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Peter Hafner

Personal Finance, Retirement, Lifestage Based Planning
“With over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, Peter Hafner has been helping clients retire when they want, with the income they need.”

Hafner Financial Group

Job Title:

Founder, Owner


Peter Hafner has always looked at things a little differently than most people. As a young boy, much to his parent’s chagrin, he loved to take things apart so he could see how they worked. From trying to create a perpetual motion magnet machine to a fascination with alternative history and paranormal phenomenon, Peter has never been content to accept the status quo without investigating and questioning it.

Peter founded the Hafner Financial Group in 2007, an independent financial advisory firm after beginning his career with AG Edwards (now Wells Fargo) in 1992. His primary goals in starting the new company were to create a firm primarily focused on retirement distribution planning and ensuring that all clients benefit from excellent personalized service, regardless of the size of their accounts.  His focus on continually building his financial skills has earned him the designations of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and Certified Wealth Strategist® professional. He is also a graduate of the UB School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program.

The firm continues to grow as Peter explores new ways to improve client service, to bring more resources to his client base, and to make the firm more efficient and effective so that his clients can benefit. The Hafner Financial Group has been recognized by Business First of Buffalo as one of the Best Financial Planning Companies in Western New York, according to clients' assets being managed.

Peter’s focus on improvement extends to his industry as well. He is past president of the Western New York Financial Planning Association, as well as a board member since 2012. He has also served as acting Chairman of the organization's pro-bono and Public Relations Committees. 

Peter earned a BA in Political Science from the University at Buffalo, with a concentration in History and Math, providing a unique background for investing.  Peter holds the Series 7, Series 24 and Series 63 licenses and is a sought after commenter in local media regarding financial issues. Peter is a lifelong resident of Western New York. He currently lives in Depew with his wife, Kari and their dog Olivia.


BA, Political Science, State University of New York College at Buffalo

CRD Number:



Securities and investment advisory services offered through NEXT Financial Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Hafner Financial Group is not affiliated with NEXT Financial Group, Inc. 

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May 2018
    Stocks, Investing, Financial Planning
May 2018
    Financial Planning, Choosing an Advisor
December 2018
    Investing, Retirement Savings
November 2018
    Retirement, Bonds / Fixed Income, Retirement Savings
August 2017
    Investing, Starting Out, Personal Finance

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    Financial Planning, Investing
Should I be investing more aggressively at this time?
0% of people found this answer helpful

On the surface, an aggressive plan might seem like a good idea. But in fact, it’s a trap I’ve seen many investors fall into.

From my perspective, there are three problems with this approach.

The first is that markets are notoriously unpredictable.

In fact, they almost always do what we least expect. A good example is the recent Trump election and surprising stock market rally. Who expected that? While it is true that the markets have been doing well, we cannot be sure how long this trend will continue. But what we do know with absolute certainty is that if you increase the risk in your portfolio, you will experience more volatility. You will also experience greater declines when the next downturn comes. And it will come. But investors who are inclined to take more risk when times are good often believe they can avoid market declines. They believe they can ratchet the risk back down before things get too bad. Although this is a compelling idea, it is far more difficult to accomplish than you might expect. Most investors who travel this path wind up doing more damage than good.

The second problem we encounter is that markets are far more volatile than most people realize.

In fact, on average the S&P 500 is down 14% at some point every year. I know it sounds impossible but it is true. If the market is down that much at some point every year, it’s not reasonable to expect that you can increase your risk while the markets are doing well and get more conservative before things go down. Don’t get me wrong, some people will attempt this and they will succeed on occasion. But in my experience, this is no better than gambling and will inevitably yield the same unpleasant results.

The third problem in tying your investment allocation to market conditions is that market conditions are always changing.

If your philosophy is to be more aggressive when the market is doing well, what do you do when you are surprised by a significant market decline? Do you hold? Even if the market continues to decline? If so, for how long?

As you can see, trying to play catch up with your investment portfolio is likely to do you more harm than good.

July 2017
    Financial Planning, IRAs
What is an appropriate Roth IRA interest rate for someone who is prepared to save over a lifetime?
20% of people found this answer helpful
June 2017