Case Study #1: Protecting What You’ve Built
Through effective financial planning and truly global diversification, Global View helped this couple protect their wealth. With ongoing comprehensive financial planning, they are on track to the future they had always envisioned.
The Challenge: How to avoid losses and grow assets conservatively
Our clients, an engineer (age 63) and a lawyer (age 56), have had successful careers. They had also diligently saved and now had a $1.9 million portfolio among other assets. They had previously worked with a broker from a name-brand Wall Street firm and while his advice worked during bull markets, they took too big of a loss in 2008. Now they wanted to focus on capital preservation and get ideas for smart, tax efficient investments that minimized downside risk.
The couple were referred to Global View by their CPA. In our initial meetings, they told us they wanted to focus on asset preservation instead of growth to avoid another 2008-style experience. They had been burned both in their stock holdings—despite the help of the big Wall Street firm– as well as a real estate investment. They felt that they had taken too big a loss and it had shaken them. They also weren’t sure when they could or should retire, and when to file for social security.
As they were approaching retirement, they also wanted help with retirement income planning, tax minimization strategies and estate planning. They were so busy so wanted all that from a single source.
Strategy and Solution
Global View assessed each of their concerns and worked with them to collect all their information. During our review, it became clear that overall, across all their taxable and retirement accounts, they were invested far too aggressively. Due to recent bull market gains, they had too much invested in certain asset classes, and were not adequately diversified. Their holdings were heavily concentrated in large cap US stocks, putting them at risk when the market cycle changed.
Over the course of a few meetings and phone calls, we recommended a strategy. The strategy included:
- Preparing a full comprehensive financial plan, to create a roadmap to the future they envisioned, with clear action steps to achieve their goals
- Lowering risk levels overall through effective diversification, which involved diversifying both geographically as well as across asset classes
- “Rescuing’ an overpriced, inefficient annuity that the couple had purchased
- Rollover of retirement accounts from old employers into an IRA
- ‘Family office’ style services include tax strategies and estate planning
Their financial plan also laid out their target retirement dates based on their desired lifestyle as well as the best age to start collecting social security benefits.
The restructuring took time, but was done gradually so that each step was agreed upon and executed properly.
With more appropriate diversification, the couple are now better positioned to withstand market events. There’s a clear, written road map in place for the future, helping alleviate stress. Regular meetings and phone calls with Global View keep everything going according to plan, with adjustments made as circumstances change or obstacles arise. The couple’s CPA is kept in the loop and consulted frequently so that efforts are efficiently coordinated.