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About Us - Michael M. McDonough, Inc.
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About Us

Michael M. McDonough, Inc. is a boutique western PA-based advisory firm providing investment, risk management and strategic guidance on essential matters.  We clarify issues and options, structure financial plans, and counsel individuals and business owners in ways designed to efficiently get them what they want.  Our diligent approach brings greater clarity, less stress, more confidence, and enhanced risk-adjusted economics in the pursuit of client goals.  Our staff is augmented by a constructive professional network of talented specialists as described below.

We are only as successful as our ability to listen and understand client objectives.  

Our Team

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Michael has guided business owners and those in the “Retirement Red Zone” (in – and approaching – retirement) for the past 35 years.  He helps clients avoid mistakes and grasp a retirement reality: income is the outcome that matters.  Michael’s approach lessens anxiety by managing and mitigating key financial risks, and developing an understandable, flexible, plan for durable retirement income.

Practicing as a CPA, bank trust officer, commercial lender, and advisor to business owners indoctrinated Michael to the range of integrated financial issues business owners and retirees face.

Through years of working closely with the “Advanced Markets” professionals of leading insurance carriers, Michael has developed an ability to identify individual, business, trust & estate, retirement planning, and other sophisticated needs, and deliver effective, tailored solutions.

After graduating from John Carroll University with a BA:BS degree, Michael became a CPA where he came to appreciate the “vastness of what he didn’t know.”  This training instilled a rigorous work ethic, broadened Michael’s financial background, honed his problem-solving skills, and emphasized the importance of diligence.

A commitment to life-long learning and a willingness to challenge conventional thinking has served Michael and his clients well, and supports his mission to help people move into the future with confidence. Income planning has Michael illuminating the larger picture and guiding on a range of important decisions.  Helping clients get and stay organized facilitates the confidence essential to a more fulfilling retirement.

Michael is a member of several professional associations.  His professional designations include the RICP®, AIF®, FINRA Series 7, 65 and 63 licenses, and license to sell annuities and life, disability, health and long-term care insurance in several states including PA.  Clients benefit from the firm’s constructive professional network of elder law, estate planning, and business attorneys, CPAs, Medicare specialists, home health care agencies, and various advanced financial, insurance, and tax planning specialists.

On a personal level, Michael is an avid reader and writer with interests in investing and financial news, personal development, classic film, travel, the Pittsburgh sports scene, basketball, dogs, blues music, and people with courage and integrity   Happily married since 1985, Michael has lived with his wife and daughter in Cranberry Township since 1992.

Susan Schwab

Operations Director

Also born and raised in Pittsburgh, Sue has extensive financial and operations management experience in financial services and not-for-profit entities, with hands-on elder care experience.  She provides courteous and reliable client support, while managing the firm’s day-to-day business operations, including systems and communications supporting diverse needs of clients, professional partners, and staff.

Sue diligently and capably oversees systems, compliance, reporting, research, and writing / editing, while excelling in client service and partner relations.  Sue’s dedication simplifies the complex for clients while meeting deliverable timetables and ensuring efficiency.

“I strive to bring responsive and practical solutions to the obstacles clients face, demonstrating to clients that they are our top priority.”

She has a BA in Psychology from Washington & Jefferson College, and a MA in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Saint Francis University.

Sue lives in Ross Township with her husband and two children. She is an active community volunteer, a member of Rotary, Vice-President of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary #81, and enjoys participating and watching just about any sport.

Virtual Team

The firm augments its capabilities by drawing upon specialists in a number of important areas.  As needed, these virtual team members assist with income tax planning and compliance, risk management, portfolio construction and hedging, estate planning and elder law matters, senior housing decisions, property considerations, long-term care planning, Medicare enrollment and retiree health insurance, Social Security optimization, and more.  Beyond knowledge, these specialists bring knowhow.

Affiliations and Key Relationships

Cetera Advsior Networks LLC

Founded in 1983, Cetera Advisor Networks LLC has grown into one of the nation’s largest and most successful independent broker-dealers. Cetera delivers the resources enabling us to best serve you and your objectives. Drawing on Cetera’s technology, research and culture of risk management, we are free to choose investments representing legitimate opportunities for you, which are based on well-understood economic models, and carry strong economic merit within the current environment. Elements of the support Cetera provides:

  • Financial Solutions – Diverse offerings help us select those that best suit your needs.
  • Network of Support & Services – Facilitating a focus on your financial goals
  • Investment Protection – Regulatory supervision, guidance and training focused on protecting you and your investments
  • Tools & Technology – Enabling our ability to build wealth and plan your legacy.

AssetMark Trust Company

Formed in 1994 and with over $30 billion in assets under management, AssetMark Trust is an integrated custodian delivering a client-focused approach to keeping secure custody of your assets. Via a deep commitment to asset management excellence, compelling technology and thought leadership, AssetMark supports financial advisors like us in our quest to help you thrive. Specifically, AssetMark provides a customized suite of powerful, proven asset allocation methodologies, investment solutions, and requisite due diligence to help us assemble portfolios meeting your specific needs.

Income For Life Model

Is a practical, focused methodology for helping you structure an inflation-adjusted income for life. The system guides asset allocation and product selection seeking to minimize the impact of emotions, increase income to help maintain purchasing power throughout retirement, minimize risk, and provide the best chance of achieving projected income. In a transparent and confidence-inspiring manner, we educate you via presentations and other materials to help answer the question you care about most: What’s My Income?”  In an industry focused on accumulation (i.e. a retirement ”number”), this approach addresses what really matters, your retirement income.  The system’s “Reliability of Income” profiler quantifies risk and your needs in four key areas: the need for lifetime guaranteed income, sensitivity to investment volatility, the level of liquidity desired, and targeted legacy value.