Michael O’Connell is a Partner at Wealth Management Group, LLC, a full service independent financial planning firm. He graduated from TCNJ in 1998 with a BS in finance from the School of Business. Later, in 2006, he earned his CFP® designation from The American College.
As a financial advisor, O’Connell works primarily with individuals and families focusing on the accumulation, protection and distribution of their assets over their lifetime. “This involves planning for college expenses, properly saving and investing for retirement and then adjusting the strategy to best provide for sustainable income as well as providing insurance protection for life, disability and long term care. I began my career in June of 1998. The first 5 years in this business were exceptionally difficult. I drove at least 40,000 miles in my first year and had many nights when I didn’t get home until after 10:00. Thankfully, as with most careers, as you gain more experience the results improve along with work/life balance.”
“My School of Business education directly led me to my current role. The first time I ever had a class where I genuinely enjoyed doing the work and wanted to learn more was Dr. Patrick’s Intro to Business and Professor Bohnett’s Intro to Investments. It was at that point that I knew I wanted to have a career in finance. Wealth Management Group is part of a larger firm, Allied Wealth Partners. I met one of the principals of the firm at a career day in the spring of 1997. We hit it off and he invited me to the office for an interview. I was offered an opportunity for an internship that summer. I passed the Series 6 and 63 and earned my life and health insurance licenses that summer. I went back to TCNJ for my senior year ready to go after graduation.”
Fun fact- O’Connell played on the TCNJ golf team his freshman and sophomore years. He continues to play in local and regional tournaments, and he is starting to get his kids into the game.
“The best advice I can give to current students, when it comes to their career and investing, is to be patient. You will be graduating from the best Business School in the state of New Jersey. Employers know how difficult it is to get accepted by and graduate from TCNJ. Opportunities will be there for you. We live in a world where virtually anything can be had with a click of a button. It does not work that way with your career or with your retirement plan. Be patient and good things will happen. Also, do not be afraid to take some risks in both your career and your investments. My business generally doesn’t come with any guarantees. With patience and a lot of hard work, however, you can exceed all of your expectations and live a life that you never dreamed was possible.”
O’Connell currently resides in Mahwah, NJ with his wife, Kimberly, and their three children, Zachary, Madeline, and Victoria.