For fee-only financial planning advice with decades of experience, visit our sister firm, The Welch Group.

Welch Investments
Stewart Welch, CFP

Welch Investments founder and managing partner Stewart Welch III, AEP, CFP®, is a weekly financial columnist for via The Birmingham News. All of his 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.

“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 […]

“What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You”

Reader Question:  My husband and I both had living wills witnessed and signed by friends in 1994. Are these still acceptable (our friends have moved from the address shown on the forms) or should we re-do them with new witnesses?  C.H. Answer:  These documents may be fine but I’d strongly recommend that you update them […]

“Co-Signing a Loan? Beware!”

I can think of lots of reasons you might want to help out a family member or friend by co-signing on a loan for their behalf.  For a child, it might be a car loan, bank loan, credit card application, student loan or home mortgage.  For a friend, it might be a loan to consolidate […]