Financial planning for high-net-worth taxable investors has always been a delicate, nuanced endeavor but has grown increasingly complex during the pandemic. As uncertainty remains the undercurrent of markets and the global economy, it's essential to acquire a process for effectively navigating this ambiguous landscape.
Stuart Lucas, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Wealth Strategist Partners, LLC, says financial planning fundamentally begins with individuals and families mapping out their objectives, estimating cash flow, and minimizing tax. Understanding how to integrate investing, tax and cash flow management will help future-proof your assets. But you also need to expect and prepare for the unexpected.
"It's crucial to develop a plan to manage your financial assets strategically, comprehensively, and with discipline. When attending the Wealth Planning Essentials program, participants learn how to set a strategic vision, build an accountability system, align interests, and delegate tasks.
"Once you have a good idea of your objectives and how you want to achieve them, it makes it much easier to identify and build productive relationships with your financial advisors," says Lucas, Faculty Director of Wealth Planning Essentials and Co-Director of Private Wealth Management, Chicago Booth Executive Education.
Lucas knows all about this firsthand. In addition to teaching and writing about taxable investing and private wealth management, he is a practitioner with 40 years of experience in the areas of investment management, wealth management, and family enterprise management. He is also a 4th generation descendant of E.A. Stuart, the founder of the Carnation Company (his great-grandfather). For 25 years, Stuart has overseen his family's investment office and serves as a trustee and vice-chairman of the Stuart Foundation board.
In the Wealth Planning Essentials program, attendees learn how to set long term financial goals and to manage financial assets to meet those goals. In addition, they will delve into risk management and building lasting constructive relationships with financial advisors. Participants will also explore strategic philanthropy as a way to strengthen family and community values, as well as personal satisfaction, not to mention tax savings. Members of the same family are encouraged to attend together to get an overview of their individual situation and to explore and validate different perspectives.
"One of the great things about the program is we get participants with a range of backgrounds, and we often get multiple participants from the same family. The beauty of that is all those different perspectives come out in the classroom, but without the baggage and history so often associated with the intrafamily communication process. So it opens up opportunities for better listening and lays important groundwork for talking about money in constructive ways," says Lucas.
Financial management shouldn't feel like it needs to be a full-time job. WPE explores how to achieve financial security and tax efficiency responsibly while still having plenty of time and energy to pursue those things that give participants the greatest sense of personal satisfaction. Your time is your greatest asset.
Stuart Lucas is the author of The Taxable Investor's Manifesto: Wealth Management Strategies to Last a Lifetime and Wealth: Grow It and Protect It, Updated and Revised.