Category Archives: 2. Author

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. 

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Financially Empowering Women™: Planning for Families with Special Needs Children

For mothers of special needs children financial planning is not an option but rather a necessity! The child’s quality of life will depend upon your actions or inactions, as well as your ability and willingness to prepare today for tomorrow.

 Planning for children with special needs must be coordinated within the parents’ personal financial plan. When we work with a family with special needs we need to balance comprehensive financial planning for the entire family with the needs of the child, while incorporating the various disability and government programs available, in order to utilize the best planning techniques.

Special needs attorneys play a critical role in the planning process for families with special needs members.  Special Needs Trusts, guardianship, and support in getting desired services and benefits are all reasons to work with attorneys.  It is very important to work with an attorney who specializes in these areas.   In this podcast, we have invited Laurie Hauptman, from Hauptman and Hauptman to help us understand the role of a special needs attorney when you are putting together your plan. 

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FEW’s December Column – Tips for Taking the Right Vehicles to the Stock Market

Suceessful stock investing isn’t easy, but why make it harder?  Read Laura Mattia’s December Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column about how to approach the markets and reduce risk.

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

December 2013 ABC News Column

FEW’s November Column – Mapping a Path Through the Financial Services Minefield

Laura Mattia’s 2nd Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column can be found on  ABC  Read why the financial services industry does not have your best interests in mind.  You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

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Financially Empowering Women™: Care Giving Pressures and Solutions

Traditionally, women have been socialized to fulfill the caretaking role in the home and even in the workplace. Women are expected to be wives, mothers, community volunteers, teachers, and nurses. We are expected to be understanding, gentle, and to provide service to others.  We are responsible for everyone else but that is not what we are asserting on this show.  While we still may maintain these responsibilities, we need to make sure that we also take responsibility for ourselves.

In this show, we invited two experts to talk to us about possible resources and solutions for the stressed out caretaker.  Emily L. Lutz, PDMM ( is a Certified Professional Daily Money Manager and Ruth Rothbart-Mayer, LCSW, C-ASWCM ( is a Psychotherapist and Elder Care Coach. 

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Laura Mattia’s Finance Column to appear monthly on ABC

We are pleased to announce that our own Laura Mattia is authoring a monthly finance column as part of ABC  The column is aimed at women interested in improving their comfort level with money in general and gaining knowledge and the confidence to invest wisely.   The first installment can be found on the site’s Money homepage Click on Laura’s picture to find the inaugural column and all future columns.

Financially Empowering Women™ Classes held at the Franklin Lakes Public Library & William Paterson University

Financially Empowering Women™ is about Claiming Your Financial Power.  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.  These educational classes, geared especially for women, were held in Franklin Lakes and Wayne in October.Few FL 2013

The women attendees learned:

  • What should I do now to give me the best chance to attain my goals for myself and my family in the future?
  • How do I protect my savings while enjoying my retirement?
  • Are there things that I should know about Social Security and Health Care?
  • How can I get the most out of my 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan?
  • How do I protect myself against the risks that could derail my plan, including divorce and widowhood?

The classes were taught by Laura Mattia, CFP®, MBA, PhD Candidate, Finance Professor at Rutgers University and radio show host of Financially Empowering Women™ with Laura Mattia.  Laura is also a Principal of Baron Financial Group, a Fee-Only, Registered Investment Advisory firm, which recently received the  Women’s Choice Award® for Financial Advisors, based on extraordinary recommendations from our female clients in a customer satisfaction survey.

Financially Empowering Women™: Women and Care Giving: Caring for an Elderly Family Member

Host Laura Mattia and special guest Laurie A. Hauptman, Esq. ( helps us understand how an elder care attorney can assist when a crisis hits, so that you’ll be emotionally, psychologically, and financially prepared to cope with this very difficult time. 

People have to plan for the future.  Life expectancies are increasing and people’s retirement money needs to be stretched out longer.  The government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are being strained.  Through long term care planning an elder law attorney can help people utilize government benefits, such as VA Aid and Attendance,  to help pay for their increasing long term care costs.

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Financially Empowering Women™: Taking Control of Your Divorce and Your Life

The 7th podcast episode of “Financially Empowering Women™ with Laura Mattia,” discusses staying empowered during the divorce process.

Divorce can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. One joined life becomes two separate lives with separate finances and different directions. Assets must be split, pensions must be split, custody of children determined, and child support and or alimony established.

Our guest, Claudia Mott MBA, CFP, CDFA and owner of Epona Financial Solutions (, is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA).  She has been trained to provide financial assistance to people involved in a divorce. You can call Claudia in Basking Ridge, NJ at 201 572-2177.


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Baron Financial Group, a Women-Friendly Firm

Liz Skinner of InvestmentNews interviews Laura Mattia of Baron Financial Group, in the July 26, 2013 article “Women-friendly, with the seal to prove it”.  Laura discusses why Baron was chosen to receive the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors, and how the firm helps educate women. The award is based on rigorous research and evaluation applying 17 objective criteria, and at the time of publication, only seven firms and advisers (only 11% of those evaluated) had qualified to receive this premier recognition.

” ‘The stamp says these people do the right thing for women,’ said Laura Mattia, a principal with Baron Financial Group LLC, which has been given the award. ”It helps them know we’ll answer every little question they ask.”

Ms. Mattia said her firm didn’t plan to make women the focus of their practice, but it found that women responded well to its focus on educating clients and hand-holding through the financial planning process.  Today, Baron Financial helps many single women, divorcees and widows – many of whom have never handled their own finances.  It also produces a monthly podcast, “Financially Empowering Women,” which attracts between 800 and 1,000 listeners.”

Click here to read the complete article