Category Archives: Blog post

James Shagawat is The American College Alumnus of the Month

JimJames Shagawat, Baron Financial Group Wealth Management Principal, has been selected as the June 2014 American College Alumnus of the Month. Jim completed the Certified Financial Planner® program in 2013 and the Chartered Financial Consultant®  program in 2012, both through The American College.  Jim was chosen for this honor because of his commitment to education and the financial services industry,  Click here to learn more about Jim:

James Shagawat Alumnus of the Month



Baron Financial Group earns “The Five Star Wealth Manager” distinction for the fourth year in a row, as seen in New Jersey Monthly magazine


Baron Financial Group is proud to announce that all four partners of the firm received the  2014 Five Star Wealth Manager Award, the fourth year in a row they have received this recognition.  The Baron team is proud to once again be included in this select group; fewer than four percent of the 21,100 Wealth Managers in the New Jersey area were selected for this “5-Star Award”.  The list of award recipients appears in the January 2014 issue of New Jersey Monthly magazine.

To receive the Five Star Wealth Manager award, a wealth manager must satisfy 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria that are associated with wealth managers who provide quality services to their clients.  Each award candidate must have a favorable regulatory and complaint history review. The wealth managers do not pay a fee to be included in the research or the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers.

 The Baron Financial Group Wealth Management Principals, Anthony Benante, Victor Cannillo, Laura Mattia, and James Shagawat, hold the top credentials in the industry, including the CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst®), CFP®  (Certified Financial Planner™) and NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors)-Registered Financial Advisor designations, among others. For more information on the firm and its principals, visit or call 1-800-333-6659.  They can be contacted by email at

 About Baron Financial Group (

The Baron Financial Group (BFG) is an independent Fee-Only Wealth Management and financial planning firm with offices in Fair Lawn and Morristown, New Jersey, New York, New York, and Sarasota, Florida. The firm is a Registered Investment Advisor offering objective personal financial advice to individuals without the burden of commissions.   Their clients include individuals and families, with a special expertise working with retirees, women and families with special needs.

Baron Financial scores high marks in independent client survey

Our goal is to help our clients comfortably reach their goals for retirement and for life. Critical to that process is providing a consistently high level of service that meets the needs of individual clients. Client satisfaction is so important to us that we contracted an independent consultant to conduct an audit of our client base to ensure that the service we provide is appropriate. We are very pleased to say that the results were overwhelmingly positive.

Summary of Results

(All scores are out of five, with five being the highest)

  • Overall satisfaction with the relationship: 4.9
  • Calls are returned promptly: 4.8
  • Client would refer to friends, family and colleagues: 4.9
  • Fully understands my goals for the future: 4.8

According to the independent firm that conducted the survey, they rarely see the following results:

  • Marks as high as those we received 
  • Participation as high as ours
  • Non-anonymous participation as high as ours

You might also be interested to know that our clients say that the two things that are most important to them in any relationship with a financial advisor are as follows:

  • Having a clear plan in place to meet retirement goals
  • Advisor is trustworthy

We were therefore pleased to receive such high ratings on these dimensions.  

Our clients tell us it is very important to keep them up-to-date on what is happening with their portfolios and our views of the economy.  In response to this need we have increased the frequency and format of our communications even further.  In addition to our regular account reviews with our clients, they receive:

  • A quarterly educational newsletter
  • An invitation to our annual Town Hall Meeting
  • Periodic commentary sent via e-mail and postal mail
  • Scheduled conference calls
  • Reformatted statements for better understanding

Victor Cannillo Speaks to Future Financial Planners at William Paterson University

Victor Cannillo of Baron Financial Group spoke to students in the William Paterson University Financial Planning Program on February 17th 2011.  Victor answered questions about the financial planning profession, gave interviewing advice to soon-to-be graduates, and defined the unique qualifications that distinguish a Fee-Only Advisor.

Client Appreciation Event Held at Liberty Science Center

The Baron Financial Group hosted a special client appreciation event at the Liberty Science Center on November 9, 2010.

The event provided a unique opportunity for  the attendees to view a 42,000 year old baby woolly mammoth on loan from the Shemanovskiy Museum and Exhibition Center in Yamal, Russia. 

Amazingly preserved, including eyelashes, ears, and internal organs, Lyuba, the baby wooly mammoth, was discovered in 2007 by a Siberian reindeer herder and his sons.  Named after the herder’s wife, Lyuba is a scientific wonder, enhancing our understanding of the evolution of mammoths and their relatives, the elephant.

5 Questions to ask your Financial Advisor

1.      How are you and your firm compensated?

  • Fee-Only? Fee only advisors put their clients interests first and therefore hold a fiduciary standard
  • Fee-Based? Fee-based advisors are compensated both by an hourly fee and commissions on some insurance products.
  • Commissions? Commissioned advisor’s compensations are directly tied to the type of product that they sell to you.

2.      Does anyone in your firm receive compensation from investments that you may recommend?

Receiving compensation from a recommended investment vehicle leaves the possibility for a conflict of interest.  That certain investment or insurance product may not fit your needs, but it probably will provide the sales person with a nice sized commission check.

3.      Do you receive referral fees from attorneys, accountants, insurance professionals, and mortgage brokers?

It is important when working with a financial advisor that they refer you to professionals that they trust and are competent.  If someone gets a free for referring, that may not be the best professional available to you.

4.      Are you transparent with your fees and compensation?

Many people believe that their brokers are doing their investments for free.  Of course, this is not the case, their fees are just so hidden that it may feel like they are doing it for nothing.  It is important to fully understand how your advisor is compensated, and how much they are charging you.

5.      Are you a fiduciary?

This is the most important question of all.  A fiduciary is legally required to work in your best interests and to disclose any and all conflicts.  If your advisor is not a fiduciary, you may need to ask who your advisor is really working for…

To see how Baron Financial Group answers these questions, call us at (1-866-333-6659)