Meet Kay Sinclair

Name:  Kay Sinclair     

Title:  Client Service

SH&J team member since:  2004  


You just welcomed your first grandchild into the world, a beautiful baby boy. Congratulations, Grandma! What are you most excited to do with your grandson?

Love him.  My husband and I have been so blessed with our sons that we are so looking forward to all the stages of our grandson’s life.  I want to cuddle with him, read to him, then play on the floor with him and his toys, bake with him.  Pinterest has a whole page on science ideas that I want to try with him, soccer and bicycle riding, I am looking forward to all of it.   The only thing I am NOT looking forward to is adolescent boy humor.   

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Meet Karlton Childress

Name: Karlton Childress

Title: Shareholder and Certified Financial Planner™

SH&J team member since: September, 2000


What do you find most inspiring about being a financial planner?

What I find most inspiring is having the opportunity to help people fully understand and take control of their financial picture so that they can confidently concentrate on other non-financial aspects of their lives and reach their full potential.

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Meet Julie Fletcher

Meet_JulieName: Julie Fletcher

Title: Certified Financial Planner™

SH&J team member since: October, 2013


You have been a financial planner at Sharkey, Howes & Javer for over a year. What do you enjoy most about working here?

This firm truly acts in the best interest of our clients. There is no such thing as “sales” in this office, which minimizes the stress level and frees up time to spend on problem solving instead.

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Meet Joel Javer

Joel JaverName: Joel Javer

Title: Partner and Certified Financial Planner™

SH&J team member since: December, 1990


As a Partner of Sharkey, Howes & Javer, a financial advisor, marketing director and member of the investment department, you wear many hats around here, and are a role model to your staff. What advice do you have for our younger team members and for people wanting to join the financial planning industry?

Be honest with yourself and clients.  Listen carefully to what clients say and provide non biased advice as to what they should do to achieve their goals.

What was your first job and how old were you?

I had a paper route when I was 10 and then worked in a stationary store when I was 15.

You have traveled all over the world. What was your favorite destination and why?

Italy. The people are fun to be with, the country and cities are beautiful and I can recognize what I am eating.

Looking back, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?

Starting Sharkey, Howes & Javer. The number of clients we have helped with their financial decision making and the generations of planners that we have developed to assure continuity of client needs and the legacy of the firm, when I stop to think about it, is richly rewarding.

Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.

As I child, I liked listening to classical music.

Meet Jessica Sare

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 9.40.07 AMName: Jessica Sare

Position: Client Service

SH&J Team member since: March 2011


All of us at SH&J know how much you love to bake, and we have been lucky enough to try some of your delicious desserts. Is there anything in particular that you’ve made that you are most proud of?

I do enjoy baking; however I also enjoy decorating what I bake. I made a beach themed cake last year for my daughter’s Luau birthday party and a princess castle for my niece. As with everything else practice is key, however I don’t particularly need to eat all of those baked good so I offer to bake for others so they can have the calories!

Your four year old daughter, Payton, is such a character. We love hearing about the cute things she says and does. Anything we’ve missed recently that you could share?

It is hard to say the office has missed anything because my favorite thing to do is talk about all the funny things she does. She loves singing, dancing and of course, like most little girls, mimicking mommy. So the funny stories tend to revolve around her trying to act a little old for her age.

Describe what an ideal Saturday looks like for you and Payton?

Typically we are getting together with family and friends. She enjoys her cousins and my friend’s children and I enjoy watching them play. We also frequent the Denver Zoo. My husband and I enjoy taking Payton to experience new things, so we should have a fun filled summer since she is now at the age she can do things like hike without being carried.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?

I just want to travel. There are so many beautiful places in this world that I would love to see! I have not yet had the opportunity to do much traveling so it is hard for me to pick just one place.

What is the best thing you have ever purchased?

My husband and I purchased our first home together this past year. It was an interesting experience trying to sell my townhome and purchase a home at the same time. There was quite a bit of stress, but we were able to find what we hope to be our forever home. We are looking forward to putting our own personal stamp on it over the next 30 years!

Meet Amy Geist

AmyName: Amy Geist

Title: Client Service

SH&J team member since: November, 2014


As the newest team member of SH&J, what have you enjoyed most about working here so far?

I’ve enjoyed getting to know the team and everyone’s diverse backgrounds and knowledge.   I’ve been impressed with SH&J’s culture and everything we stand for. It’s been rewarding to be a part of something so grand.

We hear you love to cook. What’s your favorite meal to make?

I enjoy cooking almost anything as long as it’s for great company. I believe food brings people together and forces them to interact and communicate. My favorite meal to make is Thanksgiving dinner with my mom. I usually go to her house in the morning and we watch the parade while we make stuffing, spaetzles, and the usual traditional family recipes. Having people enjoy something you made is so rewarding.

If you could have any super power what would it be?

I would have the power to create a soundtrack based off of what was happening at the time. I think the ability to have a certain song play that corresponds with an occurrence would highlight and deepen it. Just like it does during a movie, but it would be for life in general.

What’s the best thing you have ever gifted to someone?

I think the best gift you can give someone else is the gift they wouldn’t think of or buy themselves. The thought and meaning behind the gift is ultimately what it’s about. Every year I used to buy my dad a gift but would always feel like I could do better, so a few years ago I baked him cookies and mailed them to him. He was so excited and surprised and now he asks for them every year instead of me buying him something else. Sometimes the littlest things have the biggest impact.

If you could do anything, and money wasn’t a factor but you still had to work, what would you do?

I would assist local animal shelters and organizations. I am a huge animal lover and believe you should help those who do not have a voice to help themselves.

10 Ways to Show Your Money Some Love

The love of moneyIn the month of love, we thought it was important to share our tips on how to show your money some love so it can help you attain your goals. While we could add many more tips to the list, the 10 below are an excellent place to start when thinking through your financial strategy.

1. Don’t Wait

“Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow… or next week… or next month.” We can all find excuses about getting fit, starting a diet, cleaning the house or… taking care of our finances. When it comes to showing your money some love, the first step is to put the excuses aside and take action. Money problems are associated with stress, relational challenges and decreased happiness. Waiting to take care of your finances only prolongs the hurt.

2. Save First

When a paycheck comes in, it can be tempting to pay the bills, buy a few things on the wish list and head out to a nice steak dinner. While it may be well deserved, saving before splurging can really show your money some love. When money is saved, it earns interest and the more interest it earns the more money you have later. Savings accounts, 401(k)s, IRAs and other investments are all part of a good saving strategy.

3. Look for Tax Free

Many retirement plans, such as a 401(k), allow you to save with certain tax advantages. Look into your employer’s retirement plan and possible matching programs, as well as other available programs such as the 529 plan for college education savings. Financial advisors, like the team at Sharkey, Howes and Javer, can be excellent resources when it comes to creating a smart saving strategy.

4. Make a Budget

A 2013 Gallup poll revealed only two-thirds of Americans prepare a detailed household budget (source). Budgeting is such an easy way to stay on top of your finances and meet your financial goals. Set guidelines for your spending in categories such as housing, transportation, groceries, medical, recreation, saving and investing. There are many free online tools that can help track spending and keep you moving towards your budgeting goals.

5. Needs vs. Wants

Along with creating a budget, it’s important to take some time to really think through your long-term goals and how your financial decisions now can help you down the road. Filter your needs and wants through a long-term lens. For example…Do you really need a new house or do you want a new house? How is purchasing a new home going to help you achieve your long-term goals? Asking yourself the tough questions now could lead to a happier retirement later.

6. Watch Your Debt

Debt can make achieving financial goals more challenging, but not impossible. The average U.S. household carries $15,611 in credit card debt, $155,192 in mortgage debt and $32,264 in student loan debt (source). If you are in the same boat as many Americans, take some time to analyze your debt and look for creative ways to pay it off. Think carefully before making big purchases or getting caught up in interest free sales. Consider meeting with a financial advisor to help you make the most of your income now and create a strategy to manage your debt while investing for the future.

7. Protect Your Identity

Our private information is being compromised more and more frequently. It seems like every day we hear of another large corporation with a data breach. Keeping close tabs on your identity can keep your money where it belongs and your credit on the up and up. Start by watching for scams. Never give out your personal information such as your social security number over email. Always call your financial institution directly if you receive a suspicious phone call or email asking for your account information. Make sure to check your statements regularly. The sooner you catch fraudulent charges, the quicker they can be resolved. See more helpful identity theft resources on our website >

8. Plan for the Unexpected

Showing your money some love also means saving for a rainy day. Consider starting an emergency fund with 3 to 6 months of living expenses saved. Consider putting your funds in a savings account, or a money market account, where it can be easily accessed in the event of a job loss, medical challenge or other unexpected tragedy. It is also important to let your trusted family and loved ones know where your funds are and how to access them in the event you are unable to.

9. Find a Friend

Perhaps the best way to show your money some love is by finding it a friend you trust. Financial advisors, especially advisors who don’t work on commission, can become your money’s best friend. Starting to work with a financial advisor early will help keep you on track as you work toward your long term goals. When looking for an advisor, ask your friends and family members for referrals, but also be sure to take a hard look at their strategies, team and BBB ratings to make sure they align with your goals. For more on finding the right financial advisor, check out our post: 3 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Financial Advisor.

10. Don’t Give Up

Taking good care of your finances is a process. We will all experience some missteps and setbacks along the way. No matter what, it’s important to persevere. Maybe you have a year where the markets don’t cooperate. Reevaluate your investment strategy and try new tactics in the next year. Or maybe you have a longer period of unemployment than your emergency fund allowed for. With the right planning and the right team, you can rebound. Showing your money some love isn’t a one-time event. It’s a lifelong commitment, and with diligence your money will love you back in the long run.


In conclusion, we want to remember while money is a part of our lives, it shouldn’t consume our lives. Take the time to show your money some love using these tips so you can focus on what’s most important in your life.

What tips would you add to the list? Comment below!

Sharkey, Howes & Javer’s Advisory Team Makes the List as 2014 Five Star Wealth Managers

(DENVER, CO) Sharkey, Howes & Javer’s team of financial advisors has been recognized as 2014 FIVE STAR Wealth Managers in the November issues of 5280 and ColoradoBiz magazines.

Eileen Sharkey, CFP®, Lawrence Howes, CFP®, Joel Javer, CFP®, Mimi Hackley, CFP®, Karlton Childress, CFP® and Harold Kirschner, CFP® of Sharkey, Howes & Javer, are among the Denver area wealth managers with at least five years of experience and no regulatory actions against them to be recognized as 2014 Five Star Wealth Managers.

There were 4,385 award candidates in the Denver area that were considered for the Five Star Wealth Manager award. Only 528 (approximately 13% of the award candidates) were named 2014 Five Star Wealth Managers. Continue reading

What do you charge for your services?

We knew we didn’t want to be bound to selling products to our clients. We wanted freedom to offer objective advice to our clients without an agenda to sell them products. Therefore SH&J was founded and still is a fee-only or non-commissioned firm.

Fee-only means our clients pay us a flat fee for our advice, not for products. We do not work on commission and are only paid by our clients. One of our founders, Larry Howes, says, “All of our efforts are designed to get you a better result.”

Melissa does a great job of giving you a quick rundown on our fees.

Here’s a quick overview of the information Melissa shared:

Financial Planning

  • One-time fee depending on case complexity
  • Planning fees range from $500-4,500.00
  • No additional charge for planning updates

Investment Management

  • 1% of assets under our management up to the first million
  • Reduced rate on managed assets above $1,000,000.00
  • Fees billed at 0.25% at the end of each quarter in arrears

Other small charges may include a fee for portfolio design, strategic implementation and asset transfers.

We’d love to meet you to share our firm’s philosophy with you in person. Give us a call at 303.639.5100 to set up a time to come in.

You say you work as a team, what does that mean?

When we founded our firm back in 1990, we knew our success would be based on our work as a whole, not as individual planners. When we put our minds together we are able to come up with more creative plans and specialized solutions for our clients.

As Mimi mentions in the video, our team:

  • is multi-generational
    Having a multi-generational team sets SH&J and our clients up for the long haul.  Our collective years of experience provide a wealth of knowledge for our clients.

  • has a wide array of expertise
    Our team consists of planners who have extensive experience with business owners, college planning, military families, and medical professionals – just to name a few. Because we don’t all specialize in the same things, we are able to offer more to fit each of our client’s unique needs.

  • works together for all of our clients
    While our clients meet with their primary planner on a regular basis, behind the scenes we are all working together to provide each client with the best experience possible. We are constantly bouncing ideas off of one another and meeting in various committees to keep our client’s plans on track.

  • includes a dedicated support staff
    We know we are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. We have built a phenomenal Client Service  team to free up our planners to do what they do best. Our team is always available to assist with client requests and answer pressing questions.

The team model has worked extremely well for SH&J and our clients. We will continue to build our team with the brightest minds in the business to allow us to serve our clients well for years to come.

If you are interested in learning more about the team model and SH&J, give us a call at 303.639.5100 to set up a complimentary consultation.