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The Welch Group
Stewart Welch, CFP

Welch Group founder and managing partner Stewart Welch III, AEP, CFP® and other firm partners provide a weekly financial column for via The Birmingham News. All of the columns are archived here for your reading pleasure. Mr. Welch has co-authored numerous books and regularly appears on various TV and radio shows including FOX 6 (Birmingham, AL), CNN (NY), Fox News Network (NY), CNBC (NJ), and is often quoted in national press including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Money and

If you have a financial question to be answered in the weekly column, fill out this form. Consult your own professional legal, tax or financial advisor before acting upon this advice.

“Dealing with Debt: Part III”

Last week, I made the case that inappropriate debt was perhaps the single greatest roadblock to financial success and financial freedom for most people.  The topic was the misuse of credit cards along with solutions for dealing with credit card problems.  This week I’ll continue the debt discussion with three additional common debt traps. Debt […]

“Debt: Life’s Biggest Roadblock to Success”

When counseling couples who have financial problems, too much and inappropriate debt is almost always part of the root cause.  Too much debt will make it very difficult for you to achieve financial independence. While it’s impractical to avoid debt completely, you should be able to maintain appropriate control of your debt. Years ago, a […]

“Thinking About Getting Married? Let’s Talk Money!”

The following is an excerpt from my soon-to-be-released “Couples Guide to Personal Finances”. After thirty-plus years advising hundreds of couples, it has become evident that when couples have problems, invariably, disagreement about finances is in the mix.  Therefore, if you can solve the money equation, you can go a long way towards creating and keeping […]

“College Funding: Avoiding the Kiddie Tax”

Reader Question:  Our daughter who turned 19 in January will start her sophomore year of college in August. Last year we used $5,000 from HER mutual fund and were hit with a $1,000 tax bill. We want to avoid that this year, can you give us advice on the best way to pay college expenses […]

“Smart Strategies for Your IRA- Part II”

Last week, I began this two-part series with three smart strategies for your IRA.  To review those strategies, visit the Resource Center at and click on ‘Stewart’s Commentary’. Strategy #4: Split out multiple beneficiaries.  Typically, a parent will name multiple beneficiaries such as children and grandchildren.  Left unchanged, each of the beneficiaries must use […]

“Smart Strategies for Your IRA- Part I”

When most people think of their IRA account, they think of it as part of a nest egg for their retirement but they don’t give a lot of thought regarding strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of their IRA. For example, many retirees postpone tapping their IRA until they are required to do so at age […]

“Avoid This Costly IRA Rollover Mistake”

There are many reasons in the course of our lives that we might consider doing a retirement account rollover.  And while we tend to think this is a routine matter, if done incorrectly, there can be huge negative financial implications. There are two ways to rollover a retirement account: Direct rollover. Whether it’s a 401k, […]

“The Greatest Gifts Really Are Free”

Friendship, love, a caring smile…are among the greatest free gifts we can give.  What is truly rare is being able to give the gift of a better education to a young child who desperately wants the best education possible. And while it does cost money, it cost you nothing.  Here to explain is my partner, […]

“I Can Predict Your Financial Future”

After thirty-something years working with people and their finances, I have developed an ability to predict their financial future…usually after as little as a five-minute visit.  I can even do it if I’ve never met you.  Here are my predictions for your success in 2017: I predict… that if you create financial goals for 2017, […]

“Year-End Tax Planning- Trump Style”

The surprise election of Donald Trump has turned year-end income tax planning on its ear.  Virtually everyone assumed that Hillary would win the election and she promised higher taxes on the highest income earners while trimming deductions.  With Trump, the focus is on lower taxes in 2017 and this opens tax strategies you should consider […]