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.

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 […]

Medicare – What You Must Do Right Now

If you are on Medicare, it is that time of the year again!  It is time to review plans to ensure you are on the best plan and making changes could save you thousands of dollars. My partner, Kimberly Reynolds, MS, CFP® gives tips on how to research and find the best plan for you […]

Chipmunk Savings Strategy

According to a survey by GoBankingRates.com over half of American adults have less than $1,000 in savings.  Everyone knows how important it is to save for retirement, emergency reserves, the down payment on a home and any number of other financial goals.  Why is it so hard to save?  The typical strategy is to pay […]