Wealth Protection

The stock market is for the long term


Jon L. Ten Haagen’s grandfather was an inventor who created the country’s first photoelectric cell – a device that generates electrical current based on light. He put all of his considerable fortune into a “safe” utility stock before the 1929 crash – and was wiped out. His father went from being chauffeured to prep school to having to get up early and go to work, but he managed to still put himself through prep school and Brown University.

His family’s story made Ten Haagen realize early on that nothing is guaranteed, and as the founder and principal of Ten Haagen Financial Group, based in Huntington, Long Island, he refers to himself as an “investment portfolio repairman,” and he guides people through the emotional ups and downs of investing by putting logic back into the equation.


As a solo practitioner for many years, Ten Haagen realized some clients were thinking, “What will happen when he’s not here?” So recently, he merged his practice with another firm and is now teamed with two younger advisors, both of whom, like Ten Haagen, are Certified Financial Planners® and enrolled agents.

All three advisors share the same philosophy, which is finding the right plan for the client and also asking a lot of questions, so they fully understand what the client is feeling. The firm doesn’t have a minimum, and Ten Haagen is willing to work with young people who are just out of college and starting a job to get them on the right financial track.

When it comes to retirement planning, Ten Haagen creates a customized plan for each individual.

“The bottom line – there are stocks, bonds, cash and alternatives,” he says, adding that he explains that the market is for the long term, and if they can’t put money away for at least five years, they shouldn’t be in the market. “Turn on any news program, and they’re all trying to get people to go short term – you can’t afford to do that,” he says.

Ten Haagen also points out to clients that they will be retired for a long time, which means they need to put more money away and it must last longer. It’s particularly hard for the sandwich generation – those people trying to save for retirement at the same time they are saving or paying for their children’s college education and caring for their aging parents.

“I educate clients that they may have to work a little longer, or retire and get a part-time job,” he said.

Ten Haagen’s goals include educating clients with small businesses about adding retirement plans so they can attract better employees.

He’s also writing a financial book pegged for publication by the end of the year with the working title of “If Not Now, When.” The book covers how to do budgeting, read balance sheets, which insurances people should consider, the differences between a Roth and traditional IRA, and other subjects at a level most people can understand.

Ten Haagen has also proposed to his township committee and legislators the idea to create a program called “5 Years from Retirement,” in order to get people at this life stage focused.
“It will educate them and make them feel I’m the guy to talk to,” he says.

Ten Haagen also helps a Suffolk County legislator with teaching youth about areas of financial literacy. Classes cover how to balance a checkbook and how to save. The latter uses the commonly used three buckets method, with one bucket each for saving, spending, and giving to charity. He also plans to get involved with the lecture circuit, helping brokers and individuals get better organized.

For more information, visit: Ten Haagen Financial Group


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