Grow: RISK!

Grow: RISK! By: Ian Maddox, CRPS® 2017 proved to be an outstanding year in the stock market, almost completely void of volatility.  2018, on the other hand, has delivered a series of ups and downs, and as of today, the major indexes have made little progress. Broad market volatility and interest rate movements have kept stocks and […]

Plant: What Exactly IS Financial Planning?

By: Ian M. Maddox CRPS® At its very basic level, Financial Planning has existed for all human history.  Sure, in ancient times we didn’t have fancy currency, exotic investment vehicles and insurance products, or even a concept of saving for college or retirement.  We did, however, have a need to identify, measure, manage, and trade […]

Enjoy: Untangling Your Parent’s Financial Puzzle

By: Ian M Maddox, CRPS® ENJOY (60+): The Planning Phase The mental acuity necessary to do something as simple as balance a checkbook can fade with age.  Often children step in when issues arise with mom and dad’s finances only to discover a maze of documents, files, and accounts dating back to the 1960’s, or […]

Grow: The College Conundrum

Grow: The College Conundrum By: Ian Maddox, CRPS® By the beginning of a student’s junior year of high school parents and kids (typically an emphasis on the parent part of the equation) become hyper focused on the next steps.  College entrance exams, career preparedness, school selection and ultimately how it all gets paid for are top of […]

Plant: Getting Married? Pick a Financial Planner First!

By: Richard Hitchcock CFP® Our earliest memories probably contain some reference to money, how to handle it and some basic ideas on spending.  We get these memories from watching our parents live their lives.  Subconsciously we pick up clues of which we may not be aware.   That’s why it’s important for couples planning to […]

Enjoy: Making Sense of the IRA-RMD-QCD!

By: Ian M Maddox, CRPS® ENJOY (60+): The Planning Phase Not too many people enjoy paying taxes.  Of course, we value the services they provide: schools, fire and police protection, judicial systems and our military.   But, since I am as guilty as the next guy or gal, my pen hesitates on that IRS check […]

Grow: Tackle the Debt

By: Richard Hitchcock, CFP® (This article is mainly addressed to those in the middle years of their life. What we call the GROW phase.) It’s not uncommon for people in their middle age years to still have debt carried over from college and from their early years of beginning a family. Priorities of life left […]


By: Ian Maddox, CRPS® This may not come as a surprise, but many 20-somethings in the U.S. have not saved a single dime towards future needs. There are many reasons for this, but the simple fact of the matter is that if this trend does not reverse, it could be devastating for an entire generation […]

The Trump Economy: The Economic Impact of POTUS

The Economic Impact of POTUS


We have just completed the most contentious presidential election in contemporary history. Thank goodness it’s over (I know you agree)!  Whether you were pleased with the outcome, devastated or somewhere in between, we have begun a new era with Mr. Trump at the helm.  Yet to be determined are the actual policies this new administration will have success pushing through Congress, and the subsequent impact of those policies in shaping our nation, state and community.


As Financial Advisors, our task is to help guide clients through various financial and investment decisions. For that reason, policies with economic impact are of greatest concern.  The question to ask is whether the president of the United States has all that much impact on the economy.  In reality, the influence of presidential action and policy is often delayed and difficult to define.


There are certainly examples of presidents taking economic action with immediate impact. A recent and real example of these types of actions was experienced during the extreme economic downturn of 2007-2009. Sweeping financial and industry bail-outs during those years, along with a highly accommodative interest rate policy, laid a foundation which provided economic stability when it was needed most. To a lesser extent, presidential action facilitated an economic lift after the “Dot Com” bubble burst in the early 2000’s and again after 9/11.  Nearly three-quarters of a century earlier, Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt supported massive legislation in an effort to pull us out of the Great-Depression. These are, however, all unique and isolated events.


Through a broader lens we see that most economic actions taken by a president have much less immediate impact. An excellent example of this would be the substantial economic growth experienced during the Clinton administration. While President Clinton, as any other president would have done, took credit for robust U.S. growth, most economists point to policy that was put in place by President Reagan and continued by President H. W. Bush. It also works in reverse. President George W. Bush oversaw the housing market implosion, but the seeds of that storm were partially laid by his predecessor.


So, in a handful of weeks President Elect Trump will be sworn into office. That’s when the real work begins. It would be prudent for all of us, and in particular those that have been Mr. Trump’s greatest advocates, to remain sober minded and realistic. History proves that after the bluster and exuberance of the election ends, the reality of governing this great nation, including passing legislation, begins literally overnight.


We certainly love the idea of repatriation of corporate dollars back into the U.S. banking system. We also like an intelligently designed infrastructure bill which would put many people back to work.  Consumer spending is the largest portion of our economy, and people need jobs.  These big idea programs will take time to implement.  So in the immediate future, our suggestion is that we remain focused on our financial goals, invest appropriately, avoid speculation and adopt a “wait-and-see” approach. Maintaining discipline in your financial plan may allow you to experience economic growth, whether that growth is now, sometime in the future, based on presidential policy or just good old fashion capitalism.


Ian Maddox is the managing member of Hitchcock Maddox Financial Partners, a comprehensive wealth-management firm founded in 1999. For more information please visit or call (205) 201-1401.

No strategy, including asset allocation, ensures success or protects against loss. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

The Complication of Retirement

By: Ian Maddox, CRPS®

You thought work was complicated?  Try retiring.  During your working years your financial well-being was tied to your employment: your paycheck, your health insurance, your life insurance.  Maybe even your social network and gym membership. Unfortunately, when your employment stops much or all of these benefits disappear.  If they do continue, they don’t come cheap.  In many ways you are left to fend for yourself.  So what do you do? Read more