Investment Planning Business Planning Insurance Income Protection Tax Planning Special Situations Debt Management Education Planning Estate Planning Retirement Planning
Integrated Processes included with all of our planning.
Once we have the opportunity to meet prospective clients, we determine a fit between them and us. We do not accept all new prospective clients and are looking for people that have the characteristics we fit best with. These characteristics center on common interests, financial profile and attitude toward accepting advice.
If we determine a successful fit, we then have a complete discovery process which allows us to learn what makes our clients tick. We determine the important promises that they have made to themselves, their family and society. Though this is a deep and lengthy process at the onset of a relationship, it will continue throughout as life changes for our clients.
This is an ongoing process that differs in frequency based on the service matrix of the individual client. Here we seek to measure success of a prior action implementation and find new areas that require further discovery as life moves on and changes.
As a value-added service to our clients, we make ourselves available to act as a sounding board. Often our clients have a friend or family member that asks about us, or they may feel compelled to make an introduction to help the friend or family member out. If this happens, we will make the time to offer objective advice that they can use to make an informed decision. It’s a complimentary service we offer to our valued clients.
Areas of focus in achieving your financial promises.
Investment planning starts with an integrated asset allocation model based on a specific client’s efficient balance of risk and reward. The model is then customized with a portfolio design process where tax planning, retirement planning and other integrations are layered in. The portfolio design process gives way to an asset management program that meets the needs of the model and its design. Diversification is maximized in each case, not only on the level of investment selection, but also investment structure and tax design. Each case is different but through the use of traditional and alternative investment strategies we take optimal design and achieve the required results while striving to minimize overall investment risk. Our process is disciplined in its approach and execution. Monitoring, rebalancing and adjusting occur through the life of an investment plan. Our clients can achieve the results they need and desire while sleeping at night with the risk they have taken. This balance is the key to our client’s happiness and quality of life relative to investing. We stay with you when things are going well and when they are downright scary. Our clients are armed with the information they need to not make the historically documented mistakes of the so-called “average investor”. We will get you there and keep you there.
We call it Tax Alpha! At every level and through every decision, tax planning is considered and integrated so that when the wealth management process yields a taxable result, its result is minimized to the extent legally allowed by the tax code. This result is anticipated and planned for as opposed to being reacted to. We do this through various means including specially designed tax-advantaged investment solutions. But Tax Alpha is subtly injected into every aspect of a client’s planning needs. As a CPA centric wealth manager, we have a time-tested tradition in understanding and executing tax planning. We do not send you away to find another advisor to explain taxes, we will not only explain it, we will anticipate it and help you achieve your tax optimized solution each step along the way.
Retirement used to be you worked thirty to forty years, got your pension and social security. You were then off to enjoy the rest of your life without much worry about retirement income certainty. This reality is quickly giving way to totally self-funded retirements where retirement income certainty is left to the devices of the individual. The internet provides plenty of calculators and information. The reality is execution of this plan is complicated by the very different investment structure and return requirements of an accumulator of wealth versus a distributor of wealth, yet both strategies must be executed correctly while also being transitioned efficiently over time from one to the other. It is also complicated by the eventual demise of clients in retirement that makes self guidance almost impossible. Retirements in the 21st century will be longer and more expensive due to advances in health care. A non-smoking couple retiring at age 60 today can expect one spouse to exceed 90 years of age, thus requiring an income stream in excess of thirty years. Despite our current national average age of death in the mid-70s, retirements now need to last longer with more self reliance than ever before. Clients are healthier in retirement and therefore require more resources to enjoy this phase of their life. Social security income has become less secure for the younger generations making planning even more critical. More than any other area sustainable income solutions for retirement require tight tax integration because you can only spend what you get to keep. The small business owner has even more complications in transitioning to retirement. We specialize in retirement planning for the emerging affluent household or small business owner as they have built wealth in various ways throughout their working life. This wealth must then be transitioned to provide sustainable lifetime income. Our clients have the comfort of knowing how and when this is to be most tax efficiently achieved.
Estate planning means different things to different people. At its most basic level estate planning is making sure our client’s desires and financial promises are delivered at their eventual demise. At its most complicated level it may include ensuring a financial legacy is built and continued through a family office multi-generational transfer process through the use of entities, trusts or other planning techniques centrally managed by a professional process. Whatever it means to our clients, we provide the comprehensive planning and execution partner to a good tax attorney. We will plan most other roles required to help the client and its counsel understand, design and execute the customized estate plan. Wealth transfer and tax reduction strategies are at the core of our capabilities as CPA centric wealth managers. Your estate plan should not be put off, rather it should be put together and maintained so you and your family can enjoy life with knowledge and comfort of having things in order and Uncle Sam’s bite minimized or eliminated.
Whether you work, are retired, or disabled each individual and family must have income to live life, take care of their needs and promises. Whatever stage of life our clients find themselves, we consider income protection strategies to provide awareness and peace of mind. So often due to the typical uncoordinated team approach to wealth management, the insurance guy, stock broker and attorney don’t coordinate at every level to insure the most efficient strategy is in place. Often the insurance guy wants to over insure, the broker doesn’t even consider insurance and the attorney is just retained to do a will and isn’t fully aware of the needs. Income protection ensures that everyone dependent on the family will be provided for, simple as that. This should be done as cost effectively as possible, but not be ignored or forgotten. We give our clients freedom of knowing what their strategy is or what risk(s) they are taking.
Insurance solutions are often required in the context of an overall solid financial plan. In the consultive wealth management process, when insurance is required, we will provide a customized solution to each need through our network of consultants and experts. Insurance is a very complicated area whether it be life, disability, long-term care, etc. In each area of insurance we provide access to resource partners that are some of the top experts in their respective areas. We integrate them during the planning and quoting phases of insurance. Their knowledge of various internal underwriting requirements at many of the top insurance companies in the country gives us an added advantage to finding the best environment to best meet our client’s situation. We don’t represent any particular insurance company but have access to more than we would ever need to utilize. Whether it’s a commodity type product like term or a sophisticated estate plan solution, we have the resources and expertise to provide this critical area of the wealth management process.
With health care and energy, education costs led inflationary measures in our economy during the first decade of the 21st century. With local governments and other funding sources of higher education institutions continually tightening, the overall cost of an education to students has risen quickly. This seems to be a long-term trend as demand for education increases to fill requirements of the jobs in this competitive global economy that our children must be prepared for. Proper education planning often provides a completion of an essential promise we make to our children. It also provides assurance that education costs won’t interrupt or prevent our reaching other critical financial goals. Our children need to be educated more than ever before and the cost of that environment is increasing at a pace of nearly 6-to-7% a year, meaning investment return can only help over the long-run. Early starts are critical to this area for a plan to have a higher probability of enjoying some investment success relative to the inflation of education costs.
Does your small business have a financial plan? Have you maximized your options in regard to tax deductions? Long the center of a CPA’s center of expertise has been the needs of the small business owner. The experience and process of dealing with the small business environment provides a natural instinct in this area. The planning for the small business owner is challenging as the business and its owner have their own set of goals that must be established, integrated and balanced. Often the succession planning requirements of the small business owner are very daunting. Every strategy for every small business owner must be customized to the ebbs and flows of the business. CPAs have long provided the data knowledge to plan around this changing environment, however integrating the wealth management plan of the small business owner will enhance the tax optimized approach to achieving the needs of the financial plan of the owner and the business. We have many years of expertise in small business issues such as but not limited to: leverage planning and negotiation, tax planning, compensation structure, succession planning, retirement plan design, buy-sell partner/shareholder issues and much more.
Debt is often a critical factor in a family’s and business’s financial plan. Often debt can provide a critical leverage element to allow a family to get a home. It can be the capital engine to make small business happen. However risk management decisions along the way require the professional integration with other goals and priorities. These decisions must be balanced with the need to accumulate, distribute and transfer wealth. The wealth management process can be derailed by poor debt risk mitigation management. Both on the personal and business side, debt leverage must be managed with conflicting priorities such as funding a retirement plan and paying down the debt. There is a careful constant process of managing the balance of utilizing the very precious monetary resources available between the cash flow requirements of leverage and the funding of accumulation goals. We assist our clients to carefully manage the process of leverage in the context of an overall wealth management plan.
Every family or small business can face unusual financial situations or risk, contingent liabilities or unique situations that can or does affect the overall wealth management process. It can be a disabled family member, a small business with family issues, a divorce, or possibly a financially unstable parent or child. Whatever the situation, as long as we are human, there continue to be special situations that must be integrated into the planning process. As advisors and clients, we must be prepared to deal with and not ignore or neglect special situations. We have worked through many a complex situation relative to a client’s wealth management plan. We will continue to be creative, passionate and diligent in finding solid solutions to any situation they will or could face. This provides peace of mind that a difficult situation is under control.