Who Do You Need On Your Team?

Your Financial Team


Financial success is not something you can achieve on your own and takes the right team to help you get there. As a wealth management firm, we find ourselves as the hub to our client’s financial team to make sure they are addressing all of the areas of their financial life. It is crucial to have a team and the right people in place to help you succeed.

There are key people that you should have as part of your team to assist your family. Here is an overview of the top professionals you should consider:

Wealth Manager/Financial Advisor

Make sure that your wealth manager is a fiduciary, required to act in your best interest, and not a salesperson. The right wealth manager will help you design and develop a financial plan that will allow you to review all areas of your financial circumstances. This will allow them to be the hub in order to make sure you address the areas you need to and coordinate with the other professionals you will need to consult.

Tax Advisor/CPA

You will need a good tax advisor in order to review financial decisions you make and the impact they will have on your tax situation. When making investments and business decisions it is important to know what the potential tax ramifications may be and review the positive or negative effect they may incur.

Risk Manager/Insurance Advisor

We tend to spend much of our effort on building and maintaining our financial assets and sometimes overlook the risks that may exist to our assets. It is extremely important to understand potential risks to your assets and how to mitigate those risks. Many times it is as simple as obtaining insurance coverage that will protect your assets from these risks. You certainly want a risk manager as a part of your team to review and help protect you from these inherent risks. You may ultimately decide to self-insure, but simply being aware of the potential and making an educated decision is key to your financial health.

Banking/Lending Professional

Having a banking/lending professional as part of your team is needed as well. Most people who have financial success will need a mortgage or some other banking product or assistance. It is vital to build a relationship with a bank early on, and the right relationship could make navigating the banking and lending component of your financial life much easier.

Certainly there are countless other professionals that you may need as part of your financial team. Depending on your personal financial situation there could be others needed as well, but these are the foundation. It is important that your team communicates and has a working relationship to make sure decisions are reviewed and discussed with you from a holistic view.

As a wealth management firm we find ourselves at the center of many of these conversations. We will typically coordinate with the client’s other team members to get their concerns addressed, determine a solution, and then communicate it back to the client in a concise and accurate manner. Building your financial team is not something that should be done overnight; it is too important. In order to move the process along, you must find that key member of your team to rely on and have them introduce you to others that may be a good fit for your personal situation. This is a great way to build your team with people you trust, have expertise, and you like working with.

Having financial success is not something that you will typically be able to do alone. It will take a team of professionals that are leaders in their field that work well with others in helping deliver the best outcomes for you. One member of the team will rise to a leadership role and become your go-to person to quarterback your needs. Typically with our clients, that is us. Contact Mitlin Financial at (844) 4-MITLIN x12 and schedule an appointment to discuss your financial plan and building your financial team today!


This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.

Volatility: Is it all bad?

Stock Volatility Chart
In light of the recent volatility, we thought this would be a good time discuss whether or not volatility is all bad; we don’t think so.  When turning on the radio and television or logging into Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, one would think that volatility is a terrible thing that requires you to panic and make changes to your portfolio immediately.
There appears to be a pre-notion that market volatility is nothing but a detriment to markets and investors.  This is further promulgated by all of the various mediums mentioned.  Although there are inherent negative aspects, this line of thinking can be dangerous. Acting solely on short-term volatility can do more harm than good. Volatility can drive the novice investor to question his or her own investment strategies, strictly due to short-term fear. It is crucial for investors to understand that volatility is inevitable and attempting to navigate around it is risky. Markets tend to move up and down in the short-term and volatility should not be the deciding factor as to whether or not investors should immediately exit. With a strong understanding of volatility and its causes, investors potentially can take advantage of investment opportunities which may result from volatile markets. 
Although volatility sounds terrifying, it is important for investors to develop a strong working knowledge of it so that they can make educated investment decisions. Market volatility is the statistical measure of a market or security’s tendency to rise or fall sharply within a short period of time. Measured by standard deviation, volatility can be caused by the imbalances seen within trade orders in one direction or another. Volatile markets are characterized by wide price fluctuations and/or heavy trading. It is important to note that there can be many catalysts behind the causes of market volatility. With that in mind, investors can leverage their time more effectively by learning strategies to deal with volatility instead of trying to prevent it.
One effective method commonly used in times of market volatility is to stay the course. This means that as an investor, you ignore the short-term chaos and leave your investments status-quo until the volatility passes. You stay the course despite the current overreaction of the market. Even though this may seem lazy and counterproductive, it may insulate you from losses associated with attempting to time the market.  It is virtually impossible to time the top to determine when to get out, and just as difficult to discern the bottom and when to get back in and invest again.  Typically, you would be better off to stay the course than attempt to time things and not be able to do it well.  This bad timing can further exacerbate your losses during these volatile times.
Market volatility can also create opportunities that an astute investor can use to their advantage. Volatility can provide entry points for those investors whose time horizon and investment strategy is long-term. Downward market volatility presents investors, who are bullish and believe markets will perform well in the long-run, with the opportunity to purchase additional shares at lower prices. Increasing your position at a discount can be a very powerful strategy. In effect, you are lowering your average cost per share of that particular security.  
This volatility provides an excellent environment for those with long-term time horizons, especially millennials and later generations, with an opportunity to increase their returns over time by making additional investments.  This may sound and feel counterproductive at the time, but could add significantly to the investor’s performance.  
It is usually difficult to go against what conventional wisdom may tell you, but investments tend to be one of the things people stay away from when they are on sale.  I would argue this is a great time to invest funds that you may have on the sidelines and liquidate and redeploy underperforming assets in order to get this money to work while the opportunity presents itself.  This thinking must be also in line with your risk tolerance, time horizons and overall objectives.  
Volatility should not been seen as an evil to your portfolio.  Assuming you have a plan that outlines your goals, objectives, and time horizon, you will want to maintain the course of the plan during both robust and difficult times.  It is ideal to make sure you revisit this at least annually with your advisor and make changes accordingly.  The first thing you should consider when volatility strikes is whether any of these areas have changed recently and you should update your advisor accordingly.  The goal is to have a plan before the storm hits and understand the plan to get you through the storm.  As we have seen time and time again, the storm always ends and brighter days with less volatility are ahead.
No matter how you elect to handle your investments during times of market volatility, it is very important to review your portfolio with a qualified financial advisor. Having a distinct philosophy for all markets will help you navigate without emotion. Please contact us if you do not have a plan to weather volatile times and would like to develop one.  This will not be the last period of volatility we see and you will want to make sure you are ready for the next time.  Contact Mitlin Financial at (631) 952-4466 x12 and allow us to help you navigate in a fashion that is conducive to your goals, investment needs, and risk tolerance.
This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.

5 Habits You Should Start in the New Year

5 Habits Checklist


The New Year is underway, the holidays are behind us, and your financial situation is stabilizing now that you have paid all the bills.  Now it is time to begin to think about how you are going to help your financial future.  The New Year is always a good time to start new habits- realize I did not say “make resolutions”.  As a firm, we find that people who make resolutions typically end up retreating on them within 1 to 8 weeks of making them.  Habits, however, once started and continued will become a part of your daily life, and they tend to stick around for the long term.  Depending on the person, habits may take 21 to 60 days to become a part of your daily life.

There are five habits you should start today that will help you in reaching and attaining both your short term and long term goals.

1) Create a Budget

Take stock of how much income you have coming into your household each month and what expenses your income is paying each month.  You can do this by simply putting pen to paper or utilizing an online tool that will track this for you.  Each month, review the expenses and see if there are items that can be reduced or eliminated.  For instance, you may have forgotten about automatic monthly payments set up for services you no longer use.  This will put you in a position to review each expense and make sure it is a necessary one for your household.  In addition, you will have an excellent view of whether or not you are cash flow positive (having more income than expenses each month) or cash flow negative (having more expenses than income each month).

2) Start and Maintain an Emergency Fund

Years ago, our parents and grandparents frequently spoke about saving money for a rainy day.  The modern day term is an emergency fund.  Depending on your employment status, whether you are an employee or own your own business, and your level of comfort will dictate what size emergency fund you should maintain.  Each person is different, and we have recommended anywhere between a 6 month to 18 month emergency fund for clients.  This is money that should be kept in a separate account from the account by which you pay your monthly bills.  This account should be liquid, meaning you can use the money on a moment’s notice if needed.  A savings or money market account will work well for these monies.  You will want to determine what size your emergency fund should be and begin to accumulate funds until you reach that amount.  Once you reach the desired amount you should only use these monies for an emergency.  Things that may warrant you tapping into these funds may be the loss of a job or income, unexpected home or car repair, or simply any unexpected expense.  After the emergency is paid for, you will want to replenish this account at your earliest convenience.

3) Pay Yourself First

Ideally you want to pay yourself first each time you get paid, and then learn to live on the monies that are left.  There are a few ways to pay yourself first depending on your type of employment.  As an employee, you will want to take part in your company’s 401(k) or retirement plan.  A small business owner or independent contractor may want to consider setting up a retirement plan if they do not have one.  The last option would be for those that do not have, or cannot set up, a retirement plan and they would have to use either an IRA or brokerage account.  A good target would be to try and pay yourself 10% of your pre-tax earnings if you are deferring to a retirement account, which is preferred.  You may need to adjust this a bit if you are contributing after tax.

4) Review Beneficiary Designations Annually

We all face critical financial and life events that will impact us during the course of a given year.  You certainly would not want your assets to end up going to beneficiaries which you did not intend them to go.  Beneficiary designations should be reviewed at least annually, or if you experience a major life event or change.  Examples of times that you would want to review these designations would be: the birth of a child or grandchild, marriage, divorce, death, disability, or job change.  Whether you are digital or analog, place a reminder on your calendar to review this each year.

5) Rebalance Your Portfolio Annually

Rebalancing is something you will want to make sure you review at least annually; whether you manage your portfolio yourself or use an advisor.  Typically rebalancing has a tendency to get forgotten when markets are going up because people tend to get complacent and think there may be no risk in waiting.  Rebalancing will help you maintain your portfolio allocation and risk with its intended targets.  You may recall back in the late 1990’s, when technology investments were booming, the technology bust.  There were many investors that saw their portfolios assets allocation change from 10% allocation to technology stocks to 70% in a relatively short period of time.  In many cases this large allocation to technology was a huge overweight, meaning more money was allocated to that sector than you initially intended.  This was great while those securities were doing well, but what these investors did not realize was the risk they were imposing on their assets.  When the technology sector busted they had 70% of their portfolio at risk instead of the original 10%.  Had they rebalanced along the way, a good deal for this risk could have been avoided.

This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice.

2018 Happy New Year

New Year Photo Dream


Mitlin Financial Inc. would like to wish everyone that we work with a Healthy, Happy and Properous 2018! 

We hope that all of your dreams come true in the coming year.

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