John Lau, Managing Director
People want more from their lives. That could mean nice houses, providing the best education for their children, or living a comfortable and worry-free lifestyle while having a good long-term investment that empowers them to retire with financial security and have their healthcare expenses covered. But the ongoing COVID-19 has devastated the financial status of many and has pushed their financial planning off the grid. Needless to say, their hunger for guidance in navigating investment management has hit the hilt. After all, it is crucial to know how to achieve multiple life goals, and there is little room for compromise. Proactive planning is a no-brainer for a stress-free retirement, but several challenges lie in optimizing the investments when finances are so intertwined. A standalone wealth management solution can hardly be the panacea.
Enter LFS Wealth Advisors, a California-based full-service wealth management and CPA (certified public accountant) firm. Unlike other firms that restrict themselves to just managing the investment accounts of their clients, LFS manages all aspects of clients’ finances, before and after they retire, by taking into account tax planning and estate planning as part of the overall wealth management. The company couldn’t be prouder of its “total solutions” approach to wealth management. This unique approach combines income tax reduction strategies with estate conservation, retirement distribution planning, and investment strategies to optimize clients’ financial wellness. “Our proprietary approach is holistic and time-tested in that it focuses on tax reduction and risk management. So, clients not only grow their income but also protect their savings,” says John Lau, Managing Director, LFS.
Adhering to the fiduciary standard of care, LFS’ core business strategy is based on understanding the ins and outs of clients’ financial standing. “To start off with a client, we understand their financial vision and goals, risk tolerance, family dynamics, their definition of lifestyle, and their tax situation,” says Lau. During this period, they review income tax returns to identify tax reduction strategies, estate conservation planning, retirement distribution planning, and investment analysis. With this knowledge, LFS prepares a financial work program to manage a client’s wealth throughout the year. Cashflow projections ,updated annually based on last year’s events, equip LFS with a financial roadmap forhelping their clients.
Our proprietary approach is holistic and time-tested in that it focuses on tax reduction and risk management. So, clients not only grow their income but also protect their savings
A case in point: when a 65-year old prospect approached LFS for the first time, she was paying $26,000 in federal income tax and another $4,000 extra premiums for Medicare part B—not the best situation to be in. LFS looked into her tax returns in the early stages of the engagement and found that her account could be optimized on various fronts. LFS guided the client with tax saving advice which helped her save a massive $30,000 a year between taxes and Medicare premiums. LFS also helped her in repositioning her portfolio to align with her risk tolerance. Furthermore, LFS helped her get a life insurance policy with a long-term care rider. She was able to pay the premium using a fraction of the money that LFS saved for her.
As a proactive company that thrives on customer satisfaction, LFS swung into action and took note of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure spending bill and tax reforms. The reforms suggested that high-net-worth individuals will be impacted if they didn’t tweak their accounts before Jan 01, 2021, when those changes could come into effect. “We helped our clients with estate planning strategies in time. And any new changes to the existing laws call for minimal operational overhead, as most of the legwork has already been taken care of,” says Lau.
A firm believer in educating clients for greater outcomes, LFS provides information on tax updates, market analysis, and market outlook and maintains ongoing communication with clients every month. When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, LFS released several updates every week and conducted webinars to boost client confidence. When the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan first came out, Lau wrote a PPP booklet and made it available to clients to let them understand how it works. Not to mention LFS helped its clients apply for the PPP loan and is now backing them with support for loan forgiveness. The company employed a unique asset allocation methodology to help minimize drawdowns at times of high volatility and uncertainties, and optimize portfolio performance under more favorable market conditions.
The next 6-12 months are equally exciting for LFS as the $1.9 trillion stimulus and new tax legislation will be implemented. LFS is resolute in educating high-net-worth individuals about the impending challenges to their assets and guiding them with strategies to make the most of their investments and wealth. “We are closely monitoring the tax developments every day,” concludes Lau.