Investments

What Should You Do During A Stock Market Decline

What Should You Do During A Stock Market Decline

The markets took a big dip early this week, reacting to fears of potential trade wars and an economic slowdown. After the Dow lost nearly 800 points, investors are understandably nervous. If you are worried about your retirement accounts, you’re not alone. But during stock market volatility, it’s important to keep a level head to avoid financial mistakes.

Why I Became A Financial Advisor

Why I Became A Financial Advisor

It all started with witnessing the effect the dot-com market crash of the late 90s had on my parents. I saw the financial regrets they carried and wanted to break into the financial services industry to help other families avoid similar problems.

Ask An Advisor Series - Retirement and Investments

Ask An Advisor Series - Retirement and Investments

Should I rollover my 403(b) into a 401(k) or IRA? How can I buy oil as an investment? Which is the most tax-friendly account to distribute from? Should I use lifecycle funds or choose my own investments within my company's retirement plan? I recently inherited some annuities, is there a way to put a "floor under the market" to protect against a downturn in the stock market? 

Ask An Advisor Series - Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)

Ask An Advisor Series - Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)

How does a Roth IRA grow over time? Think of the Roth IRA itself as a shield around your money that provides tax-deferred growth and then when you go to retire you can take out all of the growth and contributions tax-free. The avoidance of tax is not available had you just invested with after-tax dollars and did not own a Roth IRA. 

How Financial Planning is Similar to Football

How Financial Planning is Similar to Football

A successful football team like a successful financial plan requires a high level of synergy across the board from several different components. In football, a significant amount of coordination from all levels of the organization helps drive the collective group towards working to achieve their end goal -- championships.

How much value does a financial planner add?

How much value does a financial planner add?

Look I get it, Americans are busy people, especially if you are raising a family or knee deep in your career. Quick answers have become the expectation. The problem is financial planning is very circumstantial and therefore a good answer to the value question must be adjusted to the person asking it. Rather than manufacture a blanketed response, the following is a detailed guide to the quatifiable value of financial advice.

2018 Economic Outlook: Are We Approaching a Market Bubble?

2018 Economic Outlook: Are We Approaching a Market Bubble?

Maybe there is a valid basis for the lack of confidence going into 2018. This article looks at some of those reasons, as well as other key factors driving our economy along its current path. Furthermore, I offer my interpretation and what it could mean for investors and the economy going into 2018. My goal is to give a balanced perspective so that you, the reader, understand the logic behind the arguments being postured in Washington DC and in the media.

A $1-Trillion Shift and What You Should Know

A $1-Trillion Shift and What You Should Know

Mutual Funds, index funds, or ETFs -- which is better? With $1-trillion flowing from actively managed mutual funds to passively managed index funds and ETFs, the answer may seem obvious. However, like most things in life, these numbers need some context before understanding the reasons for the recent shift in investor behavior. 

Financial Rules of Thumb

Financial Rules of Thumb

Do you find it difficult to sort through all the "expert opinions" and confidently know how much to save for retirement, how much debt is appropriate, or how much to set aside in savings for emergencies? You are not alone. To make life easier, Mellen Money Management created a list of benchmarks that can be useful for anyone looking for general guidance on whether or not they are on track financially.

To love, or to hate annuities? That is the question

To love, or to hate annuities? That is the question

An annuity in its most basic form is a guaranteed income stream from the insurance company. Did you know that the social security check that we all hope is around by the time we retire is an annuity? Remember the glory days of when everyone retired with a secure pension? Those are annuities too. Then why do advisors and investors have such a serious love or hate relationship with annuities? The reason is a lot of these products have been misrepresented by commission hungry investment reps.

Caution, Detour Ahead: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

Caution, Detour Ahead: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

My grandma, Marybeth Mellen, passed away the same year I started my company. She was the last of my living grandparents. Actually, my grandma and grandpa helped pay for my college education. The fact I was planning to incorporate student loan planning into my business inspired me to name my firm after them and honor their legacy. Somehow through all the chaos in my life, everything began to converge in a way that I knew I had something. On October 17, 2016, Mellen Money Management was born.

One-step Back, Two-steps Forward: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

One-step Back, Two-steps Forward: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

So what variables actually played a role in my decision to leave a great income, a highly successful team, and say goodbye to the best boss I ever had? In the end, too many aspects related to my job were totally outside my control and eventually my boss'.  So when no improvements seemed imminent, I decided it was time for a change. Quite frankly, I felt like I needed something fresh in order for my career to continue growing. 

A ROTH IRA SAVINGS STRATEGY FOR HIGH-INCOME INVESTORS

A ROTH IRA SAVINGS STRATEGY FOR HIGH-INCOME INVESTORS

Raise your hand if you like paying more in taxes than you need to?  Yeah, I didn’t think so… If your answer is like most Americans and you make a sizable income, then a backdoor Roth IRA is a strategy you may want to consider. However, before explaining how to unlock this financial planning tool to your advantage, it is important to know the following Roth IRA phaseout limits set forth by the IRS...

The Adventure Begins: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

The Adventure Begins: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

A once stereotypical Millennial, I spent a good part of my 20s wrestling between "adulting" and seeking a good time. In other words, I really wanted to be an adult. Yet I felt like an imposter because I had other priorities. Pre-wife, I was perfectly content going out with the guys and getting into a bunch of nonsense. Responsibilities? Sure, when the mood struck me. I did buy my first home at the age of 25. So a part of me was trying, but honestly, beer-thirty was high on my list of to-dos every weekend.

A Road Less Traveled: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

A Road Less Traveled: My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm

Welcome to my first ever blog post. Given the amount of content, I am breaking up my first topic into a 4-part series called, My Journey to Starting a Fee-only Financial Planning Firm, which focuses on how my career path brought me to start my own firm. Part I, A Road Less Traveled, tells more about why I started a fee-only firm, while the other sequels provide a deeper look into the 3 places I worked prior to Mellen Money Management and how those experiences shaped my company's mission.  The purpose of this series is to give entrepreneurs a peek into how an idea can turn into a profitable company.