Our Latest Thinking

A must read-especially within 5 years of retirement


If you’re within 5 years of retirement, there are a handful of easy “thought exercises” you must do that can make or break your retirement plans.The problem is, many people put them off, thinking, “I’ll get to that later … it doesn’t matter right now.” Years later, they finally make the time to address them because they have no choice. By then, it’s often too late. Don’t fall into that trap.

Here at HFM we’ve found there are 3 essential pillars to a successful retirement plan.The sooner you address these 3 pillars, the better prepared you’ll be for a successful retirement. We put together this quick checklist and guide that we highly recommend you read.

Download your copy for free by clicking HERE to get our PDF of The 3 Pillars of Successful Retirement Plans: A Simple Checklist to Kick-Start Your New Work-Free Life

Here’s a taste of what’s inside:

  • Learn the 24 critical questions you need to ask yourself
  • Uncover commonly overlooked “blind spots” from your current retirement plan
  • Discover the steps you need to take during the years leading up to your work-free life!

We hope that this quick read sparks an “aha!” moment to help you craft a truly enjoyable retirement lifestyle. Remember, the sooner you prepare, the better positioned you’ll be for retirement. Go through it by yourself or with your loved ones.

Welcomed New Additions to the HFM Team!

As our HFM client family grows so does our employee family. Our goal is to consistently provide our clients with compliant top-notch service. With that in mind we want to introduce you to a few new team members that you may encounter the next time you contact our office with a question or to discuss your 401(k) plan.








Michelle Dillman


Client Services Assistant

A key department at HFM is our servicing department. The servicing team takes pride in providing efficient, compliant, fast turnaround for any assistance clients may need with their accounts. Michelle is a welcomed addition to our client servicing team. Michelle will assist Roxanne McGee our Client Services Coordinator. Together they will answer all client questions and make sure the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted.  One of our values as a financial advisor is to set our clients on a path to achieve their goals. As life unfolds change is inevitable, and clients’ plan, accounts, beneficiaries, RMDs, etc. may need revisions based on those changes.  Our Client services team is at the ready for all our clients needs. Michelle can be reached at mdillman@HFMadvisors.com





Caitlin Ege
Retirement Plan Associate

Caitlin is the “point person” for all things 401(k), Caitlin works to ensure our Plan Sponsors and participants receive the highest level of service. Whether it is scheduling participant workshops, sharing educational information with participants on the importance of saving for retirement, encouraging participants to use a budgeting tool or arranging for a plan sponsor to meet with an advisor, Caitlin helps to protect plan sponsors, guide positive participant outcomes and unify the client’s service team. She can be reached at cege@HFMadvisors.com or dial her direct at 856 302-7041.








Liz Roth
Administrative Assistant

The next time you call or visit our office you will no doubt meet our newest employee Liz Roth. Liz is responsible for supporting every aspect of our office and will help it to run smoothly. As you can imagine, an efficiently running office needs someone who fills in the gaps, pays attention to the details and ensures our service levels are reached. Liz will be the voice on the other end when you call our office and will happily answer your question or get you to the right team member who can. She can be reached at lizroth@HFMadvisors.com or 856 232-2270.


Again, we are excited to welcome our new team members to the HFM Family!

Meet our newest Investor Coach!


HFM Investment Advisors, LLC expanded its growing firm with the recent hiring of Catherine Allen-Carlozo, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER.

Allen-Carlozo is an experienced financial professional, serving clients needs for more than 30 years. She joined the firm in late, 2018.

“I have been impressed with Catherine’s integrity and intelligence for a quite a long time. Her reputation, the genuine relationships she has with her clients and her stick-to-it-iv-ness are all virtues we value here at HFM,” said Michael Pallozzi, president the firm located in Glassboro, NJ.

Allen-Carlozo serves clients, many of whom are women growing or reclaiming their independence from a divorce or loss.

“At this moment in their lives, many of my clients want more than a snapshot view of their financial picture. It is my passion and goal to change the conversation about personal finance for women and help them experience lasting financial freedom. The culture Mike has established at HFM allows me to do that,” Allen-Carlozo said.

HFM Investment Advisors, LLC is an independent, fee-based investment management and financial planning firm that empowers our clients through coaching and discipline to reach a higher level of investing peace of mind. The firm has served clients South Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia region since 1989.


Over 17,000 Coats Collected!

We would like to thank the community for their donations to their 9th annual coat drive. This year the firm collected just over 2,700 coats which takes our nine year grand total to 17,924. The 2018 coat drive, which began in October, was hoping to reach the 2,000 coat mark but far surpassed it. Throughout the winter the coats were distributed to those in need throughout South Jersey.

The drive had over 30 coat drop-off locations throughout the area. Several volunteers participated in the drive including students enrolled in the Standard 9 program at the Y.A.L.E School. The students volunteered once a week throughout the drive sorting and organizing the thousands of coats received.

HFM’s mission for the annual coat drive is to provide every man, woman and child in need in Gloucester County with a coat for the winter. Over a dozen organizations received the coats such as the Samaritan House, Kitchen of Hope, Angels Community Outreach, Unforgotten Haven, and many more.

Paul Blackstock and his team from the nonprofit, Heart of South Jersey, worked quickly to distribute the coats throughout South Jersey. When asked who receives the coats, Paul Blackstock said, “Families throughout the county and also homeless veterans. We work with several other organizations to get them out quickly to those who need them.”

President of HFM Investment Advisors, Michael P. Pallozzi, noted, “We’re excited for another successful year of supporting hundreds of people with coats.  We’re always happy seeing the community come together to support our neighbors when they need it.”

We conduct the coat drive every year and are always looking for partners to become collection locations. We look forward to future years and helping thousands more neighbors when our 2019-20 drive begins next October.

Visit http://hfmadvisors.com/our-committment/ to see a complete list of recipient organizations

New Year, New Plan Limits!

IRS Limits on
Retirement Benefits & Compensation

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2019 deferral limits to save for your retirement. Below is a table outlining 401(k), SIMPLE IRA and IRA deferral limits. See if you can increase your deferral limit for the 2019 calendar year!

*If you are considered a Highly Compensated Employee, you may face restrictions on the amount you can defer. Talk with an HFM Investor Coach if you have questions about your deferral limits.




401(k), 403(b), 457 Elective Deferral Limit
 $ 18,500
Catch-up Contribution
(age 50 or older)
 $ 6,000
 $ 12,500
SIMPLE IRA Catch-up contribution (age 50 or older)
 $ 3,000
IRA Contribution Limit
 $ 5,500
IRA Catch-up Contribution
(age 50 or older)
 $ 1,000

All investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no guarantee that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.

HFM is not in the business of providing legal advice with respects to ERISA or any other applicable law. The materials and information do not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice. HFM Investment Advisors LLC are not tax advisors and none of the information provided should be considered tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for additional guidance relating to your personal tax situation.

New Team Member!

It is our pleasure to announce we are expanding our HFM team to include Investor Coach, Catherine Allen-Carlozo.

For more than 30 years, Catherine’s passion has been working in financial services focusing on the unique needs of women and helping small business owners develop and implement their individual financial plans. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ® for more than 10 years, Catherine is highly qualified to provide HFM’s excellent level of service to our clients.

Her involvement in the community on both the professional and personal level is extensive. Catherine is the president of South Jersey Women in Business group. She is also a member of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the Estate and Financial Planning Council of Southern New Jersey, the National Association of Professional Women and the Financial Planning Association, local and national chapters. Other charities she supports include Habitat for Humanity, Camden County Women’s Center, and Operation Yellow Ribbon.

Catherine is also an accomplished speaker and will represent HFM well by providing her expertise in Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, Investment Management and many financial topics specific to women throughout our region.

We are constantly looking to improve our value and high level of service for our clients. Catherine’s experience, expertise and service philosophy make her a perfect addition to our HFM team. She has lived our mission to educate and empower clients to make wise financial decisions even before she joined our firm.

We are thrilled to welcome Catherine and look forward to introducing you to her the next time you visit the office.

Investment Firm Projects Record-Setting Coat Drive

For Immediate Release  Glassboro, NJ— HFM Investment Advisors, LLC, has expanded its Annual Gloucester County Coat Drive to support the broader South Jersey region, including Salem and Cumberland counties. This is their ninth year of collecting coats beginning October 15, 2018, and lasts through January 31, 2019.

So far HFM has collected and donated more than 15,200 coats to South Jersey residents in need over the past eight years. Last year, HFM amassed a record 3,006 coats. This year, HFM plans to top that record and surpass over 18,000 total coats collected.
Drop-off sites include HFM’s Glassboro, NJ office, all local Gloucester County Library System branches, the Margaret E. Heggan Public Library in Washington Twp., NJ, plus 30 additional locations. The Public can find a full list of the 30-plus drop-off locations at www.HFMadvisors.com/our-committment.
HFM guides others by helping them make effective financial decisions—but it cares about much more than numbers and charts. HFM supports its community through fundraisers, board memberships, nonprofit sponsorships, and more.

It achieves this goal through partnering with the Heart of South Jersey (www.heartsj.org), which distributes the donated coats to more than 20 nonprofit organizations that share one goal: helping others. As HFM extends its donation reach, Heart of South Jersey provides coats to veterans, children, families, and the homeless. The Y.A.L.E school of Cherry Hill provides volunteers to help count, sort and deliver coats throughout the drive.

“I’m eager to see the number of coats we collect this year grow with the help of your generous donations and more drop off box locations from last year. Our mission is to provide a coat for every man, woman, and child in need in South Jersey,” said HFM President Michael Pallozzi.

About HFM Investment Advisors, LLC.

HFM Investment Advisors is an independent, fee-based investment management and financial planning firm that empowers its clients through coaching and discipline. With a look-you-in-the-eye commitment, its goal is to keep clients educated, involved and confident in every financial decision they make. Learn more at www.HFMadvisors.com or call 856 232-2270.

Check your withholding soon | Avoid a higher tax bill next April

An important part of financial planning is Tax Planning. With so many changes to the tax code this year HFM is highly encouraging everyone to review their tax plan or make a tax plan this summer with their CPA or tax advisor. Don’t get caught in April 2019 with a potentially higher tax bill than 2017. Now is the time you should consider making changes to your withholding NOT in December 2018. Read the latest news from the IRS.gov on what to do and we remind you to consult with your tax adviser as well.


IR-2018-145, June 28, 2018

Washington, DC  – Taxpayers who owed additional tax when they filed their 2017 federal tax return earlier this year can avoid another unexpected tax bill next year by doing a “paycheck checkup” as soon as possible, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the tax reform legislation passed in December, made major changes to the tax law, including increasing the standard deduction, removing personal exemptions, increasing the Child Tax Credit, limiting or discontinuing certain deductions and changing tax rates and brackets.

These far-reaching changes could have a big impact on the tax refund or balance due on the tax return people file next year. The IRS encourages every employee to do a “paycheck checkup” soon to ensure they have the correct amount of tax taken out of their pay.

Checking and adjusting withholding now can prevent an unexpected tax bill and penalties next year at tax time. The IRS Withholding Calculator ( https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator) and Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, can help.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be proactive:

Do a ‘paycheck checkup’ soon

  • The Withholding Calculator can help taxpayers apply the new law to their specific financial situation and make an informed decision whether to change their withholding this year.
  • Adjust their withholding as soon as possible for an even, consistent amount of withholding throughout the rest of the year.
  • Taxpayers with more complex situations may need to use Publication 505. The publication is more effective for employees who owe self-employment tax, the alternative minimum tax or tax on unearned income from dependents. It can also help those who receive non-wage income such as dividends, capital gains, rents and royalties. Publication 505 includes worksheets and examples to guide taxpayers through their particular situations.

Underpayment penalties

  • To avoid paying the estimated tax penalty, taxpayers should ensure they have enough tax withheld from their paychecks and appropriate estimated tax payments. Ordinarily, taxpayers can avoid this penalty by paying at least 90 percent of their tax during the year.
  • If taxpayers expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax after subtracting withholding and refundable credits, they should make estimated tax payments.

Using the Withholding Calculator or Publication 505

  • Taxpayers should have their completed 2017 tax return handy to help estimate the amount of income, deductions, adjustments and credits to enter. They’ll also need their most recent pay stubs to help compute their withholding to date this year. Results from these tools depend on the accuracy of information a taxpayer provides.
  • Employees can use the results from the Withholding Calculator or Publication 505 to help determine if they should complete a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and, if so, what information to include on the form.
  • The calculator may also be helpful to recipients of pension and annuity income. These recipients can change their withholding by filling out Form W-4P and giving it to their payer.
  • If a taxpayer’s personal circumstances change during the year, they should re-check their withholding.

Adjusting withholding

  • If an employee determines they should adjust their withholding, they should complete a new Form W-4 and submit it to their employer as soon as possible.
  • Some employers have an electronic method to update a Form W-4.
  • Taxpayers who change their 2018 withholding should recheck their withholding at the start of 2019. A mid-year withholding change in 2018 may have a different full-year impact in 2019, so if taxpayers don’t submit a new Form W-4 for 2019, their withholding might be higher or lower than intended.
  • If an employee has a change in personal circumstances that reduces the number of withholding allowances they can claim, they must submit a new Form W-4 within 10 days of the change.
  • The fewer withholding allowances an employee enters on the Form W-4, the higher their tax withholding will be. Entering “0” or “1” on line 5 of the Form W-4 means more tax will be withheld; entering a bigger number means less tax will be withheld.

Additional information

  • The Withholding Calculator does not request personally identifiable information such as name, Social Security number, address or bank account numbers. The IRS does not save or record the information entered on the calculator. Taxpayers should be aware of tax scams, especially via email or phone and cybercriminals impersonating the IRS. The IRS does not send emails related to the calculator or the information entered in it.
  • The calculator and Publication 505 are not tax-planning tools. Taxpayers needing advice regarding the new tax law and personal situations should consult a trusted tax professional.

Taxpayers can get more information on these topics at www.irs.gov/withholding. For information on steps taxpayers can take now to get a jump on next year’s taxes, including how the new tax law may affect them, visit IRS.gov/getready.


From https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-bill-this-year-check-withholding-soon-avoid-another-one-next-year

Social Security Payout To Exceed Income For First Time In 36 Years

It’s brought up ad nauseum…

Social Security is running out. But perhaps it should be discussed even more, as the latest report from the Social Security Board of Trustees implies, as of yet, little is being done to reverse its fate.

In line with last year’s projection, the Board foresees full funding for the 83-year-old program to only last until 2034. At that time, 79 percent of benefits are expected to remain payable—a trivial boost from last year’s estimate of 77 percent.

What’s worse, the total annual cost of the program will likely exceed its income in 2018—and it’s anticipated that this trend will persist year-after-year. To make up for the shortfall, the program will need to dip into its reserves for the first time since 1982.

“People are living longer than any time in history and birthrates are declining. This phenomenon known as ‘population aging’ is financially straining government-sponsored retirement benefits,” Catherine Collinson, CEO and president, Transamerica Institute, Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, and executive director, Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, explained in a statement about retiring in the 21st Century.

“Simultaneously, employers have been replacing traditional defined benefit pension plans with employee-funded defined contribution retirement plans,” she said. “Today, individuals are expected to take on increasing risk and responsibility in self-funding a greater portion of their retirement income.”

But instead, far too many Americans continue to set themselves up for failure.

A recent study examining retirement income strategies found that almost half (49 percent) of those surveyed said Social Security will be their top source of income when they exit the workforce.

Theoretically, Millennials should be doing better than older generations when it comes to retirement planning. In a separate study comparing generational trends, only 22 percent said they are factoring Social Security into their retirement planning. But sadly, they’re doing little to make up for it. Almost 40 percent still aren’t saving on their own.

Closest to retirement age, Baby Boomers are doing better at socking away money. Nine in 10 are saving on their own in a 401k or other account. Their nest egg might not be enough though, considering around 80 percent are counting on Social Security to supplement it.

Thankfully, it’s doubtful the program will collapse entirely during Boomers’ lifetime. Younger workers, on the other hand, are right to be concerned. Social Security experts say the government just might end up increasing payroll taxes and decreasing benefits in the coming years in order to rescue the program—less than stellar news for an already struggling younger generation of workers.

Summing up the Board’s report, Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, said, “The Trustees’ projected depletion date of the combined Social Security Trust Funds has not changed, and slightly more than three-fourths of benefits would still be payable after depletion. But the fact remains that Congress can keep Social Security strong by taking action to ensure the future of the program.”

5 Reasons March Madness Is Just Like Investing

Here is a great article from 2017 we had to share…

Filling out a bracket for the NCAA championship basketball tournament is an annual highlight for sports fans like myself. Like most people, I don’t watch much of the regular season games, but every March I start reading expert picks and researching bracket strategy in preparation for pools with my family and friends.

The process reminds me so much of investing because filling out a bracket balances expertise, risk, reward and future expectations. Winning a pool also requires some luck along the way.

With that in mind, here are five lessons from March Madness that apply to the world of investing.

1. It’s not about being perfect, but positioning yourself to get the most right.

The odds of filling out the perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,852,775,808. Let’s just round that to 1 in 9 quintillion. The odds of consistently selecting market beating investments over a long period of time are equally daunting.

The key to successful investing is about focusing on the things you can control. From an investment perspective that means building a portfolio that is positioned to capture return premiums (such as size, value, and profitability) that improve risk-adjusted returns. Other areas of focus that are within your control include asset allocation, keeping investment costs low, minimizing taxes, optimal asset location, etc.

2. Past performance guarantees nothing about the future.

It is easy to let a team’s recent success influence your bracket picks, but last year’s tournament was last year’s tournament. Similarly, investors should never assume that their best pick (asset class, sector, country, or stock) from last year will have a repeat performance.

In addition, the winner of your bracket pool might be skillful, but he/she might also just be lucky – there is no reason to believe that success will be repeated in the future. The same goes for mutual fund managers, their outperformance in any given period may be the result of skill or luck – in fact, it is quite common to see funds that have outperformed in a given period proceed to underperform in the subsequent period.

3. The drama goes up the more you watch.

The more you watch the NCAA tournament, the more emotional you become about the outcomes. Watching the drama of March Madness is a great form of entertainment, but watching the market closely almost never helps an investor.
Myopic loss aversion tells us that the more you watch the markets, the more susceptible you become to making poor investment decisions. The best investors stay as detached as possible from daily stock fluctuations.

4. Success requires removing emotional and cognitive biases from your decision making process.

Humans are hardwired to see patterns and our tendency to only remember the times they work only engrains that pattern seeking behavior. For example, I always pick a #10 seed to upset a #7 seed based on my perceived frequency of that type of first round upset occurring in the past, but not based on any background knowledge of the skill sets of the opposing teams. Another example is picking your alma mater or a local school to advance further than what evidence and probability suggest.

Investment decisions should not be based on technical indicators, patterns or hunches. Instead, a quality decision making process emphasizes evidence-based investment theory and research. A quality decision making process should also protect us from our faulty mental hardwiring that causes us to misinterpret (or ignore entirely) probabilities, find patterns where none exist and elicit emotional responses.

5. People will brag about their success, but ignore the role of luck and past failures.

Chances are that many winners will attribute their success to skill and leave out the role that luck played in the outcome. For example, some people who win their pool by taking an extremely risky approach of picking lots of low probability upsets and having several come to fruition by chance. People that take this approach every year will frequently finish near the bottom of the standings, but they never mention those bad years.

Other winners might fill out multiple brackets, compete against only a handful of people or simply make their picks by blending together multiple expert brackets. Still, all of these people will undoubtedly share their success through the lens of skill when a conversation arises about March Madness. Conversations on investing in social situations work much of the same. I always hear people talking at social gatherings about their investment successes, but never do I hear about their failures.

 From Forbes March 2017 Peter Lazarof, https://www.forbes.com/sites/peterlazaroff/2016/03/17/5-investing-lessons-from-march-madness/#ebcbba62b752