At Wealthquest, we’re committed to being industry pioneers in service to our clients. That’s why the model in which we serve our clients is completely different from most other wealth management firms in the industry.
Most people hire a wealth management advisor because their financial lives have grown complex and they’d like support from industry professionals to remove that complexity, help them regain confidence and control, and make their financial lives more simple. But when you hire disconnected financial professionals, what you end up getting is more complexity.
When your financial life is handled by one team in accordance with a coordinated financial plan, you’re able to release yourself from the stress and fear that uncertainty creates and get back to playing the roles in life that only you can play – parent, spouse, and friend. That’s why our tagline at Wealthquest is simple: Invest In Your Life, We’ll Do The Rest.
The Challenge With The Traditional Wealth Management Model
Watch this video to hear David Kern, President at Wealthquest, share why the “All Under One Roof” model was created.
The traditional wealth management model is broken. That’s a fundamental belief we hold here at Wealthquest. In fact, it’s the reason we exist.
When our founders started their careers in the wealth management industry, they noticed that many of the clients they spoke to were facing growing complexity in their lives and were needing some help managing all the moving pieces.
Many of these clients had developed relationships with individual professionals to assist with these moving parts – for example, they had an accountant to do their taxes, an attorney may have done some estate planning, they acquired some insurance through a broker, and their money was being managed in a few different places.
Oftentimes, those individual professionals were doing a good job in their respective roles, but there was still a problem: the client was stuck sitting in the middle of it all. They found themselves not only having to manage all the managers, but also getting siloed, incongruent advice about their financial decisions and paying all of those professionals a fee for their individual services.
So that’s when our founders asked the age old entrepreneurial question:
What if there was a better way?
And Wealthquest was born.
The Wealthquest Model brings four disciplines together so that your financial life can be managed holistically. We put ourselves in the middle by bringing taxes, estate planning, investment management and financial planning all under one roof, managed by one team, for one simple fee.
By bringing those pieces together, we are able to accomplish a couple of things:
First, it creates efficiency in your financial life. It ensures that your tax planning is integrated with your retirement plan, your estate plan is coordinated with your investment strategy, and that all the little details and opportunities that ultimately impact the success of your financial plan are coordinated.
Second, it frees you up. It gives you back time and energy to invest in those things that you are passionate about and that you are uniquely suited to do – like investing in your family and friends, your work or your hobbies.
Financial Planning: Bringing All The Variables Together
Hear Megan Hammann, Director of Financial Planning, share why financial planning is at the center of the Wealthquest “All Under One Roof” model.
Our financial lives have gotten so complicated that sometimes it feels like making any decision could be the wrong decision. The solution to making confident decisions is financial planning.
There are four core disciplines that come to play in your financial life:
- Financial Planning
- Investment Management
- Tax Planning & Preparation
- Estate Planning
Picture these four disciplines like legs of a table. Each one is equally important in its own way. But what if you had four different woodworkers building one table, with no coordination between them? There’s no telling how each leg would turn out and how it would impact your table. One leg might be too short, another too long, one too thin, and ultimately, they might not actually accomplish the goal of working together to make the table stand.
So think of financial planning like the blueprint or template that ensures that those woodworkers know what we’re trying to accomplish and what shape, length, and type of wood they need to use in order to make a sturdy, balanced table that can stand the test of time.
Financial planning is the practice of beginning with the end in mind – we get clear on your goals, what we’re ultimately trying to accomplish in your financial life, and then we assess where you stand today and make a plan for how we’ll get there.
In effect, financial planning is the bridge between the numbers you see in your accounts and on your statements and the subjective aspects of your life. It allows us to bring those numbers to life and show you what’s possible.
When financial planning is done well, it creates efficiencies and ensures effectiveness. It creates efficiencies by looking for opportunities for the different disciplines in your financial life to work well together. It ensures effectiveness by understanding how all the different levers of your financial life work, and how pulling one lever impacts all the others. When financial planning is done well, it gives you the clarity you need to make decisions with confidence.
When you become a client of Wealthquest, you’ll work with your Financial Advisor, Wealth Coordinator, and the rest of our Wealthquest team to understand your financial goals, current financial situation, and what decisions lie ahead for you and your family to maximize your wealth.
Driving Efficiency Through In-House Tax Planning & Preparation
Watch the video above to hear Sam Martinez, Financial Advisor at Wealthquest, share why an in-house tax department adds tremendous value to our clients.
Having an in-house tax department at a wealth management firm is not a very common thing.
So, why does Wealthquest do it? What about having your taxes done in-house is so valuable?
It’s because there’s a big difference between coordination and collaboration. Both are important, but they’re different. There’s also a difference between tax preparation and tax planning. Again, both important, but different.
Let’s start with coordination and tax preparation.
A lot of financial advisors will offer to coordinate with your accountant or tax preparer. Usually this looks pretty straightforward: the advisor is going to make sure that any tax related paperwork will be sent directly to your tax preparer so they have most of what they need to do your taxes. That coordination is helpful when it comes to preparing your taxes.
Some advisors will even go above and beyond that and offer to meet with your accountant in an attempt to align on strategies that need to be implemented. This level of collaboration allows for tax planning to happen – to actually evaluate different decisions and options and create a gameplan for what you will proactively do.
This is where things can tend to break down:
- What if your advisor and your accountant don’t see eye-to-eye and they have competing advice rooted in their unique perspectives?
- What if they don’t have time to fully address the intricacies of an opportunity or approach?
- What if their tools don’t work well together and details are missed?
- Will you be billed for these ongoing conversations?
Not only that, but it’s common that financial advisors serve anywhere between 50 and 200 individual clients. It’s likely that most of those clients work with different accountants – that means a different process, different communication styles, different points of contact for each client, which becomes inefficient rather quickly.
At Wealthquest, our in-house coordination and collaboration removes many of those obstacles and provides our clients peace of mind, knowing that we’re all aligned around common goals, philosophies, and strategies.
Not only does our tax team have direct access to important financial statements for preparing a tax return, they have a unique awareness of the ongoing tax, investment, and financial planning conversations that have happened with our team throughout the course of the year.
This awareness is important because there are tax implications for almost every decision in your financial life: From selling or buying a home, saving for retirement, taking social security or medicare, rolling over an old 401(k), selling some of the securities in your investment account, evaluating company stock options, and so much more.
This team collaborating means we’re asking questions such as:
- How does this decision impact our client’s ability to reach their goals?
- What are the tax implications?
- What’s the most tax efficient way to achieve this result?
- How does this impact taxes now and into the future?
Then we can align on those answers, present the possible solutions and recommendations to you as the client, and execute the next steps without anything more from you.
Having your financial life managed by one team, all under one roof, for one simple fee means that coordination and collaboration runs deep and wide. And regardless of the amount of time and energy we put into tax preparation and planning, there’s never an additional cost to our clients – It’s all just part of the work we do.
Accurate & Up-To-Date Estate Planning
Hear from Michael Riney, Financial Advisor at Wealthquest, share why Estate Planning is an important and often overlooked aspect of your financial life.
When we think of estate planning, it’s easy to assume that we’re talking about simple documents like wills and trusts, and that once those documents are created, we can stamp our estate planning as “finished” and move on.
In reality, your estate plan is like a pie with many ingredients. Wills and trusts are like the crust of that pie – they’re visible, important and hold the pie together, but without the right combination of other ingredients, the pie won’t turn out the way you want it to.
We have so many other things to consider in estate planning, like age gates, beneficiary designations, power of attorney elections and healthcare directives. If you have been fortunate enough to accumulate significant wealth that will outlive you, you’re then presented with all kinds of options in how that wealth is transferred, spent, preserved, or gifted – while you’re living and once you’ve passed.
Many of those considerations have to be well coordinated with your investment advisor and your tax professional to ensure they’re set up and executed the right way. Details like the titles on accounts, who the legal owner of certain accounts is, and even correctly purchasing and owning life insurance are incredibly important. If any of these details are missed, it can have a dramatic impact on your plan.
Not only that, but these decisions can’t be made one-time and forgotten about. They need to be regularly reviewed to make sure that your wishes or circumstances haven’t changed, or that new regulation hasn’t impacted the intended effect in some way.
That’s why the Wealthquest model is so valuable to our clients. The interdisciplinary coordination and collaboration of our “All Under One Roof” model allows us to ensure that your estate plan is not only complete and up-to-date, but that it actually reflects your wishes and can be properly executed.
Invest In Your Life, We’ll Do The Rest
Watch the video to hear from Co-Founder James Lenhoff about how the Wealthquest model leads to living a truly rich life.
It goes without saying that when you bring all of these professionals under one roof working together as a team, you gain so much technical efficiency. Things like tax efficiencies, and planning certainties, and clarity around where you’re going, but it’s so important to recognize that what you really gain is fearlessness.
This is a world where we are surrounded by things that are bringing confusion and uncertainty and we’re constantly asking questions like:
“Am I okay? Can I do the things that matter?”
What happens when we bring this team together is that we bring clarity where there’s confusion and confidence where there would be fear.
You’ve never done these things before. You’ve never retired. You’ve never paid for a kid to go to college. You’ve never paid for a wedding. You’re doing all of these things for the first time – but our team has walked hundreds of clients through these big life moments. We can help you face these decisions with confidence and say “yes” to the things that matter, and say “no” to the things that are getting in the way.
When you have a clear plan and a coordinated team, you can stop carrying the burden of “personal CFO” for your family and instead focus on the roles that only you can play – spouse, parent, co-worker, and friend.
No two families are exactly alike; everyone has unique circumstances, wishes, and goals. Similarly, each family has a different relationship with money.
“We’re really conscientious, but we weren’t very smart. Wealthquest instantly made us smarter.”
Even if you think you have finances under control, there is strategy and coordination to be implemented with the All Under One Roof approach that Wealthquest works to provide. Gone are the days of wondering if you’re truly doing everything to build a secure future.
“What we were good at was saving; what we weren’t great at was making that saved money grow.”
It starts with you. Whatever you bring to the table, we can build a plan that works for your family.
Wealthquest works to take the stress and confusion out of financial planning. It’s common for families to feel like they’re signing up to be judged, but at Wealthquest, we’re here as a resource and a guide. We’re on your side.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.
Past performance is not indicative of future results. For informational purposes only. Not intended as legal or investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security or strategy. Information prepared from third-party sources is believed to be reliable though its accuracy is not guaranteed. Opinions expressed in this commentary reflect subjective judgments of the author based on conditions at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. For more information about Wealthquest, including our Form ADV Part 2A Brochure, please visit https://adviserinfo.sec.gov or contact us at 513-530-9700.
Disclosure: For informational purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Not intended as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security or strategy. Not legal or tax advice. Opinions expressed in this commentary reflect subjective judgments of the author based on conditions at the time of writing and are subject to change without notice. Wealthquest Corporation is an SEC registered investment adviser with its principal place of business in the State of Ohio. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. For more information about Wealthquest, including our Form ADV Part 2A Brochure, please visit https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/ or contact us at 513-530-9700.
Todd and Beth Guckenberger are the Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries (“B2B”). Wealthquest Corporation often supports B2B through financial donations and has previously been a corporate sponsor of B2B’s annual gala. Wealthquest Corporation also manages the endowment for B2B. At the time of this publication, an employee of Wealthquest Corporation serves as a board member of B2B. Multiple employees of Wealthquest Corporation also have family ties to Todd and Beth Guckenberger.