Financial Advice Focused On What You Keep
Accounting principles examine what has already occurred,
Financial Planning principles examine what has yet to be.
It’s time for your wealth management to apply
a tax lens to each consideration.
tax smart investingDefining tax smart investing:
- A wealth management focus on after-tax outcomes of investments. This includes but is not limited to investment accounts: ordinary income, interest income, capital gains income and dividend income; retirement accounts: tax-deferred and tax-favored; types of investments; location of investments; allocation of investments by type and category; timing of distributions by type and category; trust considerations; deductions by type and category.
- An implementation of advanced tax planning strategies to transition away from a traditional reactive model to proactive wealth management in an effort to achieve the best possible tax efficiencies of asset allocations of taxable, tax-deferred and tax-favored investments.
The Journey Can Dictate Your Destination
If you were to search “how many pages in the U.S. tax code”, you will not find a single source with an exact number. Taxes have grown more complex each year. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has indicated that taxpayers overpay an estimated $1 billion per year due to unrealized tax reduction opportunities.
Tax professionals focus to reduce tax liability based on what you present to them as your financial circumstances of that tax year. Their role is to utilize the tax code to benefit your return at tax time, not to explore strategies that look throughout the year or even many years ahead.
There are fewer CPAs than business owners in the U.S. and as proficient as they may be, they do not have the time to be “tax architects” of their client’s investments, nor do they prefer to be. They would prefer to stay focus on accounting principles and partner with financial advisors that place tax implications in line with wealth management and align with their client’s objectives.
A Guided Journey Can Define Your Destination
When it comes to wealth management, the focus has always been numeric outcomes. Naturally, the results should be a primary measure of success. The problem with this singular focus is that it alone is only one component of the equation. This assumes that your investment management doesn’t consider taxes until the results are placed in the capable hands of your CPA or accountant at tax time, for them alone to do the heavy lifting and create the best outcome.
We are all aware of the fees we pay for services. In the case of investments, the fees discussed are fund fees and management fees. How about the governmental fees (taxes) you pay in the way of capital gains on the positive outcomes of your investments? Why is it that the third fee (tax) is not weighed into the overall number? The majority of wealth management advisors always discuss and focus on the first two fees, but rarely the third. They may do some things to manage taxes but certainly do not make it a measurement of success in managing your assets.
We advise clients through a proactive, year-round strategic tax planning process designed to apply appropriate strategies to create opportunities to reduce the tax drag of your investments for better after-tax outcomes.
Success Isn’t Permanent And Failure Isn’t Fatal
Throughout life, beliefs evolve, goals shift and revelations occur.
Always be prepared to pivot, preserving your vision of the future.
Whether your wealth management considerations are for the benefit of business interests, personal interests, in the interests of others, your investments, or retirement, having a focus on tax implications will always prove to serve you well.
Early Financial Decisions
Financial literacy ranks high out of necessity, but low on priority. Student loan debt, budgeting, managing credit cards, prioritizing a savings strategy, participating in the company sponsored retirement plan, these are all initial considerations that set the stage for wealth, and future financial wellness. There are tremendous timing advantages to early financial planning that position the ideal financial future.
Career Related Financial Decisions
The foundation of your finances revolve around your career. Your choice of career, earnings, self-employment or W2, even when to promote or change careers are principal factors in where you live, how you invest and when and how you retire. Understanding the financial and tax implications at each stage of your career can give you an edge over whatever the next stage holds.
Major Financial Decisions
When contemplating major financial decisions, there are two thoughts that are most common. Is it a good value? Is it affordable? How much of that decision is emotional versus rational? Such purchases can be approached creating more value in the long run and even be more tax efficient. Engaging with a fiduciary advocate who guides clients everyday with such concerns can potentially enhance your outcomes.
2020 served up circumstances causing us all to face a myriad of unexpected personal, health, professional and financial challenges. This represents a macro example of how factors outside of our perception or control can effect our lives. No one wants decisions made for them. Wealth management with a long-term focus at each stage in life can help prepare for the unexpected to keep an unwavering eye on the ball.
Longevity Related Financial Decisions
Longevity benefits from happiness and a lack of stress. Both are more likely with sound tax planning because it can potentially create a more ideal lifestyle in retirement that affords you choices. Income sources are the measure for how well you live. Financial planning allows for added peace of mind if health or other unforeseen financial challenges occur, providing for better well-being in retirement.
Legacy Related Financial Decisions
Benefiting from early financially responsible decisions, you become focused on preserving what you have accomplished and preparing for a life after a working career. In most cases, your investments become less aggressive and asset accumulation evolves into a distribution strategy. A healthy, comfortably sustained retirement with minimized tax concerns become your priorities.
In all of our engagements, our goal is to listen
The financial advisory industry has a habit of categorizing individuals and businesses into boxes by assets. We prefer to focus on understanding your “big picture” goals, instead of presenting a generic menu of options. It’s only then we can begin to examine the appropriate ‘how’ to fit your unique ‘why’ and the applicable wealth management and tax strategies best suited for your needs.
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