conversations center on our own finances. We discuss those with Gus and his brothers and rely on their feedback on investing, spending or downsizing. It’s helpful because we want them to know what’s going on with us, but it’s also a way for us to get their advice.”

Faucher also passes along some of his father’s wisdom to his four children, encouraging them to budget their allowance, open savings accounts and take on summer jobs so they can be more financially independent.

Watch video (1:30) of Gus Faucher sharing his father's tips on money


Melcher Family: Investing in Family

As chief investment officer at PNC, Thom Melcher knows a thing or two about managing finances -- and he hopes that knowledge rubs off on his two daughters.

The son of two teachers who “couldn’t rub two nickels together,” he learned early on that money was a finite resource and required meticulous records to keep everything in balance.

Melcher with daughters
Thom Melcher with daughters Dylan (left) and Hailey

Melcher and his wife Michelle teach their daughters, Hailey and Dylan, that same lesson by asking them to carefully consider their needs and wants when spending their money.

“My dad reminds me that I have to work hard for my allowance and I should spend it on things I need first, then help people who need it and then I can spend it on things I want,” said Hailey, 13.

Dylan, 9, echoes that lesson, adding, “His advice is to always save money when I can. He doesn’t give any bad advice.”

Watch video (1:31) of Thom Melcher talking about saving and spending with his daughters 


piggy bank

Learning to Earn

Their fathers taught these PNC employees how to work for their money. Here’s how they earned it as teenagers:

  • Celandra Deane-Bess: shelving books at local library
  • Thom Melcher: cutting grass and shoveling snow
  • Gus Faucher: extra in a movie about a military academy