Full Service Wealth Management
Often, people (many financial advisors included) hear the term "Wealth Management" and think only of "Investment Management." The truth is that investment management is a sub-component of Wealth Management.
Wealth Management is a holistic, top-down effort to maximize a client's total wealth picture for today, tomorrow, and for future generations. It addresses your personal values, goals, experiences, and future desires, and requires a team of highly specialized professionals working in a coordinated fashion to achieve your goals. No single advisor can perform the task of Full Service Wealth Management. By training, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional is ideally suited to coordinate all other specialists' actions on your behalf. Commonly, this function is known as the "Financial Quarterback." Whatever the term - if your financial advisor is not performing this function... perhaps you should upgrade. Likely, you are paying too much for too little. PARAGON's Wealth Management includes:
Financial Planning for Life Decisions
Creative, diligent financial planning is intended to enhance a your life experience… not just add dollars to your net worth. Financial planning provides answers to questions like the ones that follow… and many more!
- Am I on track – financially –to accomplish my life goals?
- I have a Special Needs person in my life. What financial strategies should I use for him/her?
- Can we afford that dream vacation? Can we buy that RV? Should we?
- Should I save more for retirement – or can I spend more today?
- What is the best way to help my kids/grandkids with college?
Retirement Income Planning
After years of saving for retirement, what is the best way to use those assets – so they last my entire life? Vanguard’s 2016 study, “Quantifying Advisor Alpha,” determined that a correct spending strategy in retirement can add the equivalent of up to 1.10% average annual return* to an investor’s retirement experience – enough to offset most advisor fees.
- Should I take my pension as a monthly annuity – or is a lump sum the better way to go?
- Should I leave my 401(K) with my employer when I retire – or roll it to an IRA?
- Which account should I spend first?
- When should I draw Social Security to maximize my chances of retirement success?
- How much can I spend from my nest egg without running out of money before I run out of life?
Investment Optimization and Cost Reduction
Most people accumulate a “hodge-podge” of investments over their lives. Vanguard’s 2016 study, “Quantifying Advisor Alpha,” determined that optimizing an investor’s asset allocation, using low-cost investments, and performing disciplined, opportunistic rebalancing typically adds an average annual return of 0.75% to a portfolio.*
- Asset allocation designed to maximize return for each investor’s unique risk tolerance
- Low-cost Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), institutional mutual funds, and individual bonds where appropriate to minimize the cost of investing – thus enhancing return
- Rebalancing after market run-ups and corrections to reduce risk and be opportunistic when appropriate
- Overweighting portfolios with sectors expected to outperform to try to capture excess return
- World-class custodians (Fidelity and TD Ameritrade) with thousands of investment options and low trading costs
Recession Protocol™ To Protect Your Investments
Market fluctuations are a fact of every investor’s life. However, every devastating market crash has been accompanied by an economic recession. In the study “Does it Pay to Forecast the Business Cycle,” (2016) economic professors Conover, Dubofsky, and Wiley determined that avoiding the stock market during recessions not only protects an investor’s portfolio, but can enhance an investor’s annual return by 2% or more.** We actively track economic data as well as multiple recession forecasting models to proactively protect client accounts by moving entirely out of the stock market when recessions approach. Recession Protocol™ is implemented very rarely – approximately once per decade – but it can allow you to be confident enough to invest boldly so as to enjoy strong returns, without living in fear of dream-ending market crashes
- Continual monitoring of economic signals to identify Recession onset
- Pre-planned, ready-to-go “safety” portfolios for use as economic date indicates a recession is approaching
- World-class technology allowing us to be proactive and trade all client accounts to safer portfolios simultaneously when Recession Protocol™ is implemented
- Alternate strategies to avoid unnecessary tax impacts from Recession Protocol™
Investor Coaching and Behavioral Finance
Behavioral Finance is a field of study that seeks to explain why people make irrational financial decisions that hurt them. Examples of behaviors that hurt investors are loss aversion, herd behavior, benchmark bias, mental accounting, and many more. Dalbar’s annual Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior, study concluded that psychological factors account for 50-60% of investor underperformance.*** At PARAGON, we have observed repeatedly that education, coaching, and repeated reinforcement of successful investor behaviors not only significantly improve returns, but also reduce stress and worry. This benefit alone is hugely valuable – who wants to spend their retirement years worrying about running out of money?
- Timely client emails about the market, economy, current events, and how they relates to portfolio performance
- Quarterly client information seminars with timely, updated data and economic forecasts
- Regular, one-on-one progress meetings to check up, measure progress, make changes, and reinforce successful investor behavior
- “Stress Testing” your financial plan under various market conditions to allow you the confidence of knowing that your plan will work even if the market turns against you
Tax Planning & Tax Minimization
No matter how well your investments do, if you give that extra return to Uncle Sam, it is wasted! Tax laws change often, affecting how to best generate retirement income. Many strategies which were optimal only a few years ago are ineffective today. Our team stays abreast of tax changes to proactively plan for tax savings – not only for the current year, but for many years into the future.
- Tax efficient ETFs that do not generate taxable “phantom income” in your portfolio
- Proactive tax planning strategies such as systematic Roth conversions, Charitable RMD’s, tax harvesting, cost basis reset, tax lot optimization, tax bracket "fill-up," and others
- Optimizing the use of retirement accounts such as IRA’s, SEP IRA’s, solo 401(k)’s, and others
- Proactive coordination with your CPA or other advisors to project the likely impact of recommended strategies or take advantage of tax opportunities
- Tax free income strategies as appropriate
Strategies to Protect Your Wealth
This means organizing your affairs in such a way that your assets are not unjustly taken away! We routinely make risk management recommendations to help you protect your assets against catastrophe, litigation, identity theft, errant family members, elder abuse, and many more risks of today’s world. Additionally, we are one of the few firms who will automatically take steps to protect your portfolio against market crashes caused by recessions.
- Insurance recommendations as a part of your financial plan and referral to an appropriate provider (we do not sell insurance)
- Assistance with understanding Medicare, Medicare supplements, and referrals to trusted sources of specialized advice, as well as health insurance products you may need
- Veterans Benefits, Medicare supplement, and Special Needs planning as appropriate
- Identification of which assets may be at risk because of your profession, unexpected events, or improper titling – and coordination with an attorney as necessary
- Long Term Care, Elder Care, Assisted Living, and planning for aging in place – for you, or for your elderly parents
Survivor, Special Needs, and Estate Planning
Unfortunately, this wild ride we call life comes to an end for everyone eventually. Our job is to coordinate your financial plan with your Estate Plan. By distilling complex ideas into simple and easily understood language, we help you decide how you want your survivor plan or estate plan to look. Your attorney drafts the documents and provides legal counsel – we help you execute the plan by ensuring that your financial assets reflect your estate plan properly.
- Coordination of asset titling and beneficiary designations with your estate plan so conflicts or extended probates are avoided
- Trust Funding and other account titling as directed by your Estate Planning Attorney
- Survivor planning using the Survivor Needs Analysis technique to allow a surviving spouse to determine their own lifestyle should one of you die
- Specialized knowledge and referral resources to help you provide for loved ones who may not be capable of taking care of themselves or effectively managing an inheritance you leave behind
- Lifetime gifting, income shifting, installment notes, gift splitting, family foundations, and other strategies to maximize wealth transfer and minimize taxes
PARAGON's financial advisors work as a team, not as individual advisors. This allows each of us us to individually focus on creating specialized knowledge that each financial advisor can bring to the table as a part of an integrated team working on your behalf. Few of our clients need ALL of our services, but most of them need at least some of them. These services are usually provided to our Wealth Management clients without additional costs. If you are paying investment management fees to an advisor, but are not receiving these services, we encourage you to explore how working with PARAGON can benefit you by scheduling a Discovery Meeting.
* Vanguard: Quantifying Advisor's Alpha, September 2016. Francis M. Kinniry Jr., CFA, Colleen M. Jaconetti, CPA, CFP ®, Michael A. DiJoseph, CFA, Yan Zilbering, and Donald G. Bennyhoff, CFA
*** Dalbar, QAIB - Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior, published annually by Dalbar. (link to DALBAR)
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame logo) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.
Investment Advisory Services Provided by Paragon Wealth Strategies, LLC, a registered investment adviser.