Category

SH&J Team

Meet Melissa Baldwin

By | SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | No Comments

Name: Melissa Baldwin

Title: Certified Financial Planner™

SH&J team member since: January, 2011

 

What’s your favorite part of being a financial planner?

The outcome. I personally enjoy the process of putting together the puzzle, but the more rewarding part is the outcome. Many people find doing their own financial planning to be overwhelming because there’s so much information out on the internet. So being able to distill information down for clients and give them actionable recommendations that are specific to their circumstances, is the most rewarding and enjoyable part.

You interned with Sharkey, Howes & Javer over the summers while in college. How early did you know that you wanted to work in the Financial Planning field?

The intern work helped me decide that I wanted to be a Certified Financial Planner™. I started out as an accounting major in college, but working here over the summers and seeing how all of the advisors interacted with the clients, and how appreciative all of the clients were, is what geared me more towards financial planning instead of the accounting world.

How did you first get connected with Sharkey, Howes & Javer?

My parents are clients and when they came in for one of their meetings, they asked if there were any opportunities to learn and help with projects over the summers. I have my parents to thank for getting my foot in the door and I am forever grateful.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?

I’ve always wanted to go skydiving. When Groupon first started getting big, I saw a couple Groupons for it and I thought, “I don’t know if this is something that I really wanna go through Groupon for. Sounds a little dangerous.” I have yet to skydive!

What do you like to do in your time off?

I like spending time with my parents and friends. I’m a Colorado native so I enjoy the outdoors, both in the summer and winter with skiing, hiking, and backpacking. I also really enjoy baking.

What’s your favorite thing to bake?

Hmm, that’s tough, there’s so many different varieties. There’s a cinnamon chip oatmeal cookie that I really like. So instead of chocolate chips, it’s cinnamon chips.

Are you still running and competing in races?

No, I am no longer running due to the harshness of running on your knees, but I have been doing a lot of cycling lately.

What are some of your favorite travel destination?

Some of my favorite places are Prague and Germany. Some places I would like to visit are Austria and Nepal.

What Does “Middle Class” Mean in Colorado?

By | Food for thought, SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | No Comments

Sharkey, Howes & Javer | Middle Class BlogWe often hear the term “middle class” thrown around in a variety of conversations. Have you ever stopped to wonder exactly what that means? According to the U.S. Census, the “real median household income” in the state of Colorado in 2015 was $63,909. The lower bracket (or 66% of this figure) was $42,606 and the upper bracket (or 200% of this figure) was $127,818. The “real median household income” in the local Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area in 2015 was $70,283, with a lower bracket of $46,855 and an upper bracket of $140,566.

Although these definitions give us specific dollar figures to reference, the mentality is vastly different. According to the CNBC Millionaire Survey, only 9% of millionaires described themselves as wealthy, rich or upper class. The remaining 91% described themselves as middle or upper middle class.

Why might this be the case? CNBC shares, “Studies show that more than three-quarters of today’s millionaires made their money themselves and started out in the middle class or lower.” Another observation from George Walper, president of Spectrem Group, is that “today’s wealthy also want to avoid being labeled as wealthy because of the cultural hostility toward the rich…. it’s a very small percentage of people who want to be out front in the media.” This may help us understand why we hear the term “middle class” so often in political speeches.

Why does this matter to us? First, when you hear the term “middle class” in the nightly news, you now understand what exactly they are referencing. Second, and more importantly, you now understand that the term “class” is simply a mentality rather than a dollar figure. No matter how your finances are structured, you have the freedom to associate yourself with whichever “class” you choose.

If you would like help with future financial choices for yourself, please call 303-639-5100 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Behind the Scenes: Our Favorite Destinations and What You Must-See If You Visit

By | Food for thought, SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | One Comment

Spring break and summer vacations are nearing. We asked the SH&J team to share some of their favorite destinations and what is a must-see while you are there. We would love to hear some of your favorite spots around the country and world in the comments below. Happy Travels!

Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog | Financial Planners in Denver, CO | Our Favorite Destinations

Melissa Baldwin, CFP®

Destination:
Swiss Alps

Must-See:
Take a train to Zermatt to see the Matterhorn

 

Our Favorite Destinations | Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog

Scott Brooks, AIF®

Destination:
Punta de Mita, Mexico

Must-See:
The hidden beach on Isla Marietas

 

Favorite Destination | Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog

Karlton Childress, CFP®

Destination:
Cancun, Mexico

Must-See:
The beach — what else do you go to Cancun for?

 

Favorite Destinations | Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog

Julie Fletcher, CFP®

Destination:
Fitzroy Island, Queensland, Australia

Must-See:
The Great Barrier Reef

 

Favorite Destinations | Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog

Amy Geist

Destination:
New Orleans, Louisiana

Must-See:
The food! I love the fresh sea food and the oysters are amazing. I walk around the town working up an appetite and checking out new places.

 

Favorite Destinations | Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog

Larry Howes, MBA, CFP® 

Destination:
Barcelona, Spain

Must-See:
The progress of the Sagrada Familia Church

 

Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog | Favorite Destinations

Joel Javer, CLU, CFP®

Destination:
Florence, Italy

Must-See:
Statue of David
 

Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog | Favorite Destinations

Kerry Poorman

Destination:
Hawaii

Must-See:
Kealakekua Bay
 

Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog | Favorite Destinations

Brittany Samples

Destination:
Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Must-See:
The beautiful turquoise lagoon…you can’t miss it!
 

Favorite Destination | Sharkey, Howes $ Javer Blog

Eileen Sharkey, CFP®

Destination:
England

Must-See:
London for the theater, concerts and parks

 

Favorite Destination | Sharkey, Howes & Javer Blog

Destination:
Maui, Hawaii

Must-See:
Warren and Annabelle Magic Show! and Mama’s Fish House

 

Your turn. What destinations do we need to add to our list? Comment below.

Our Thoughts on the Dow and 20K

By | Investing, SH&J Blog, SH&J Team, Tips | No Comments

You’ve likely heard noise in the media recently about the potential of the Dow hitting 20,000. We recently wrote about the history of the Dow and want to remind you that the media has a tendency to add hype where it is not warranted. In our reading over the weekend we found an article that illustrates our feelings about the Dow and the recent hype around it quite well.

In the article, Why Dow 20k doesn’t matter, published in the Chicago Tribune, author Jill Schlesinger said, “I think the Dow is perhaps the least meaningful U.S. stock index available. Sure, it’s got history on its side — it was created by Charles Dow in 1896 in order to provide investors with a snapshot of how the overall stock market was doing. But it includes only 30 large companies, and considering that Amazon, Google and Facebook are not part of the Dow, it is hard to make the case that it reflects the broader market.” (source)

The full article can be read here and we think it is a worthwhile read.

 

Taking a Moment to Reflect on What We Are Grateful For

By | Holidays, SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | No Comments

As Thanksgiving approaches we like to take a moment to reflect on all of the things we have to be grateful for. When we asked the team what they are grateful for, Joel’s response encapsulated how all of us at SH&J feel, “I am grateful for clients who trust us to manage their portfolios.”

From all of us, thank you for your trust in us. We are so grateful for you!

Read More

Julie Fletcher Featured in Denver Post: Why Americans are scared of financial advisors

By | Julie Fletcher, SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | No Comments

Julie Fletcher, CFP® at Sharkey, Howes & Javer wrote an article that was featured in the Denver Post this week. Below is a small excerpt from her piece as well as a link to read the full article.


Why Americans are scared of financial advisors
We can blame the movies, and our “money taboo” society

Since the 1980’s, Hollywood has made millions of dollars creating a slew of movies depicting the greed and crime of the financial services industry. Which is your favorite? “Wall Street,” the “greed is good” movie from 1987? “Boiler Room,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “The Big Short”? Based on the media’s portrayal of “financial professionals,” it is no wonder that Americans are scared to death to trust anyone with their hard-earned money. Based on these movies, I would guess that a person who has never met with a financial advisor likely envisions it would go something like this:

As a frightened receptionist walks me through their chaotic cubicle hell, red-faced frenzied suits scream “SELL, SELL NOW!!” into their phones. When we finally reach the conference room, the theme song from “Jaws” runs through my mind as a cigar smoking man wearing a red bow tie slowly turns in his chair to face me. He puffs out smoke as his smile creeps into a wide Cheshire cat grin. “Welcome. Please have a seat. Did you bring all your account statements?” As I cautiously hand my private and personal information to a complete stranger, his grin turns into a frown. “Did you not read our website? I hardly think $150,000 meets our $50 million minimums.”

Click to continue reading >

Behind the Scenes: What the SH&J Team Has Been Reading

By | Behind the Scenes, Eileen Sharkey, Harold Kirschner, Joel Javer, Julie Fletcher, Karlton Childress, Mimi Hackley, Planners, SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | No Comments

Did you know many members of our team are avid readers? Whether it is a good story or a book to help us improve as planners, you will often find our noses in a book during our downtime. Today we thought we would share our latest book reviews with you. We’d love to hear what you’ve been reading as well in the comments below!

Read More

Meet Mimi Hackley

By | Mimi Hackley, SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | No Comments

Name: Mimi Hackley

Title: Shareholder and Certified Financial Planner™

SH&J team member since: 1998

 

You are admired for the way you are with clients. What advice do you have for building and maintaining strong client relationships?

Listen first. Be honest, yet compassionate. Do what comes naturally and is best for the client. Focus on practical and applicable solutions while keeping it as simple as possible.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

  • Family time with our children,
  • Unstructured as often as we can manage it,
  • Unplugged for much of it,
  • Plain-old fun playtime with cooking, laundry and administrative stuff thrown in on the sidelines.

We try to keep it simple and always manage to find things to laugh about even when we’re arguing (which happens a lot with two boys close in age – the laughter typically diffuses the spite!).

As a child, what did you dream of being when you grew up?

First, I wasn’t aware I’d grown up. As a child, I dreamed of always being a child, a la “Peter Pan”. My brothers and I had more fun as children than anyone I know – except my mom who still has more fun than the rest of the world.

Also, if I had to grow up, I wanted to be a teacher. My mom practically forbade my “Teacher” aspirations because, back then, teachers were not well paid nor well-enough respected for the great service they impart. It’s interesting that while I didn’t become a “teacher” I teach clients every day how to make wise financial decisions and thoroughly enjoyed teaching CFP students for several years.

You have been with Sharkey, Howes & Javer for over 15 years. What do you love most about your job?

The fulfillment that comes from helping people help themselves.

Finish this sentence: As a mother of two boys…

…I’m busier than I’d ever imagined was possible and am having more fun now than I did as a child… Wow! That’s really something!

Meet Melissa Baldwin

By | SH&J Blog, SH&J Team | No Comments

Name: Melissa Baldwin

Title: Certified Financial Planner™

SH&J team member since: January, 2011

 

 

My favorite thing about working at Sharkey, Howes & Javer is…

TEAMWORK! We all come from different backgrounds and have different views and insight on various topics and it is great to be able to use each other as a sounding board. Teamwork and collaboration opens the door for more perspective in problem solving and options for clients to reach their goals.

Read More

An Evening of Entertainment with Sharkey, Howes & Javer

By | SH&J Blog, SH&J Events, SH&J News, SH&J Team | No Comments

On October 22, 2015, we held our annual client appreciation event. This year’s festivities were a little different than our previous events, as Sharkey, Howes & Javer was celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Rather than hosting our usual educational seminar, we hosted “An Evening of Entertainment” to celebrate twenty five successful years with the people who made it all possible, our clients.

The celebration took place at the beautiful Seawell Grand Ballroom within the Denver Center for the Performing Arts complex with approximately 380 of our clients in attendance. With lighting and drapery filling the ballroom, the ambiance set a festive mood for everyone.

The evening began with a cocktail hour, which included appetizers, drinks, and a magician who left guests in wonderment as to how he performed such tricks as turning dollar bills into one hundred dollar bills…If only we all knew his secret!

Following the cocktail hour, Eileen Sharkey presented a series of heartfelt speeches honoring our clients, staff, and her partners of 25 years, Joel Javer and Larry Howes.

Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner, and watched musical performances that took them on a journey through the years of Broadway. Acts included West Side Story, Grease, Chicago, Jersey Boys, and Rock of Ages.

The evening was a very special night for not only the clients in attendance, but for the partners and employees of Sharkey, Howes & Javer as we celebrated this important milestone.

On behalf of the entire team at SH&J, we want to thank each and every client for your continued trust and loyalty. We owe these past 25 years to you, and we look forward to the next 25 with you!