Category Archives: 2. Author

Baron Financial Group to Attend Special Needs Expo Sept. 14, 2014

Members of the Baron Team will be in attendance at the Special Needs Expo New Jersey on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 from 11am – 5pm at the Marriott at Glenpointe in Teaneck, NJ, 100 Frank W. Burr Blvd. Attendee admission is free and children are welcome with their parents or caregiver. There will be kid friendly activities, and food available for purchase on-site.

Baron Financial Group provides Wealth Management services and Fee-Only advice for families with special needs, offering an expertise in special needs, objectivity, credentials (CFP®, CFA®, MBA, Doctoral Candidate) and patience and understanding.

The firm was founded by an experienced advisor, with over 25 years of personal involvement with a special needs family member, and actively involved with Spectrum for Living, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping adults with developmental and/or physical disabilities.

For more information on the Expo click here: NJ_ATTENDEE_FLYER

Financially Empowering Women™: Managing (Buying and Selling) Your Most Important Asset – Your Home

Allowing our emotions drive decisions will almost always result in a large financial mistake.  We know that emotions often get in the way of our decisions and there is no exception when we talk about the average American family’s single largest asset – their home, which conjures up all kinds of emotion.  Home is that safe place where you feel comforted and loved.  For many women it is a place of security, it is where we raised our children, had our first…” fill in the blank”.  We have many memories associated with our homes and we often make emotional decisions regarding our homes.  In this episode of Financially Empowering Women we will hear from Real Estate Expert, Virginia Cassidy (Ginny) who works as an agent with Remax in Mountain Lakes NJ.  Ginny is a professional real estate agent with a certificate in interior design.  Her introduction into the real estate business was working with “expired”  listings.  These are homes that have already been on the market and did not sell. These homes presented a challenge, that she was happy to have the opportunity to meet. She now uses that experience selling difficult homes to the advantage of her clients. Pricing, promotion and presentation are what sells houses. She knows how to use the 3 “p’s” to get the job done.  Ginny can help you make rational (non-emotional) decisions about your most important financial asset, your home, to ultimately improve your financial well-being.  You can reach Ginny (Luxury Home Marketing Specialist RE/MAX Neighborhood) at 973-334-3341.

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FEW’s August Column – Financial Empowerment: Should Women Go it Alone or Keep it Together?

Ignorance about your finances is not bliss. Many married women who didn’t play a strong role in family financial matters ultimately end up facing this responsibility, brought by divorce or widowhood. Because women live longer than men, the chances are that even happily married women who leave finances completely or largely up to their husbands eventually will face a difficult adjustment. This can be frightening, especially when you’re older and there’s less margin for error as retirement approaches. Read Laura Mattia’s August 1, 2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column to learn more about financial empowerment and strengthening your marriage concerning financial matters.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column August 1, 2014



James Shagawat (right) of BFG presenting Mark Persky his scholarship check

James Shagawat (right) of BFG presenting Mark Persky his scholarship check

Baron Financial Group is pleased to present, for the fourth consecutive year, a Baron Financial Group Scholarship to a deserving Fair Lawn High School graduate.  The scholarship recipient, Mark Persky, FLHS class of 2014, will study accounting at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Continuing in our commitment to education, Baron Financial Group is proud to help these deserving students further their education.

FEW’s July Column – The Risks of Failing to Plan for Long-Term Care Costs

There’s a high chance you’ll need nursing-home care, yet many fail to plan. You have planned for a comfortable retirement: where you want to live, how much you want to travel, how you would like to spend your days – and how you’re going to pay for it all. One thing that could derail this plan financially is your health. The related financial problem doesn’t stem from becoming sick and dying, but from becoming sick and living – and needing long-term care. Read Laura Mattia’s July 2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column to learn more about planning for long-term care.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column July 1, 2014


Nicholas Scheibner of Baron Financial earns CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation

Baron Financial Group is proud to announce that Nicholas Scheibner, a financial planner with the firm, has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation. Nick assists the Wealth Management Principals at Baron in developing financial plans, retirement forecasts, and cash flow analyses for our clients.

Nick is a graduate of William Paterson University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Cotsakos College of Business Financial Planner program, one of the top schools in the country that offer the program.  At William Paterson University, he started the first official student chapter of the Financial Planning Association, and was part of the winning team that took 1st place in the National Financial Planning Competition in Denver, CO.

The CFP® certification identifies professionals who have met the high standards of competency and ethics established and enforced by the CFP® Board.  CFP® professionals are required to act in their clients’ best interests and have met rigorous professional standards and have agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients.

CFP® professionals have successfully completed financial planning coursework and have passed the CFP® Certification Examination covering the following areas:  the financial planning process, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning.  They also agree to meet ongoing continuing education requirements and to uphold CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

“The CFP® mark truly serves as the gold standard for personal financial planning,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “Just about anyone can use the term ‘financial planner.’ But only those individuals who have passed a rigorous set of criteria and meet our strict ethical qualifications can call themselves a CFP® professional.”

 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.

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



FEW’s May Column – How Your Ex-Spouse Could Inherit Most of Your Money

Most people aren’t aware that their wills don’t have the final say concerning assets held in retirement accounts – 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).  The beneficiary provisions of these accounts supersede those of wills. Read Laura Mattia’s May 2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column to learn more about wills and beneficiaries.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column May 23, 2014


Baron Financial Hosts 7th Annual Town Hall Meeting

Baron Financial Group hosted their 7th annual Town Hall Meeting at the Fair Lawn Community Center in Fair Lawn.  Attendees at our “International Town Hall Meeting”  were treated to an investment discussion by the Baron Principals about International Investments and active versus passive management.  Bill Chisholm of Thornburg Investment Management, the guest speaker, spoke about how international holdings can add value and diversification to a client’s portfolio.  A video of the presentation will soon be available on our website.

Baron Financial Group Wealth Management Principals, left to right, Laura Mattia, Jim Shagawat, Victor Cannillo, Anthony Benante

Baron Financial Group Wealth Management Principals, left to right, Laura Mattia, Jim Shagawat, Victor Cannillo, Anthony Benante

Baron’s clients, friends, and guests enjoyed the event, as well as the international treats!

Baron Financial Group, in honor of our clients and friends, donated to the Fair Lawn Food Pantry.

Financially Empowering Women™: Women: Ask for a Raise – But Make Sure You’re Worth it

For many of us, our human capital (we measure this as the PV of all of our future earnings) is greater than our financial capital. As a financial adviser, we view Human Capital as a very important asset in our overall wealth. On this show we are going to talk about how women can grow this very important asset class by discussing empowerment in their career. The most fundamental way for you as a working woman to increase your human capital is to get a raise. Of course we want to convert this human capital into investment capital so that you can save and grow it for future needs such as retirement. Recent studies show that women’s earnings on average are about 77 percent of men’s. Click the link below to listen to the podcast discussion on how to effectively communicate in business with guest Christine Clifton, business communication coach, trainer and speaker (201-738-7463).

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FEW’s April Column – My Advice to Women on Asking for a Raise

The single biggest thing women can do to earn more is act like men when it comes to raises. Many women are constantly searching for a clear way to increase their wealth, but the answer is right in front of them every day at work.  The most fundamental way for working women to increase their investment capital is to get a raise. Read Laura Mattia’s April 2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column to read more about asking for a raise and becoming financially empowered.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column April 25, 2014

Financially Empowering Women™: Avoiding High Health Care Costs – Part of Your Financial Plan

Many of you have heard Laura say that when we plan for retirement, we should look at the things that we can control and put together our best plans to increase our probability of success. Well that is all well and good but there is one thing that we cannot control and it is an area of life that scares us all. Yes, we are talking about rising health care costs. Many people find the idea of planning for these costs so daunting that they choose to ignore these costs altogether when planning for retirement. Well, you know that ignoring something doesn’t make it go away, and furthermore, the idea of ignoring this problematic issue is incongruent with our philosophy of claiming our financial power. Click the link below to read more about avoiding high health care costs and listen to the podcast.

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FEW’s March Column – Where Do Bonds Fit in Your Investment Plan?

There’s no simple answer to whether you should own bonds.  Conventional financial wisdom holds that bonds are an essential part of any portfolio.  But while bonds can play an important role of adding security, whether to include them – and if so, at what level – isn’t an automatic decision. Read Laura Mattia’s March 2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column to read more about where bonds fit in your investment plan.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column March 20, 2014

Financially Empowering Women™: International Investing

Today’s show is focused on international investing. While many investors have been shying away from investing in Europe and Emerging Markets, a well-diversified portfolio will have international investments that go beyond today’s news. Our guest today is Bill Chisholm from Thornburg Investment Management who helps us understand why international investments are important. Over the past 10 years, international investments have outperformed the US market, as measured by the S&P 500, 7 out of 10 times. Click the link below to read more about international investing and listen to the podcast.

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Upcoming Financially Empowering Women™ classes for women being offered at William Paterson University in Wayne

Financially Empowering Women™, an educational two-session course taught by Baron’s Laura Mattia, will be held at William Paterson University, 1600 Valley Road, Wayne, NJ, on two consecutive Tuesday evenings, March 25th and April 1st, 2014 from 6:30-9:00pm. The class provides unbiased and objective knowledge for women who are in or near retirement, to help them make informed decisions and plan for a successful retirement.

Financially Empowering Women™ is about Claiming Your Financial Power.  You are in charge.  You control your destiny and you make financial decisions based upon what is best for you.  No excuses, you can do it and by taking claim of your financial life you will have the resources to achieve your goals.  Claiming financial power is not about hoarding money.  It is about understanding how money works and using it to help you live your life, on your terms.

Attendees will receive a workbook containing exercises, with examples, to become financially empowered.

To register call Valerie at William Paterson University at 973-720-3804 or visit their website at


Baron Financial Group holds 4th Quarter 2013 Review Conference Call

Baron Financial Group’s Investment Committee hosted a Fourth Quarter Review Client Conference Call on Friday, February 28, 2014.  The topics of this call include:

  • Asset Classes & Our Strategy
  • Modern Portfolio Theory
  • Asset Class:  Natural Resouces

If you missed the call, or would like to listen again, the recording is posted on our website in the Client Access tab, for which a link is provided below.

Fourth Quarter Review Client Conference Call

Please click here to listen to the 11 minute recording

FEW’s February Column – Think Bonds are Risk-Free? Think Again

Bonds are widely viewed as a low-risk investment that can fortify overall portfolios against the ups and downs of stocks. Yet, while they can reduce risk to portfolios through diversification, bonds themselves present risks that most investors are’t aware of.  Read Laura Mattia’s February  2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column and find out if bonds still have a place in your investments.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column Feb. 25, 2014

Financially Empowering Women™: Women’s Empowerment as Consumers, & What are ETFs?

In today’s show we discuss two very disparate topics;

Women’s Empowerment as consumers:  Money is one of the major sources of power. Understanding, controlling, managing, spending and earning money provides status, power, freedom and control of everyone and everything that money can buy.  As women, holding these abilities over money tips the scales and balances power, which is why I think the idea of financially empowering women is so very important. 

This is why we produce this podcast and offer seminars – to inspire women to become empowered and that is why we support organizations (from the local chapters of NOW to various other groups) that support women.  One such group is The Women’s Choice Award, which is dedicated to empowering women by supporting women’s decisions as consumers.  The Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors was created by WomenCertified®, Inc in partnership with (Women’s Institute for Financial Education).  Today we speak to the founder of the Women’s Choice Award and the CEO of WomenCertified®, Delia Passi, who is the leading female consumer advocate in the nation.

What are ETF’s:  An ETF or Exchange-traded funds is an investment company which usually invests with the objective to achieve similar returns as a particular asset class or market index.  ETFs have grown in popularity over the past decade because of their flexibility to trade like a stock and provide instant diversification in the form of an index fund.  In this answer to a mailbag question, we discuss the advantages of an ETF over individual stocks, mutual funds and index funds but we also talk about the need to understand what you invest in.  You don’t need to know about the plethora of investments that are out there, but you do need to know about the things that you own and if you decide to invest in ETF, make sure to do your research. 

Click here to listen to the broadcast