A tax professional can act similarly to a “conductor” in an orchestra. They direct the tune, the instruments used and how the end product sounds. They can make the appropriate changes as they see fit and understand how powerful their actions are in making the show.
How Can CPAs Mitigate Their Client's Risk? Ask “How Does This Tie In With the Rest of Your Finances?"
Investment professionals and entities alike should always ask “How Does This Tie In With the Rest of Your Finances?”. It is an important enough question that even from service providers such as attorneys and CPAs, often does not get asked enough to their clients.
Gaining exposure to low-correlation diversifying investment methods by the conventional route – direct subscription to Hedge Funds and Private Equity Limited Partnerships – is fraught with difficulties. Such investments require accredited investor status; lack of transparency with respect to strategies, underlying investments, and performance reporting; high fees (usually an asset based fee and a percentage of gains); low liquidity, lock-up periods, infrequent redemptions, and surrender charges; and ongoing capital commitments (with private equity) that may be difficult for clients to meet. But there are alternative routes to getting exposures to the strategies and risk premiums employed by Hedge Funds and Private Equity.
We consider ourselves advocates for the idea of systematic savings and investment, and we have developed focused proprietary strategies to potentially maximize the benefits of this process for our investors.
Financial professionals are starting to grasp the power of technology as a tool to manage client assets. A savvy financial professional will not only utilize technology but will develop a corresponding investment methodology and strategy behind it.
Investment professionals can utilize specialized Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) as a way to mitigate the risk of their clients. SMAs can be customized by investing in certain securities or certain strategies. They may, for example, wish to screen for equities or fixed income and invest according to a selective or opportunistic strategy.
The subject of what to do with assets after retirement or death is an understandably difficult topic to address. Upset family members, lost documents and the absence of the grantor after death are among some of the difficulties that tax professionals face. But the ultimate difficulty lies in having the conversation in the first place.
Clients want to utilize their wealth to meet unique goals that they have. Charitable gifting, leaving assets to family members or even having enough for one last hurrah with friends requires a unique investment strategy for unique goals.
Tax loss harvesting involves the selling of a security that has experienced a loss. By selling the security, the investor realizes or "harvests" that loss and is able to offset taxes on both gains and income. The security that was sold is replaced by a similar one, which maintains the optimal asset allocation.
Financial professionals will often recommend products and services that reflect the current circumstances of their clients. But they also need to recommend products and services that reflect their future circumstances. A very real worry in the financial planning world for investors and their advisers alike is the possibility of outliving their assets and possessing more liabilities and expenses in retirement.