Matt McCoy

Matt McCoy CFP®, ChFC

About Matt

“Comprehensive planning is the key to achieving financial goals. I believe in planning through a process - not product!”

Matt is an experienced financial advisor who has helped his clients accomplish their financial goals for over nine years. He earned a B.S. degree in Economics. In addition, he has been certified by the College for Financial Planning as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certificant, which focuses on comprehensive financial planning. Matt also holds the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) designation earned through The American College which focuses on the many uses of life insurance for financial and estate planning.

He is committed to a different way of thinking that doesn’t start with product but with process. His primary focus is on holistic financial planning tied to regular interaction with clients and their other core advisors. He is able to address each client’s unique financial situation through a detailed, risk focused approach. This process, coupled with his education and experience, provides the foundation for him to deliver solid solutions for clients.

Matt resides in Hixson, TN with his lovely wife Melanie and stepson Justin. He is an avid sports fan with a special affinity for baseball. He is also a student of his industry and enjoys financial reading and research.




Individual CRD #4855742

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a designation issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

Educational/Exam Requirements:

  • Completion of CFP-board registered study program, or alternative degree or certification, demonstrating mastery of over 100 topics surrounding financial planning
  • Pass 10 hour exam testing knowledge in financial planning situations

Prerequisites/Experience Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university, and
  • Three years of full-time personal financial planning experience

Public Disciplinary Process? Yes

Continuing Education Requirements: 30 hours every two years

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) is a designation issued by the The American College

Educational/Exam Requirements:

  • Must complete nine college-level courses, seven required and two electives
  • Requires nine closed-book, course-specific, two-hour proctored exams.

Prerequisites/Experience Requirements:

  • Requires three-years of full-time, relevant business experience within five years of applying for designation

Public Disciplinary Process? Yes

Continuing Education Requirements: 30 hours of continuing education every two years

Insurance License:

TN #0920439

Typical Clients

How I Can Help

Fee Structure

Asset-based Fee-only Hourly Commissions Other Contingency
Learn more about how advisors are paid in our Guide to Advisor Compensation.

Typical minimum Client Assets:



Phone: (706) 956-2726 Address: 3001 S. Broad Street Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Matt has answered 10 questions

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Matt McCoy
Answer added by Matt McCoy | 202 views
1 out of 1 found this helpful

Some foreign CD rates sure do seem to put U.S. rates to shame these days, however it could appear more

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Some foreign CD rates sure do seem to put U.S. rates to shame these days, however it could appear more attractive than it actually is.  The key factor to remember is that you will need to convert your proceeds back into U.S. dollars upon maturity, so the exchange rate fluctuations will play a big part in how much you actually realize from your investment.  The basic premise of several popular interest rate parity theories (I will not bore you with the details here) is that you should receive the same return regardless of whether you invested in the higher yielding foreign security or the lower yielding U.S. security.  The idea behind these theories is that any opportunity to exploit the yield difference will be arbitraged away - in other words, more and more investors would engage in these transactions until the benefit of the yield differential disappeared (this would happen almost instantaneously).  For the U.S. investor in this case, the result would likely be that the foreign currency depreciated relative to the U.S. dollar and they would therefore be exchanging less foreign currency back into dollars upon maturity.  We all know that the real world can differ significantly from theory, so this is certainly not meant to imply that foreign CDs are a bad deal.  Due to currency volatility however - especially in the very high yielding currencies - it is advisable to consider the CDs as a more risky investment than a traditional CD in the domestic market.  Be careful when viewing the foreign CD as an "apples to apples" comparison with the U.S. CD since there may be some additional risks. Just keep in mind that exchange rate fluctuations will have an impact on your investment. 

Another consideration is to gain an understanding of the protection you are afforded for such an investment.  Several U.S. institutions will offer foreign CDs (denominated in the foreign currency) to be purchased through their platform and will extend FDIC insurance, however the FDIC insurance does not cover the fluctuations in the foreign currency.  Be sure to understand the policy thoroughly prior to investing.  Also be sure to understand all of the fees incorporated in the price since some institutions may charge you to convert your currency.

Analyzing and forecasting exchange rates is an extremely complicated exercise, so caution is warranted. There are a lot of moving parts and the above considerations are simply a starting point for your evaluation.  I hope this has helped to get you started and best of luck!


Matt McCoy
Answer added by Matt McCoy | 123 views
1 out of 1 found this helpful

My first suggestion would be to quantify and prioritize each of your goals, including your longer term

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My first suggestion would be to quantify and prioritize each of your goals, including your longer term (retirement) goals.  This will assist you in determining how much of your available savings amount to allocate to each goal.  You will likely find that your priorities change over time, so plan to re-evaluate on a regular schedule (maybe annually).  

It is always recommended that you contribute as much as you can to retirement plans, however you may find that your shorter term goals are the higher priority at this point.  In that case, you may choose to continue with your current contribution level (don't redirect your retirement savings), fund your high priority goals, and then increase your retirement plan savings.  Just remember to keep funding your long term goals - they won't go away!

In regards to your shorter term goals, the risk exposure that you need will depend upon your end goal (how much do you need) and how much you can allocate toward that goal (either a lump sum now or monthly contributions) - in addition to your time horizon.  For example, assume you need $2,000 in 10 years.  If you allocate $1,500 toward that goal now, the risk exposure that you need would be much less than if your initial allocation toward that goal in $500.  This is where quantifying and prioritizing your goals will help inform your risk need for each goal.  In other words, allocate more savings toward your high priority goals.  This will minimize your risk exposure and likely increase the probability of reaching your goal.  While you may be willing and able to take moderate risk for your short term goals, it will depend upon more than simply your time horizon.

It is also worth noting that you can always access your Roth IRA contributions (but not earnings) with no tax or penalty - regardless of your age.  Since your contributions are after tax - and not deductible - they can be accessed as needed.  Be sure, however, that you keep good records of your contributions and consult a tax professional for details prior to withdrawing any funds.  While it is not recommended that you tap retirement assets for shorter term goals, it does provide some flexibility.  

Your savings patterns to this point are commendable - you are likely ahead of the curve already at a young age.  Determine which goals are most important, how much you will need to fund each, and the total amount that you can allocate for funding.  From there, you should be able to determine how to allocate your available funds to meet your goals.  I hope you find this helpful and best of luck!

Matt McCoy
Answer added by Matt McCoy | 26 views
1 out of 1 found this helpful

Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!  You are certainly taking the correct approach by looking

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Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!  You are certainly taking the correct approach by looking at all angles rather than allowing the temptation of low mortgage rates lure you in immediately.  Without knowing your complete financial picture, I will simply offer my general thoughts on a decision such as this.

In general, I tend to advise against carrying mortgage debt in retirement – and really anytime that you can afford not to (more on affordability below).  This is particularly the case if you are considering a longer term mortgage note since you can effectively end up paying twice as much for the home due to interest; not including taxes and insurance.  And even though you may be able to deduct your mortgage interest, keep in mind that you are still paying interest.  For example, assume you are in the 28% tax bracket.  For each dollar you pay in interest, you get to deduct 28 cents.  You are effectively paying 72 cents in order to deduct 28 cents, and that doesn’t seem like a very good deal.

My first piece of advice would be to determine how your sources of retirement income match up to your desired retirement lifestyle (without the home purchase), if you have not already done so.  This will help determine where you stand as far as a withdrawal need from your retirement assets.  If you have enough income from guaranteed sources – pensions, annuities, social security – to cover your lifestyle needs, there may be no need to keep the funds invested and attempt to outperform the interest rate.  In other words, adding the mortgage payment to your lifestyle expenses could require you to access your retirement assets, which in turn could tempt you to position your assets with more risk than is needed.  I look at the tradeoff in a rather simple manner:  with investing rather than paying cash, you are relying upon an unknown variable (market returns) to cover a known cost (mortgage principal and interest). 

Another issue to consider would be the possible move that you mentioned.  Let’s say you decide to move south in a few years and you have purchased your lake house using a mortgage.  You find the perfect home and purchase with another mortgage, however you have trouble selling the lake house and you are not receiving any rental income.  In this situation, your lifestyle expenses are driven up by another mortgage payment until you can find a buyer for the lake house.  This could potentially put a big squeeze on your cash flow (and retirement assets), so is certainly worth considering. 

This certainly isn’t to say that mortgages are always a bad deal and that you should not consider that option.  As far as debt goes, deductible interest is always better than non-deductible interest, however I do not believe that should be the only reason to take on debt.  I also strongly believe in the emotional benefits of being debt free – something that you and your wife are familiar with since you are debt free (great job!).  There are a lot of moving parts when making a decision such as this that can make it more difficult than it seems on the surface.  While this is not a recommendation one way or the other (and not an exhaustive list of pros and cons), I hope this has at least helped you look at it from a different angle.  Best of luck to you both and safe travels!

Matt McCoy
Answer added by Matt McCoy | 154 views
1 out of 2 found this helpful

Depending upon the specifics of your situation, a Coverdell ESA may also be an option worth considering. 

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Depending upon the specifics of your situation, a Coverdell ESA may also be an option worth considering.  There are several differences between the two types of accounts that you should be aware of prior to making a decision. 

First, the contribution limits are much lower for Coverdell accounts. Currently, if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $110,000 (single) or $220,00 (joint filing) you can make a contribution of up to $2,000 per year.  While there is no specific federal limit for annual 529 plan contributions, the suggested limit each year aligns with the federal gifting guidelines (for 2014 this would be $14,000 for a single gift or $28,000 if splitting the gift with your spouse).  You are certainly able to contribute more if you are willing to pay the gift taxes.  529 plans generally have overall plan limits which are quite high, however it is worth understanding the limits for the plan you choose.

Second, Coverdell assets can also be used for qualified elementary and secondary education expenses in addition to higher education expenses.  IRS publication 970 will detail what is considered a qualified expense, however this generally includes tuition & fees, books & supplies, and academic tutoring.

While the contribution limits are lower for a Coverdell ESA, you will likely have a much broader selection of investments versus a 529 plan.  You also have the option to roll a Coverdell to a 529 plan in the future if desired, but remember that it does not work the other way around (you cannot roll a 529 to a Coverdell).  Coverdell accounts - just like 529 plans - offer you the ability to change the beneficiary to another family member if needed. 

As mentioned in a previous answer, you will certainly want to check on the availability of tax benefits regarding your state's 529 plan if applicable.  This was a very brief overview of the Coverdell option, but may provide some added flexibility depending upon your situation.  Be sure to do your homework before choosing an investment plan and best of luck!


Matt McCoy
Answer added by Matt McCoy | 325 views
1 out of 2 found this helpful

First of all, congrats to you for establishing a savings plan and for diversifying your account structures. 

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First of all, congrats to you for establishing a savings plan and for diversifying your account structures.  Great question and one that seems be overlooked quite often.  I believe it is key to take a consolidated look at all of your investment accounts; so yes, do consider your current allocation prior to investing in your Roth IRA.  Not only will you be looking to diversify through asset allocation, you will also be diversifying through asset location

Keeping in mind that your distributions from your Roth will be completely tax free (as long as you meet the requirements), your Roth IRA is a great place for tax inefficient investments (such as fixed income) as well as those that are likely to appreciate in value more than others.  None of us know exactly which investments will appreciate the most, however high growth areas such as emerging markets or international small caps have historically fallen in this category.  And the interest from any fixed income securities has the potential to be received tax free in the future. 

 The most important step will be to first determine what your overall allocation needs to be based upon your financial goals - don't just invest in the expected high growth (and therefore higher volatility) markets simply due to the potentially higher future values.  Be sure it fits within the allocation needed to meet your goals.  Consider engaging a financial planner to help you quantify your goals and determine your overall allocation.  From there you should be able to determine the most efficient location for your investments.  Great job thinking ahead and best of luck!


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