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Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

Kent Zeigler • Saint Paul, MN
Zeigler Financial Services • LPL Financial LLC

As I look back over my 30-year career as a financial advisor, I take some pride in the fact that I was more or less at the forefront of accountants and tax preparers getting into comprehensive financial services. My first broker-dealer created an advertising feature many years ago for an accounting trade journal. The feature talked about my experience offering additional services to my tax clients—how well it was working and how it could work for other accountants. I believe having that tax competency has been a distinguishing factor for my practice and provides value to clients in many areas of their financial and investment planning.

The focus of my practice is providing full-service and holistic financial planning, retirement-income planning, and wealth-management service. That said, I certainly make the point with prospective clients that my knowledge and experience in the tax area will likely make a positive contribution to their financial success over the long term. I point out that it is highly likely situations will arise where my guidance could translate into tax savings and efficiencies in the near or long term. In a broad sense, tax experience can be helpful across the areas of estate, retirement, risk management, and investment planning.

There are several specific areas where I find that providing a tax perspective is very valuable for clients:

  • Managing RMDs (required minimum distributions) on a tax-efficient basis, especially when there are multiple accounts.
  • Designing investment portfolios with a desired gradation of tax efficiency, both for the present and the future.
  • Examining the appropriateness of Roth IRAs for specific client situations.
  • Planning for 1031 real estate exchanges and 1035 insurance vehicle exchanges.
  • Reviewing Social Security claiming strategies in the context of an overall financial plan.
  • Providing tax guidance in the context of legacy planning and charitable giving.

I think that a financial planner who is also an accountant is especially well-qualified to understand a client’s current financial position, assess their financial inventory, and help them prepare for a solid retirement future.

  • Having a tax competency can be a positive distinguishing factor for an advisory practice.
  • Tax experience and knowledge provide value across the areas of estate, retirement, and investment planning.
  • Tax-efficient financial planning begins with an in-depth assessment of a client’s financial inventory.

Disclosure: Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Zeigler Financial Services is a separate entity from LPL Financial.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a nondiversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

Photography by Marla Klein

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