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A Conversation With: Michael HaunVice president, investment strategy, PeoplesBank

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Michael Haun, vice president, investment strategy, PeoplesBank
Michael Haun, vice president, investment strategy, PeoplesBank

Michael Haun, 35, is vice president of investment strategy at PeoplesBank, which he joined in 2012.

Prior to that, he spent four years as an assistant portfolio officer with BNY Mellon Wealth Management and two years as an analyst with Fulton Financial Corp.

Haun has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Penn State University.

He and his wife, whom he met at Penn State, have a 3-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. They live in Jacobus.

Q: What are the best ways to make clients feel confident with their wealth management and growth plan?

A: To the extent we can learn everything about a client’s financial goals, their cash flow needs, the timing of things, the more thoughtful, thorough and accurate information that goes into the plan, the better the output will be and the better confidence the client can have. They have to be able to live by it, to sleep at night knowing how their investments are set up. We create what we call an investment policy statement, basically a blueprint that lays out the highlights of the plan and why we’re investing their portfolio the way we’re investing it, what are the goals, the timeline, what are the cash flow needs. Finally, as an advisor you need to monitor the plan and help the client adjust it over time. A plan could be good for five years or five months, depending on how someone’s circumstances change.

What is the most commonly overlooked aspect of estate planning?

Having your will and powers of attorney documents in place. A lot of the time we find as we’re beginning to work with someone, either they don’t have them at all or they haven’t been updated in years, so it’s no longer accurate. As to why it gets overlooked, I think people are uncomfortable thinking about that because you only need a will basically at your death. Sometimes people think that putting together their will has to be overly complicated. A lot of the time, something pretty simple can be drawn up. I think, too, people are busy, and five years goes by and nothing’s been updated.

What advice would you give, in regards to financially preparing for the future and retirement, to someone just starting their career?

My advice would be to start early, getting into the habit of saving, getting into the habit of thinking about the future and planning for it, and getting into the habit of saving for retirement. When you’re young, time is your greatest ally. Someone who’s just beginning their career has a lot of time for their savings and investment to grow. The other thing we like to suggest is if your company offers a retirement plan to take advantage of that. It comes right out of your paycheck, you don’t have to think about it, and most companies match your contribution up to certain amount. So if you can contribute enough to get a match, it’s free money your company is providing. A final thing I’d say is educate yourself, either on your own or with an adviser you trust. Be educated and be engaged and you’ll have habits that will last the rest of your life.

What is your favorite fall food?

Anything I can eat at a Penn State tailgate. There’s all kinds of burgers, hot dogs; we tailgate with a guy who makes an amazing breakfast sandwich. Any of those foods fall into my favorite fall food.

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