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Matthew Stearns

Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
“Matt Stearns recently founded Millennial Money Management in 2017. His fee-only independent RIA services the Meadville area, managing professional portfolios for millennials, retirees, and small businesses alike. ”

Millennial Money Management LLC

Job Title:

Founder, Chief Investment Officer


At the age of 18, I opened my first offshore brokerage account and began trading penny stocks from my freshman dorm room. From that moment my passion for trading and following the financial markets developed into a lifestyle. Now I build professional portfolios of the highest quality with zero conflicts of interest. I built my firm, Millennial Money Management LLC, to be completely independent of Wall Street. In doing so I am able to offer every client the most professional investing experience -- one that utilizes the entire investment marketplace, rather than just a handful of commissioned mutual funds. In addition, I am able to choose from the industry's most cutting-edge technology allowing me to reduce fees, increase performance, and set client expectations in a way that has never been done before.

Outside of managing money, I am an avid golfer, hunter, and outdoorsman. In 2016 I had the great pleasure of hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail with my brother Scott as we traversed the entire west coast mountain ranges from Canada to Mexico.


BS/BA, International Business/German, Washington & Jefferson College

CRD Number:


All Answers
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Most Helpful
    College Tuition, Debt, 401(k)
Should I max out my 401(k) contributions or make principal payments on student loan debt?
100% of people found this answer helpful

At my firm, which I started for Millennials (I am also 25 years old), this is a very popular question as you can imagine. The balance between saving for the future and capturing all those years of compound interest, versus paying down those pesky student loans is a judgment call. And, while deciding, we have to make assumptions about future returns, and also decisions about your personal/familial goals. A couple basics to start, saving for retirement will be beneficial, well... in retirement. Paying down those student loans, however, will benefit you more in the short-term. Do you want to sacrifice some flexibility now for more a more comfortable retirement? That's a personal question. 

Next, consider your loan rates vs. possible investment returns.

Your loan rate is fixed, naturally and your 401(k) return is variable.

In a simple calculation, it would make more sense to put more money towards the 401(k) if it returns a higher rate than your the interest on the loan, but in reality, the calculation is much more complicated. You must factor in taxes that you will eventually pay on you 401(k) assuming it isn't a Roth 401(k), and also the tax break you get on paying interest on your student loan. Even though the stock market returns roughly 10% on average and your student loans interest is only maybe 6%, the answer isn't so cut and dry. At the end of the day, a 10% return on your 401(k) is very far from a guarantee. Especially with current market dynamics. 

All in all, I like to vote for more certainty and more flexibility. If you pay down the debts, you know you are eliminating that 6% (or whatever it may be) compounding debt. Then when the loans are paid off you will have flexibility with your money to make decisions accordingly, liking upping you 401(k) contribution later on. Make sure you are always maximizing your employers match of course.

July 2018
    Asset Allocation, Bonds / Fixed Income, Stocks, Starting Out
Is it too early to start a portfolio for my one-year-old child, and would it be better to start off with a stock or a bond?
June 2018
    Personal Finance
Which credit card should I cancel?
June 2018
    Debt, 401(k), Choosing an Advisor, IRAs, Mutual Funds
How should I invest my extra income?
May 2018
Will paying off my credit card debt with a personal loan improve my credit score?
May 2018