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Our Team

How We Work

How We Work

Our reasons for becoming financial professionals are deeply personal. We repeatedly saw many friends and family struggling to find the help they needed to map out their financial future. We are confident that with our understanding of personal finance, coupled with our training as financial professionals, we can help people better prepare for the future. Our goal is to educate individuals in an easy-to-understand manner so they can grasp personal finance and use those concepts to pursue their financial objectives. We feel a commitment to our community.

Our team approach adds perspective to all we do and provides increased benefits to our clients.

Meet Our Team

Peter J. Nelson

Managing Partner & Financial Advisor



Peter Nelson helps individuals, families, executives and business owners work toward their financial goals and enhance their quality of life today and throughout retirement. He specializes in financial planning, retirement income planning and investment management.  

Peter obtained his BS Business/Finance from the University of Vermont and holds an Industrial Engineering degree from North Carolina State University. Peter is a Registered Representative with Securities America, Inc. and a Registered Investment Advisor Representative with Securities America Advisors Inc. He holds the Series 7, 66 and Life, Health & LTC Insurance Licenses.  Additionally, Peter is a member of the Professional Financial Planner Association in Charlotte NC. 

Peter resides in Hickory NC with his wife Ann and two active young adults, Holly and Nic. They are active at Corinth Reformed Church, the YMCA and other activities with friends.  Nic just started his Freshman year at Appalachian State University and Holly is a senior in high school.

Peter has a passion for community service and is very active in helping to improve the quality of life for all. He has served as Lake Hickory Rotary Club President and chair of The Leader In Me- Accelerating Good to Great 4 All Catawba County and was awarded Volunteer of the Year to the YMCA.  Additional time permitting, he enjoys outdoors activities including landscaping, hiking, sailing, water sports, and volleyball.

John C. Nelson

Founder, Partner & Financial Advisor



John Nelson has over 40 years of personal investing experience. He is a Registered Principal with Securities America, Inc. and Registered Investment Advisor Representative with Securities America Advisors, Inc.

John was the past president of Capital Concepts, a Rochester NY financial planning firm, and worked for 20 years in various managerial positions in industrial marketing and business planning.  He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MBA from Michigan State University.

John serves on the Board of the Western Piedmont Symphony, has served as an Elder of First Presbyterian Church, an Ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce and as a board member of Catawba Valley YMCA and Lake Hickory Rotary Club.  John enjoys travelling, swimming, concerts, theatre, golf and hiking with his wife, Bev. 

Phyllis Polo

Financial Advisor – Income & Rate Specialist

Phyllis Polo helps clients on the path of turning dreams into reality. With more than 25 years of experience working in the banking and investment industry, Phyllis has the knowledge and resources to help a wide variety of clients work towards their financial goals. Other advisors often ask Phyllis what her “secret” is for working so well with clients; she says: “Ask a few good questions and then stop taking and listen, listen, listen.” Phyllis is Spectrum Financial’s “Income and Rate” specialist, she brings the expertise in conservative strategies to provide clients with “safe money” / “just in case money” alternatives. Phyllis is dedicated to the client’s ultimate success; one of her favorite quotes says it best: “We rise by lifting others”.

Carla D. Johnson

Director of Client Services



Carla joined Spectrum Financial in 2017.  Her focus is on supporting the advisory team and our clients directly.  She has over 20 years of administrative and management experience across various industries.  Dedication to her role ensures timely responses and exceptional client satisfaction. 

Carla resides in Catawba, NC with her fiancé Kevin. They spend time exploring NC, antiquing and various activities with their family. 

Additionally, Carla aspires to be a Financial Advisor, and is pursuing her Bachelor of Business-Finance degree. 

Scott Polo

Insurance Strategist

Scott Polo is the “Retirement Engineer”. Along with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, Scott is a Certified Financial Planner, CFP®, an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor, AWMA®.  For almost 20 years Scott has taken his strong engineering-based problem-solving skills and focused these skills helping advisors help their clients. His expertise in product selection and advanced insurance strategies is a valuable resource for Spectrum Financial. Scott loves to share his knowledge and is passionate about helping clients with their efforts to achieve their financial goals and dreams. Scott is fond of saying that….”he and the team at Spectrum Financial work hard to build a better, stronger financial foundation in an effort to help clients meet today’s challenges and foster tomorrows enjoyment. It’s not rocket science; it’s caring about the clients and attention to detail.” It’s your money, your values, your future, your family legacy…no on the job training, please! Spectrum Financial wants to provide the expertise you need.

Scott Polo is an licensed insurance specialist with Spectrum Financial Inc. and is not registered to offer securities or advsiory products or services and has no affiliation with Securities America.

Toni Tallent

Director of First Impressions



Having over 25 years of expertise in the Furniture Industry, with a focus on customer relations and business development, she has passion, enthusiasm and a strong desire to make a difference by connecting people with our advisors - helping them live better lives and have peace of mind for the future, serving the community she loves.

Toni lives in Hickory with her husband Jeff, along with two special pups, Tessa & Jesse. They have two children, son Alex, currently serving in the US Navy and daughter Rachel, a 6th grade teacher at Lincolnton Middle School.

She especially enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, Anya & Rowan, along with spending time with family, design & home staging as well as entertaining.  She also loves trips to anywhere tropical, biking The Virginia Creeper Trail and taking in the vast beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

External Resource Personnel

One of the key strengths of Spectrum Financial is our extensive use of talented professionals who are not employees of our firm, but instead are employed at the wide range of service providers needed to conduct an Investment Advisors business in today’s environment. On any given day, these individuals assist us at Spectrum Financial with our Investment, Client Service, Operations or Communications functions. This extensive use of external resources provides business diversification and stability for our firm and its clients. Additionally, it allows us to constantly be searching for best of breed providers and professionals while directing our assets for maximum efficiency.