As you strive to grow your personal net worth, the financial challenges you face become increasingly complex. Although some investors have a long-term strategy in place to grow their assets and manage risk within their portfolios, many do not have strategies for dealing with the tax implications that result from the distribution and transfer of the assets they have worked so hard to accumulate.
Capitalizing on opportunities to preserve, grow, and transfer your wealth requires the sophisticated guidance of a professional who knows and understands your long-term financial goals.
As an investment adviser representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, I have the ability to offer wealth management services that address the complex financial planning issues that many of my clients face. Commonwealth’s Wealth Management program provides me with the infrastructure to offer you a comprehensive array of services to help plan and manage your wealth.
For the phases of your financial life
Wealth management refers to the coordination of various strategies that encompass all phases of your financial life, from the accumulation of assets, to risk management, to tax strategies, to retirement and estate planning.
The easiest way to conceptualize wealth management is to think of it as the logical transitions of your financial life:
- The accumulation of wealth. Construction of a solid, financial base sufficient to pursue your financial objectives.
- The protection of wealth. Creation of a strategy aimed at preserving your assets from erosion due to unexpected expenses, inflation, market decline, and taxes.
- The tax-advantaged distribution of wealth during life. Development of a sophisticated tax management plan to enhance your asset base by minimizing your tax burden and allowing you to distribute your assets according to your wishes.
- The tax-advantaged distribution of wealth at death. Planning for the controlled distribution of your assets at death—to whom you want, when you want, and at the lowest possible cost.
Strategies for complex issues
Wealth management planning seeks answers to those tough economic questions and decisions that come with modern living. Commonwealth’s Wealth Management program divides these issues into six modules—each focusing on a different area of your financial life:
- Accumulation addresses your individual needs, asset allocation, and the suitability of different types of securities in light of your goals and risk tolerance. Accumulation strategies help to ensure that your investment portfolio remains closely aligned with your overall financial goals as you continue to build your asset base.
- Risk management works to minimize financial and other losses potentially associated with risks to your assets, business, or health. Some examples of risk are personal and professional liability, business ownership, property loss, and catastrophic illness or disability. Your first line of defense is to identify your sources of risk and then to either avoid or minimize the major exposures.
- Taxation considers the tax implications of individual, investment, or business decisions, usually with the goal of minimizing tax liability. Although decisions are rarely made solely on their tax impact, you should have a working knowledge of the income or estate tax issues and costs involved.
- Business planning focuses on issues specific to business owners and shareholders. For most business owners, the business is their most significant asset, and the financial success of that business has an immediate impact on the economic security of the family. Without proper planning, you may have difficulty tapping the value of your business to support your retirement, or your family may lose the value of the business at your death.
- Retirement planning involves evaluating your current financial status and creating an accumulation strategy that will help to ensure your desired retirement lifestyle. Because your retirement years can span decades, retirement planning generally dominates other financial goals. A successful plan put into place during the wealth-building life span should address ways to maximize growth and tax-efficient distributions, as well as how to leave retirement assets to the next generation.
- Estate planning creates a master plan for the management of your property during life and the distribution of that property at death. For most people, estate planning gives you more control over your assets during your lifetime, provides care when you are disabled, and allows for the efficient, low-cost transfer of wealth at your death.
Although not all of these modules will apply to your situation, we believe that identifying and addressing those that are pertinent will help you to better manage your financial future.
Planning for the long term
No matter what your level of wealth, working closely with a trusted professional who knows and understands you can help you target your goals. Working together, we can help you simplify the complexities of your financial life by focusing on your wealth in a systematic way and implementing a plan that will benefit you for the long term.