I think you have made some good changes,(a white background with black text is the easiest to read),think newspaper.
As you are "financial" in context I am thinking a Bank look,but still one that is warm and inviting may give the impression of a "solid business Company.
I would like to see wood or marble in your template,something with a strong and established feel.I think the masculine look would appeal to your male visitors.If it is kept warm and inviting it will appeal to your female visitors as well.
I would not get TOO hung up on graphics though,
If you took all the graphics off your site and left the text could you sell anything?
If you took all the text off and left the graphics,could you still sell anything?
keeping your content at #1,it is the information your visitor is looking for,the graphics are just the "frame"
There are many sites that offer free templates that do not require any HTML.
You can edit these in just about any graphic editor.
A template I have comes to mind and I can email to you for a look if you like,
Jesse,I think you have a lot of ambition and that will be half the battle won.
Keep to it!