Services Families

Risk Management

Why risk it? One of the most important roles we can play in your financial life is in minimizing the risks you and your family face.

From loss of income to financial fraud to identity theft, life is full of risks. We work with you to identify the main challenges you might be subjected to. Then we will help you construct the appropriate insurance and security safety nets so you can rest assured that your risks are covered. And since we don’t sell any products, you can be assured that the advice we offer is objective.

As an assurance that your asset accounts are exposed to minimum risk, we generally custody client assets with Schwab Institutional, the premier firm catering to the unique needs of affluent clients. In addition to its strong financial position and internal controls, Schwab offers a 100% guarantee against any unauthorized activity in your accounts.

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Financial Planning

Whether your wealth is the result of a successful career, diligent savings, inheritance, a windfall or a combination of these, a financial plan is perhaps the most important step you can take to be sure your wealth works for you.

A well thought-out and designed financial plan drives strategic investment decisions and allows your wealth to work for you, your loved ones and charitable interests for years to come.

With financial planning as the cornerstone of our approach, we work with you to assess where you stand financially, what your goals are and what your next steps should be. Staying in tune and in touch throughout the plan is critical to its long-term success. You can count on us to be there for you.

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Investment Management

Your goals and philosophy on investing are unique to you. Why would you want to be squeezed into a one-size-fits-all approach?

Smith & Howard Wealth Management customizes portfolios to reflect the goals of your family and your comfort level with various investments. We believe portfolios should be suited to your circumstances, not the other way around.

Broad diversification among multiple asset classes is the hallmark of our investment portfolios. We proactively allocate among those asset classes we believe have the best risk-adjusted return potential.

A key to future returns and risk control is recognizing undervalued asset classes, investing in them when they are out of favor, and trimming back when they are at high valuations. This philosophy is in direct contrast to the momentum approach followed by many investors of buying securities after they have already become popular and expensive.

In addition to diversification and our somewhat contrarian style, our investment approach emphasizes tax awareness and fee sensitivity. Addressing tax ramifications of investment decisions throughout the year provides a level of comfort and assurance for you that can be hard to find with large institutional investment firms.

Investment decisions are made by the owners of SHWM, not a “home office” on Wall Street, and are communicated with you in a timely, easy to understand way. What’s more, we do not sell products; therefore, portfolios are always managed with your best interests at heart.

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In a nutshell:  Higher prices in both stocks and bonds continue to challenge our future return expectations.  As value investors,
In a nutshell: Investors always have a laundry list of market related concerns, but there are typically a few dominant issues

Tax Planning

As your family’s CFO, we work hard to coordinate your income tax planning with your investment portfolio in order to minimize your tax bill.

Our leadership team includes a Certified Public Accountant with decades of tax experience in complex matters and Certified Financial Planners™ who walk you through the intricacies of tax-efficient ownership, taxable versus tax-exempt income, managing gains and losses as well as planning for and executing charitable giving plans.

A sensible, proactive approach to “April 15” is just one more aspect of your financial wellbeing that is a key part of serving as your family CFO.

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Banking Advice

Something seemingly as simple as your everyday banking could probably benefit from an expert opinion.

At your request, we work with you to ensure you are getting the most out of your banking relationships.

We can help you settle on a mortgage that works best for your situation and can offer advice on the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage.

All in all, we are here to give you objective, informed and personal advice on all of your financial needs, banking included, with that advice tailored to your personal financial situation.

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Administrative Services

At the end of the day, we work for and report to you.

While many of the financial decisions are ultimately yours, we will provide you with substantial information and recommendations to help you make decisions that are in your best interests.

Accessing information and advice in an immediate way is important to you. So we have made that process simple. Our secure client portal is available on-demand through our web site, accessible with your confidential log-in information. From this secure portal, you can look up annual capital gains and income, the status of investments and download and print documents you’ve provided us, such as wills and powers of attorney. If you need an updated financial overview, we are accessible and ready to provide it to you.

We work in a transparent fashion. All information we provide is net of fees, and accurate cost-basis accounting makes tax time easy. We can even research the unknown cost basis of prior purchases. And if anything isn’t completely clear or straightforward, call us. You will always speak with a team member who is familiar with your situation and can help immediately.

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