Who Else is Sick of That Cheesy “Death and Taxes” Cliché?

Political, Economic and Consumer Headwinds Have Pushed Tax-Smart Financial Advice to the Forefront of the Wealth Management Space

Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report

To My Fellow WSR Community Members:

We get it, Benjamin Franklin.  “Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes.”  There.  I said it.

Now that we’ve gotten the single biggest cliché ever created about taxes out of the way, let’s have a more substantive conversation about the future of tax-smart wealth management.

With the Biden Administration settling in, signs point to hikes in tax rates and rising complexity, and those changes are likely to hit the ultra-high-net worth, high-net-worth and even mass-affluent investors hardest.  In the face of this, investors are increasingly searching for more tax-savvy approaches to financial planning and wealth management that protect their assets with greater effectiveness. 

With tax savvy wealth management capturing more attention than ever among end clients and the firms and advisors who serve them, businesses across the wealth management space are working to figure out how to maximize growth opportunities while delivering a better solution set to clients.

That’s why this week’s WSR issue is all about the increased convergence of tax advice and financial advice – And we’re looking at both the potential opportunities and pitfalls for wealth management firms and their financial advisors.

  • Upmarket:  Tax-Savvy Wealth Management Surges in Importance for Financial Advisors and Clients.  In our feature story of the week, our newest contributing writer Ellen Sheng dives deep into how firms are meeting the demand for tax-smart wealth management.  From Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management’s launch of its own tax advisory business, to Farpointe Wealth Partners and its robust recruitment of tax-savvy financial advisors, different firms are adopting different strategies to capture forward opportunities in this segment of the industry.  Additionally, Harry Grand, Senior Managing Director of multifamily office Angeles Wealth Management, offers a few words of caution for firms thinking of offering tax planning services.
  • Upmarket:  Serving Gen X Families and Business Owners in a Tax Smart Environment.  In many ways, the most successful independent financial advisor businesses have already been running tax smart practices for years.  This is especially vital when it comes to serving Gen X families and business owners, who need a robust  mix of tax-savvy financial planning and investment strategies to meet their life goals.  We spotlight best practices from Debra Brennan-Tagg, President of BFS Advisory Group, whose business specializes in serving this segment of clients, and who brings extensive experience in partnering effectively with tax advisors across a range of client scenarios.
Tax Advisors and Financial Advisors Convergence? Skills, Collaboration, Synergy!
  • Words in Edgewise:  How Can FAs Drive More Referrals from Tax Advisors?  Our Taxing Times columnist Michael Cody, CPA, of Lieb, Cody & Co., discusses how financial advisors can best engage with CPAs to drive client referrals and how to collaborate productively on shared clients, while avoiding unnecessary friction with tax advisors and setting themselves up as long-term collaboration partners.  A must-read for firms and advisors seeking more synergies with their counterparts on the CPA and Enrolled Agent side of the industry!
  • Words in Edgewise:  What FAs Need from Tax Advisors to Succeed.  Kestra Financial-affiliated Michelle Merkel flips the script a bit relative to Michael Cody’s perspectives, with the 30-year veteran independent financial advisory firm leader spotlighting what financial advisors should seek from tax advisors to ensure clients are well-served.  The leader of Merkel Financial also emphasizes how cross-referrals between these two professional groups happen naturally when the focus remains on the client – And how both FAs and tax advisors can actively keep that focus in mind.
No one deserves to R-est I-n P-overty!

As always, each week’s issue theme and related content items are driven directly by suggestions and feedback from WSR community members on what they’d like to see.  

This is consistent with our mission of sharing actionable insights, analysis and commentary from wealth management leaders for wealth management professionals.

We encourage you to please share WSR content that resonates with you with industry colleagues, friends and other contacts via social media.

And most importantly, please send us your notes and feedback on what you would like to see the experts discuss on Wealth Solutions Report in coming weeks and months.

Thank you for your continued support!


Larry Roth, CEO

Wealth Solutions Report

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