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So What Else

We are excited to support the 2022 So What Else Palooza! This Friday, our community will celebrate the efforts So What Else has made to improve the lives of children and families through its services and resources. To learn more, visit:


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How to avoid the dividend stock ‘yield trap’

Dividend stocks should be a standard in investment portfolios at this point. While not all
dividend stocks are created the same, if they pay out well and increase, they are boons to
investors. Rob Kantor, XML Financial Group Co-CIO and Co-founder, discusses the topic in Financial Planning.


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THE BULLIS ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES THEIR ENTREPRENEURS IN RESIDENCE FOR 2022-2023

The Bullis School’s Entrepreneurship Department recently unveiled their Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) for the coming academic year, and we are proud to announce that XML CEO & Co-Founder Brett Bernstein will be one of the three EIRs for 2022–2023.
Brett will mentor, coach, advise, and guide Bullis Capstone students as they apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to creating and launching their own start-ups. Congratulations, Brett!
To learn more about the EIR program, visit


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Birth of LTCi: Fatal miscalculations spur decades of angst

Many people purchase long-term care insurance to prepare for old age. In a recent InsuranceNewsNet article, Wealth Advisor Kevin Peters shares his professional and personal experiences helping clients understand the misconceptions, risks and benefits of long-term care insurance. Read the full article here


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IBD Elite 2022: Which independent brokerages have the biggest RIAs?

In light of Financial Planning‘s annual IBD Elite survey, CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein provides insight on the importance of RIAs maintaining broker-dealer affiliations to offer clients a comprehensive range of services and options to address their unique needs. Read the full article for more information: Read the full story


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FAs Weigh In: Estate Planning Hurdles

Do you have estate planning concerns? In this recent Financial Advisor IQ survey, CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein elaborates on the future of estate planning following the 2026 tax code repeal:


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FAs Weigh In: Crypto in 401(k)s Acceptable for Some, ‘No-Fly Zone’ for Others

In a recent Financial Advisor IQ survey, CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein addressed whether cryptocurrencies should be included in retirement plans. Like company stocks, Brett believes there should be limitations on cryptocurrency ownership to minimize risk exposure to 401k plans. To read more, visit:


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Tech stocks are back in the market’s driver’s seat

A recent Fidelity Investments article features Senior Wealth Advisor Eric Wightman’s response on navigating the current market rally by reducing his allocation to consumer staples, utilities and healthcare stocks and returning to tech stocks.


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FAs Weigh In: Crypto? Not Yet

Cryptocurrency has generated a lot of buzz within the financial industry. In a recent Financial Advisor IQ survey, CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein explains cryptocurrency benefits but urges people to fully understand the risks. Read the full article:


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FAs Weigh In: Clients Asking, ‘Am I OK?’

Can allocation shifts based on interest rates, market volatility and inflation benefit my portfolio? “Overall, through diversification and not trying to market time things, we can provide the majority of the success to your financial plan. But sometimes tweaks here and there can add alpha to your portfolio,” said CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein in this Financial Advisor IQ story. Read the full story


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What Does The Bear Market Mean For Retirees?

Bear markets pose unique financial and emotional challenges for people living in retirement. This article explains how retirees can effectively navigate those challenges.


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BRK/B, GS, USB: Best Stocks To Invest In Now

In a recent TD Ameritrade Network interview, XML Senior Wealth Advisor Eric Wightman discusses navigating a trader’s market and the possibility of the S&P dropping. He also shares which market indicators and stocks investors should be monitoring.


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How Client Segmentation Can Boost Advisors’ Bottom Line

Although client segmentation has advantages, it can be quite complex regarding mergers. In a recent Barron’s article, XML CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein discusses the challenges associated with client segmentation and acquired accounts, such as balancing different cultures and levels of services.


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Higher pay and lifestyle benefits put wealth advisors in the driver’s seat

The No. 1 reason advisors leave for a competitor is dissatisfaction with their compensation. XML CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein told Financial Planning that firms “must be willing to pay advisors” or they will seek better salaries elsewhere.
Read the full article to discover what is driving advisor movement.


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FAs Weigh In: New SEC Marketing Rule ‘Absolutely Beneficial’

XML CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein addresses the firm’s strategy for implementing client testimonials for future marketing purposes in this recent Financial Advisor IQ survey: Read the full story


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The risky side of tax-loss harvesting that advisors need to know

Can tax-loss harvesting improve your investment returns? Yes – but it can be dangerous, especially during a volatile market.
XML CEO and Co-Founder, Brett Bernstein, spoke with Financial Planning about the downside of tax-loss harvesting – his thoughts: Staying with the same shares can mean an investor misses “significant rebounds” in other industries.


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Top 50 Fastest-Growing Firms

The entire team at XML Financial Group is thrilled to share that we have been recognized in Financial Advisor Magazine’s annual Top 50 Fastest-Growing firms list.


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Advisors Reveal Their Low-Vol Picks

In a recent interview by VettaFi, XML President, Curtis Congdon, explains why he prefers the Legg Mason Low Volatility High Dividend ETF (LVHD) to minimize exposure during a volatile market. LVHD utilizes a strategy that produces increased stability and higher yield than other ETFs. Read the full story


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When to Sell Stocks at a Loss

Are you thinking about selling stocks at a loss due to recent market declines? XML CEO and Co-Founder, Brett Bernstein, reminds investors about the wash-sale rule in a recent U.S. News article. To avoid missing out on possible rebounds, investors should be mindful that they cannot repurchase securities or one that is substantially similar for a period of time. Read the full story


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How to manage your money during a recession, according to personal finance experts

Due to persistent warnings that the U.S. economy could enter a recession this year, investors should know how to protect their portfolios. In a recent article by Fortune, CEO Brett Bernstein discusses the importance of maintaining an appropriate asset allocation and adjusting portfolios depending on market conditions. Read the full article for more tips on protecting your portfolio:


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XML Completes Merger with Samson Wealth Management Group

We are glad to report that we have completed our merger with Pennsylvania-based Samson Wealth Management. This strategic decision will dramatically expand our Mid-Atlantic footprint and allow us to put even more resources into the hands of our clients.
Read more about the merger:
Financial Advisor IQ: https://hubs.ly/Q01gCbf70
Private Banker International: https://hubs.ly/Q01gCjSk0


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Worried about inflation? Here are 6 takes for retirement portfolios

Current inflation rates have sparked panic. But financial planners, like XML Financial Group, use historical averages for inflation and plan for the “what-if” scenarios. Recently, CEO and Co-Founder Brett Bernstein spoke with Financial Planning on inflation and retirement. Read the full story


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5 Tips For Retiring In A Bear Market

Along with high inflation and the looming threat of a recession, the current bear market may be a good reason to delay your retirement if possible. But if you can’t, this article outlines the steps you can take to minimize the impact:


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Covid’s Effect On Long-Term-Care Insurance

The pandemic has made everyone think more about mortality and their health, which has attracted attention to long-term care insurance. Recently, wealth advisor Kevin Patrick Peters spoke with Financial Advisor on how insurance rates may increase due to COVID-19 and other factors. Read the full story    


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Financial Planning and Wealth Management Panel Discussion: April 27

XML Financial Group is committed to shaping future professionals by actively engaging in the community. Senior Wealth Advisor, Lauren O’Brien, is participating in George Mason University’s Financial Planning & Wealth Management networking event on April 27 to discuss opportunities the finance industry has to offer. We are thankful for the opportunity to make a difference among young professionals.


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Consider Owning These ETFs

New ETFs continue to rise almost daily. Navigating which you should add to your portfolio can seem like a formidable task. Co-CIO & Co-Founder Rob Kantor discussed one of our core ETF holdings at XML Financial Group. Want to learn more? Read the full ETF.com story    


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Diving Into Avelo Airlines’ Big Push For Pilots

Did you join our recent webinar with Avelo Airlines? Through the webinar, Andrew Levy, CEO and Founder of Avelo, spoke with XML CEO Brett Bernstein about navigating the opportunities and challenges of introducing a new airline during a pandemic. Simple Flying covered the webinar and what was discussed. Learn more about what was covered


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Using ETFs To Solve For Fixed Income

We anticipated rates would rise and acted accordingly. CIO and Co-Founder Rob Kantor saw the writing on the wall and positioned clients in shorter and medium-duration fixed income investments. He tells ETF.com how we’ve shifted toward ETFs that could benefit from inflation in the article below.


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Advisory Firms Embrace Flexwork Schedules To Preserve Talent

Talent retention has always been a priority, but the pandemic has made it paramount. XML CEO Brett Bernstein discusses changes the firm has offered to keep and attract good employees during Covid-19 in this Financial Advisor story  


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5 expensive mistakes shoppers make during the holiday season, according to financial planners

The holiday season is upon us and sticking to a budget can be hard. To combat this, many consumers chose to buy now, pay later on purchases. While this sounds like a great option, it can hurt your overall credit. Recently, XML CEO Brett Bernstein spoke with Business Insider on the common mistakes shoppers make during the holiday season. Read more  


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Power Women: Michelle Cooper of XML Financial Group On How To Successfully Navigate Work, Love and Life As A Powerful Woman

XML-W Director and Co-founder Michelle Cooper was recently featured in Authority Magazine’s Power Women series, designed to explore how successful, strong and powerful woman navigate and balance work, employee relationships, love and life. Read the in-depth conversation  


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Should Annuity Buyers Time the Market?

When it comes to annuities, there’s no good or bad time to buy. However, a variety of factors can affect your payout. There are also many different types of annuities that can serve as bond substitutes or as accumulation vehicles. Recently, XML CEO Brett Bernstein spoke with ThinkAdivsor about how individuals should evaluate annuity investments. Learn more  


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Do Advisors Need a Financial Therapist on Their Team?

Psychology and investing? This could be a surprise to some but psychology and investing often go together. Recently, XML CEO Brett Bernstein spoke with Barron’s about how much psychology plays a role when it comes to investments and financial planning. Interested in learning more? Read more  


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XML Financial Group Named To 2020 Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers

XML Financial Group is pleased to announce it has been named to the 2020 edition of the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers. The list recognizes top independent RIA firms from across the U.S.

The Top Financial Professionals Peer Survey asked industry professionals the following question, “If you had a close friend or relative who needed financial planning advice, and you could not handle the case yourself, to whom would you refer them?”. The professionals receiving the top tier of nominations were included in this list. In order to have been nominated a professional would have had to participate in the survey themself. The financial professional does not pay a fee to be included. This survey does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients and is not indicative of the financial professional’s future performance.


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Robert Collins of Collins Investment Group Named a Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisor for 2020

Robert J. Collins, CIG Co-CIO & Managing Director, has been recognized with the accolades below:

1. Forbes Best-In-Sate Wealth Advisors 2021 (Ranked #4 in Maryland)
2. Forbes Top 250 Wealth Advisors 2020
3. Barron’s Top 1200 Financial Advisors 2020

Read More


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Northern VA Magazine Top Financial Professional

Northern Virginia Magazine has announced its list of Top Financial Professionals for 2020. We’re proud to announce that XML Financial Group President Curtis Congdon and Senior Wealth Advisor Jack May made this year’s list. Thank you to our industry peers for recognizing Curtis and Jack’s outstanding work, and congratulations to everyone who made this year’s list!

The Top Financial Professionals Peer Survey asked industry professionals the following question, “If you had a close friend or relative who needed financial planning advice, and you could not handle the case yourself, to whom would you refer them?”. The professionals receiving the top tier of nominations were included in this list. In order to have been nominated a professional would have had to participate in the survey themself. The financial professional does not pay a fee to be included. This survey does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients and is not indicative of the financial professional’s future performance.


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Northern Virginia Magazine

Northern Virginia Magazine Top Financial Professional Peer Survey. This seeks the input and nominations by financial professionals of their peers with the question in mind “If you had a close friend or relative who needed financial planning advise, and you could not handle the case yourself, to whom would you refer them?

The financial professionals that received the most nominations were featured in the September issue. The list is available online. Congratulations to the following professionals: Curtis Congdon, CRPC®, CFP® and Jack May, CFP® E.

 


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Forbes Best-In-State

Brett Bernstein, XML CEO & Co-Founder, was ranked #9 in Maryland in the Forbes 2018 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors List.


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Avenel Living Magazine

Partner, Michelle P. Cooper, has written a book, I’ve Still Got Me — A Widow’s Journey to Love, Happiness and Financial Independence. “By sharing my story and bringing my challenges out in the open, I hope to draw attention to the common life events that we, as women, face along our life journey.” – Michelle Cooper Read More


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Washingtonian Magazine

Eric Wightman was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as one of “DC’s Best Financial Advisers” in April 2016.

Award recipients are selected by their peers. The Washingtonian editorial team sends out a survey at random with its peer nomination. Financial advisors who receive the most peer votes are listed in the award publication. Advisors do not pay a fee to be considered for or to receive this awarded.


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Financial Times

Rob Kantor was named to the Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisers, in 2016 and 2013. Eric Wightman was named to the list in 2015. The list recognizes financial advisers  from across the U.S.

The Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisors is an independent listing produced by the Financial Times (March, 2016). The FT 400 is based on data gathered from firms and verified by broker-dealer home offices, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects each advisor’s performance in six primary areas, including assets under management, asset growth, compliance record, experience, credentials and accessibility as identified by the FT. Neither the broker-dealers nor the advisors pay a fee to The Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 400.


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Barron’s

Eric Wightman was named to the list of Barron’s “Top 1200 Financial Advisors” in 2016 and 2015.

Barron’s Top 1200 Financial Advisors Award is based on data provided by over 4,000 productive advisors. Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. The financial advisor does not pay a fee to be considered for or to receive this award. This award does not evaluate the quality of services provided to clients. This is not indicative of this financial advisor’s future performance.


    how we work

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    who we are

    Brett Bernstein CEO & Co-founder
    Rob Kantor Co-CIO & Co-Founder
    Curtis Congdon President
    Mark Samson Senior Partner
    Robert Collins Co-CIO, Managing Director
    Michelle Cooper Partner & Director, XML-W - Women, Wealth and Wellness
    Jason Klopman Senior Wealth Advisor, Partner
    Eric Wightman Senior Wealth Advisor, Partner
    Jack May Senior Wealth Advisor
    Lauren O’Brien Senior Wealth Advisor
    David Margulies Senior Wealth Advisor
    Noorjahan Enayat Senior Wealth Advisor
    Beth Levine Senior Wealth Advisor
    David Clark Senior Wealth Advisor
    Jordan VanOort Senior Wealth Advisor
    Shawna Bieda Senior Wealth Advisor
    Kevin Peters Wealth Advisor
    Steven Collins Wealth Advisor
    Sharon Abbey Wealth Advisor
    Sasha Chelekhov Wealth Advisor
    John Sciuto Wealth Advisor
    Bob Abel Wealth Advisor
    Andrew Villafranca Wealth Advisor
    Nicole Treiber Assoc. Wealth Advisor, Client Service Associate
    Radley Ellenbogen Associate Wealth Advisor
    Douglas Callan Senior Portfolio Manager
    Jennifer Telesca Wealth Advisor
    Amy Lytle Client Service Manager
    Jayson Magro Client Service Associate
    Florence Bird Client Service Associate
    Meredith Wade Client Service Associate
    Gail Stanton Client Service Associate
    Deborah Jalota Client Service Associate
    Injy Ibrahim Client Service Associate
    Sharon Cirillo Client Service Associate
    Mary Abba Client Service Associate
    Stephen Clagett Director of Branch Operations
    Kristian Price Director of Client Experience
    Pete Deoudes Director of Marketing
    FULL TEAM

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