Matthew Clement celebrates 20 years as Stony Point business owner

On April 6, lifelong Stony Point resident Matthew Clement celebrated the 20th anniversary of his financial planning business, Emerald Retirement Planning Group. Though two decades have passed since he initially founded the enterprise in his parents’ basement, Clement still vividly recalls his desire to go into business on his own.

“It seems like a long time,” Clement reflected. “It’s all I’ve ever done. When I graduated from college, I immediately got to work to figure out how to set up as an independent financial advisor. I spent a very brief amount of time working under another advisor, but quickly realized that wasn’t what I wanted.”

Though the journey hasn’t always been easy, Clement has managed not only to create a successful business in Stony Point, but to expand it. The company is split into two parts—the financial planning/investment management side and Emerald Medicare, which started in the last 10 years—with Clement heading the financial planning/investment management side. While he was initially the sole employee in the company, he now has 12 additional employees to better serve his clients’ financial needs.

“We work with families and help people plan for long term things, like retirement and managing their investment accounts alongside of that,” said Clement when explaining the crux of what Emerald Retirement Planning Group does. “We focus on fundamentals and long-term principles. And we focus on behavior, which means controlling what we can control.”

Though Emerald Retirement Planning Group has moved more than once in its 20 year history, its current location is in Stony Point’s Liberty Square Mall. With 130 clients on the financial planning end of the business and over 2,000 on the Medicare side, Clement and his staff are consistently busy. Still, the father of two manages to place a focus on a fair work-life balance for himself and his employees.

“Most of my team is still technically part time, although they might be at 30 hours,” Clement explained. “We’ve created a structure that allows for that type of flexibility, which I think helps. I’m leveraging where we can as far as talent. I’m not going to compete with Manhattan or even Westchester salaries. So we make up for that in other ways through flexibility of scheduling and accessibility—other employee benefits besides direct compensation.”

To other business owner hopefuls who hope to create lasting and profitable enterprises, Clement advises them to be mindful of their rate of growth and keep a focus on what works.

“I think a lot of people give up early,” said Clement. “They feel like something’s not working as they expected, so they try something different. Sometimes it’s just a matter of continuing to do what you know what works until it does.”

Matthew Clement and the Emerald Retirement Planning Group team

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