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 AL.com via The Birmingham News. All of the AL.com 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 TheStreet.com.

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.

I Can Predict Your Financial Future

After thirty-something years working with people and their finances, I have developed an uncanny 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 2019: I predict… that if you set financial goals for […]

Christmas is the Time for….

Giving.  The Birmingham region has a national reputation as one of the most generous giving communities in the country.  United Way of Central Alabama annual fund raising consistently ranks tops in the nation and exceeds the giving of many cities much larger than Birmingham. As we put Thanksgiving behind us and approach Christmas and all […]

Retirement Savers: How Do You Stack Up?

Fidelity Investments recently released a study of its more than 30 million retirement account customers showing good news about average retirement account balances.  The average account balance for 401-k savers was $106,500, a seven percent increase over twelve months ago.  Investors who have been invested for five years accumulated, on average, $221,000.  Those invested for […]

Tis The Season for Giving

As the Thanksgiving Holiday approaches and we focus on what is most important in life, many will also begin planning for their annual charitable contributions.  One of the most gratifying aspects of my job is helping people achieve a charitable intent, which ultimately manifests itself in a positive benefit on our community.  I am amazed […]

Alabama in Top 10 and it’s Not Football!

Alabamians have grown accustomed to seeing a top ten ranking when it comes to the College Football Playoff poll.    Now Alabama is top ranked in another poll.  Morningstar recently released its Morningstar Analyst Ratings for the best 529 college savings plans for 2018.  Alabama received a “Silver” ranking, making it one of the Top 8 […]

Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh

We, the Members and Staff of The Welch Group of Birmingham, are Resolved: That on this day, the 31st of October 2018 and henceforward, we stand with people of all faiths against acts of hatred and violence. In particular, given recent events that make this resolution particularly poignant, we stand with the Jewish community, both […]

Can Your Checking Account Improve Your FICO Credit Score?

Credit scoring for FICO has always been a mysterious black box.  The credit rating bureaus keep the recipe a closely guarded secret.  Fair Isaac Corporation Lenders (FICO) developed the credit scoring system used by most lenders and they just announced a new wrinkle…the UltraFICO Score.  Their intention is to roll the new system out next […]

If You Don’t Have This, You Need It

Last week I discussed the reasons you might need to set up a trust at your death for your children, whether they are young children or adults.  This week I’ll focus on additional documents that are a critical part of your estate plan. Picture this.  You handle the family’s finances and pay all the family […]

Does Your Child Need a Trust?

Much of the time when we visit with a new client about their estate plan, we find that their wills have been drawn without a lot of thought about whether or not a trust is needed for the children.  In a recent case, the will stated that the (divorced) mother’s assets went outright to the […]

Don’t Be a Slave to Debt!

As humans, we instinctively pay close attention to things that excite us and ignore those that bore us.  As investors, we must fight this instinct with every fiber of our being as the boring topics are often the most important to long term financial success.  While most financial news is centered around the day-to-day movements […]