Wolk Financial Management
Evan Wolk, Managing Director of Wolk Financial Management, Inc. has over 27 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Prior to founding WFM, Evan worked for Smith Barney in Boca Raton where he provided his clients a broad range of financial services including the development of investment strategies and the implementation of comprehensive financial plans. His experience includes equities, 529s, fixed income, managed funds, insurance and retirement planning. As a financial advisor and independent contractor with KMS Financial Services, Inc., Evan is not tied to a specific company's products or required to use proprietary funds; he has the freedom to align his clients’ needs with the most appropriate products. Additionally, he holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation.
Throughout his years of service, Evan has identified two primary needs facing his clients today, retirement planning and education planning. Quite often, these issues are intertwined. Evan is able to see “the big picture” and understands that decisions involving both areas cannot be made in a vacuum. He is known for his ability to ask the right questions and assist his clients in developing a plan to achieve their goals.
Prior to moving to South Florida in 2002, Evan was a Vice President in the Securities LendingDepartment of J.P. Morgan (formally chase Manhattan/Chemical Bank) where he was responsible for the sales and trading of a $100 billion highly successful diversified securities lending program. He also spent four years with Yasuda Bank and Trust Company (U.S.A) where he served as the investment manager of the securities lending department.
While attending The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., (where he earned a B.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in International Economics) Evan worked for the United States Department of State where he served as an Intelligence Operations Specialist responsible for preparing the daily classified morning summary of intelligence reports for the Secretary of State.
Since relocating to South Florida, Evan has become an active member of the community consulting the City of Parkland on their Police Officer Defined Benefit Plan. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Parkland Chamber of Commerce where he has been an active member for over twelve years.
BA, International Affairs, The George Washington University
Assets Under Management:
Securities and advisory services offered by Evan Wolk through KMS Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC. Evan is currently licensed in the following states: CA, CO, CT, FL, MA, NJ, NY, VA and WI.
If you mean a change to the Fed Funds Rate by the FOMC, please understand that is a rate that only effects overnight (one day) interests rates. The bond market dictates the rates for all other durations, I think it is safe to assume your muni bond question refers to bonds with longer duration than overnight. That said, action of the Federal Reserve is closely monitored by the bond market and does generally have some effect. In general it is expected the FOMC will increase rates a few mroe times this year and a few times next year which should put an upward bias toward all rates, thereby loweringt he prices of currenty owned bonds.
You need to quantify how you define "solid returrns." There are many excellent low risk (and low cost) bond ETFs, but understand that in the current historically low interest rate environment the yeild may be very low, around or perhaps under 1%, depending on the product. Please be advised that bond products, whether owning bonds outright, through and ETF or a mutual fund involves a variet of risks you may not have accounted for, incuding duration risk. If or when interest rates rise the prices of existing bonds falls. This may be part of the reason you have seen a down trend in your preferred stock as they tend to act like very long term bonds. You shoudl decide on the risk you are comfortable taking and the return you would find satisfying (or need) and structure investments to meet those goals.
Costs, fees and expenses should absolutely be a part of your analysis for any investment product or service you purchase, however you should also take in to account the value or benefit of working with a professional. Every penny you spend on fees and expenses are certainly one less penny you have to spend for your retirement or to eventually transfer to your heirs, but a mistake of investment allocation (even if the investment is very low cost) can cost you much more than the fees associated. Please try to look at the bigger picture, cost is often times a product of worth.
Congratulations on starting your investment plan early. Your future self will thank you. It makes sense, assuming like you do a long time horizon (over at least 10 years) that you invest rather aggressively, meaning leaning heavily toward equities. I like the idea of a passive index ETF like the Russell 3000 or S&P 500 or you can look towards one of the lower cost retirement date funds from a mutual fund provider like Vanguard or Fidelity. Those funds would offer some diversity instead of just stocks.
Hard to answer without discussing the size of your portfolio and your risk tolerances and time horizons, but I generally feel most well diversified portfolios should have around 5% in some form of precious metal exposure. They are relatively easy to buy in brolkerage accounts now using ETFs. Be advised that owning metal ETFs may be taxed as collectibles instead of traditional LT/ST stock holdings so they may be approproate in IRAs, for example. Another way to gain this exposure is using precious metal mining stocks (there are also ETFs for these). The stocks tend to be more volatile and should only be used if you are comfortable with he volatility. Precious metals can be a good hedge against inflation and unexpected macro geopolitic risks.