Professional Profiles

M Financial Planning Services

When it comes to planning for the future, the experienced advisors at M Financial Planning Services are quick to point out that financial wellness is just as important as physical and mental fitness.

“We all know you shouldn’t put off your annual exam with your doctor, especially as you get older. You want to be prepared for the future and ensure you’re healthy for the years to come. The same should hold true for your financial plans and working with a financial planning professional to prepare for the future,” says Theodore Massaro, Chartered Financial Consultant and co-founder of M Financial Planning Services.

“The fact is, financial wellness affects all areas of your life, for the rest of your life,” adds Catherine B. Allen, financial advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. “It’s a huge burden to be stressed about money and not know when you’re going to be able to retire.”

M Financial helps clients take charge of their financial health by designing well-rounded, comprehensive financial plans so they can pursue their short-term monetary needs and prepare for their long-term financial priorities of personal financial security.

When the knowledgeable M Financial team first meets with potential clients, their main goal is to discuss and learn about each person’s priorities in a clear, straightforward manner.

Ted Massaro

Ted Massaro

“When we sit down with clients we try to put them at ease, and we don’t talk above their head using financial jargon,” says Allen, who has more than 30 years of experience in the financial industry. “Our objective is to help clients gain a firm understanding of their financial situation and move toward achieving their most important business and personal goals.”

“We almost set the client’s financial aspect aside initially,” adds Edward Garruto, financial advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. “We get to know each person and their families and listen to their needs. We want to understand where they’re coming from and where they hope to be in the future, so we can then develop a strategy that is proactive, not reactive.”

M Financial, which comprises three advisors and seven staff members, offers total wealth management supported by the leading independent brokerage firm in the nation, LPL Financial.(1) This support, says Massaro, gives M Financial and its clients a distinct advantage.

“We are completely unbiased, since our broker-dealer is not an investment banker or an underwriter of securities,” he says. “This gives us the ability to offer an objective range of options and help clients make the most intelligent decisions for their particular needs. If one of our client’s investments is underperforming, we can remove it from their portfolio. We are not day-traders ? however we are actively conducting due diligence for clients.”

Ed Garruto

Ed Garruto

This ongoing commitment to unbiased advice and high-quality service through honest communication and innovative strategies has been benefitting M Financial clients for more than 30 years, and in some cases, for three generations. For many of those years, the firm has specialized in working with business owners of closely held or family-owned businesses.

“For many of our clients, their personal and business planning needs are inseparable. It’s a position I can appreciate ? this is my 40th year in the financial industry, and I’ve been a small business owner in the South Jersey area since 1981,” says Massaro. “Small business owners have so many things on their plate. They have to focus on generating revenue while taking care of their employees, along with many other day-to-day challenges.”

For many business owners, these day-to-day challenges often lead to what Garruto, who is a retired certified public accountant and has more than 20 years of experience as a senior finance/operations executive, calls financial “blind spots.”

“Business owners aren’t always objective – they’re so focused on creating revenue that they can’t see their own areas of financial weakness or opportunities to strengthen their total financial picture,” he says. “We take the emotion out of it and work alongside them to educate them on the things they may be doing that are detrimental to their financial health and to protect them for the future.”

Massaro and the M Financial team also work with their business owner clients to ensure their business will survive and prosper when they’re no longer in charge, as a result of their retirement, death or an instance that leaves them unable to work.

“A large percentage of the baby boomer generation is self-employed, but less than half (43%) are satisfied with the succession plan they have in place,”(2) says Massaro. “I have seen many unfortunate circumstances over the years where a lot of change has happened to business owners quite rapidly and their business was left unprotected. It’s a situation we can help business owners avoid.”


Catherine Allen

And while M Financial does work closely with a number of business owners, the team’s comprehensive financial planning expertise doesn’t stop there.

“We want to supply every client with as much information as possible,” says Garruto. “That may mean we’re uncovering and educating clients about funds, trusts or other financial vehicles that may be beneficial to them. We can also help with everything from estate planning for those who need special-needs trusts and understanding social security to planning for college and even helping clients determine if they should lease or buy their next car.”

Massaro notes that healthcare planning is also a huge concern for many of the firm’s clients.

“Baby boomers are becoming the ‘squeeze generation’ – they have kids they’re supporting as well as elderly parents they’re helping take care of,” he says. “People are living longer than ever, which is wonderful, but finding ways to manage the expenses that come when your loved one becomes elderly, ill or disabled is concerning for many.”

“One of the first things I ask potential clients is, ‘Do you have living parents?’ If they do, I then ask if their parents are financially independent. They usually stare at me for a few seconds until the questions really set in. It’s an enormous concern,” adds Massaro. “I always tell them it’s easier to talk to their parents and put a plan in place before it becomes too late and they have limited capacity to understand or agree to anything.”

Allen has also made it a point to educate and empower women about their personal finances.

“There’s a 90 percent probability that every woman will be solely responsible for her finances at one point in her life, whether it’s due to divorce or the death of her spouse,”(3) she says. “Women need to understand their finances – maybe not in intricate detail, but they need to be able to make the best decisions when the time comes. By being proactive and educating themselves, women put themselves in a much better position.”

*As reported in Financial Planning Magazine, June 1996-2015 based on total revenue


57 South Maple Avenue
Phone: 856-810-7701


(1). As reported in Financial Planning Magazine, June 1996-2018 based on total revenue

(2). TAB’s Business Pulse Survey on Small Business Trends, March 2014

(3). USA Today, “Women’s financial power grows faster than savvy” 8/17/2012

This article was prepared by a third party for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.