About Us

Colin Meeks

Hello! Thanks for taking a few minutes to check us out and find out more about what we do, how we do it, and how it may help you.

I’m the founder of Maryland Financial Advocates and a Certified Financial Planner. My biggest accomplishment in life so far is raising my 2 boys to be fine young men – it’s been quite a fun ride and I’ve got a lifetime of great stories.

I’m a generation X’er – born in the early 70’s between the baby boomers and the millennials. I “grew up” watching The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, Taxi, and Cheers. I played lacrosse until I hit my early 20’s, now I’m just a spectator with a pair of bad knees.

In my spare time, I love to play golf, cook, coach any sport that my boys are playing, and enjoy every day. I’m not handy and have no ability or desire for any DIY projects, so if you see me with a power tool please step in and stop me. I’d much rather be watching a baseball game or enjoying happy hour by the water with family and friends.

Some professional stuff you may want to know….

I’ve been in the financial planning business since 1994 and started my own practice in 1998. I am a Certified Financial Planner (since 2001). You can check my background with the CFP® Board, FINRA, and SEC.

My practice is in Baltimore, Maryland, and we serve around 150 families. Some of our clients are local and some are scattered around the country.

I’m active in the special needs community and do a fair amount of planning for families raising a child with special needs. I got into this area of planning after seeing a lot of confused and stressed out parents who want help but don’t know who to ask or where to start. I work with a lot of families who have a child with Autism.

I also do eldercare financial planning, so if you are caring for an aging relative and feel blindsided and overwhelmed by everything you’re dealing with, just know that there are professionals like me that can help. It’s never too late to plan and there may be options that can help you and your family – don’t be afraid to ask.

We do most of our planning engagements virtually – meaning that we see each other face-to-face over our computers, tablets, or phones. If you are in the Baltimore area, we can certainly meet in person but we have found that using technology greatly reduces the costs and increases the benefits to our clients. No drive time, no traffic, no stressing out over being late/early to a meeting, and we can meet whenever and wherever we both are – really cool! There is no substitute for personal connection and service, and using some modern powerful technology you can still get that, but in a way more convenient way.

I definitely can’t help everyone that stops by our website, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t connect. If you have a question about special needs planning, eldercare planning, or financial planning in general, please feel free to get in touch. I’m happy to take a quick phone call or email to see if what I do may help you. You can also stay in touch through our Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages.

Best,
Colin Meeks

Ryan Stark

Hi, I’m Ryan. Happy to meet you!

I have been here at Maryland Financial Advocates for almost 8 years!

I started as an admin and worked my way up to a financial planner. I have been an official financial planner for the past 5 years.

I have a beautiful wife named Angelica and an even more beautiful daughter named Emersyn. I spend a lot of time with family. My wife is Filipino, and it is really a culture I have fell in love with. Anyone who knows the Filipino cultures knows family is everything and I am excited to pass this bond to my daughter.

I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is like wrestling, but with chokes and submissions. There is no punching, kicking, elbows, and of course no biting, scratching, etc., just like any other sport. I have been practicing this martial art for a little over a decade. I started when I was 20 in community college and I am 31 now. I compete a few times a year and don’t ever see myself quitting.

I also have found a love for cooking over the years. I make the dinners at home and while I am not a better cook than my wife, I do enjoy it more. It’s a chore I usually don’t mind doing.

I enjoy traveling and experiencing new places. My favorite two trips to date were to the Philippines back in 2012 and Denver, CO in 2017. The Philippines was an amazing experience, and while I dabble in Tagalog (the language), mostly everyone there spoke English. It was a very welcoming place with great food and even better people. I loved CO because of the outdoors. CO has some of the most beautiful landscapes. Real sights that are better than any painting I have ever seen, such an incredible place. I love hiking so CO is somewhere I am sure I will visit again.

So, what do we do here? How are we different?

We focus on a (3) specific groups for planning: Special Needs Individuals & Families, Aging Parents & Caregivers, and those stepping into or preparing for retirement.

Our planning process if different than most and much more extensive than you are used to. We are not your average “free meeting” planners. We provide fee based objective advice through multiple meetings. We want to get to know you before we begin, and we want you to get to know us.

There are plenty of cookie cutter techniques out there, but no plan is ever the same, because no person or situation is ever the same.

If you are still here, thanks so much for reading. If you ever need anything, do not hesitate to reach out.

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