Our Clients

Our clients range from young families who require financial planning to finance their retirement and children's educational goals to established executives, entrepreneurs, and retirees. Click on any of the headings below to read a case study of how we have been able to help selected individuals and families:
The Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur engaged us to help him significantly reduce taxes on his mid-six figure annual income, invest for early retirement, and determine when and for how much to sell his business.

During the course of our relationship, we helped him structure his pre-tax retirement plan and assisted him later when he was presented with an opportunity to sell his company to a competitor. We brought in a tax attorney to help structure the sale with an eye toward enabling our client to exit his holdings in a tax efficient manner. Due to our client's philanthropic goals, we had also created a donor-advised fund to which he had donated his company stock prior to the sale contract being executed.

As a result of the publicly traded stock he received in the acquisition, he found himself with potentially excessive exposure to a non-diversified asset that he had no control over. Working with his acquirer's general counsel, we helped to negotiate the ability to hedge this concentrated stock position with the goal of protecting a sizable portion of his net worth from a possible decline in the stock's price.

After the sale was complete, our client’s children were entering early adulthood. He asked that we meet with the children to educate them about the challenges and opportunities of their forthcoming financial situation. We began by including them in the family’s charitable activities, and then slowly allowed them to learn investing with small amounts of capital before they were aware of the magnitude of their wealth.

The Retiree

Our client was nervous about her impending retirement in two years, given a recent market decline. Her assets had fallen significantly and to a point where she did not think it was enough to fund her desired lifestyle.

We began by doing a detailed computation on when the optimal time to begin her Social Security would be. We then looked closely at her pension income and real estate investments and found that, based on our projections, she could reasonably expect to fund her desired living expenses even if she had longer-than-average life expectancy, as long as she continued to hold at least half of her investment portfolio in growth assets like stocks and real estate.

The Young Couple

A young couple who were pregnant with their first child engaged us for our Essential Planning services. We began by conducting our Red Flag Checklist and found that they had no life or disability insurance, and had never created a will after getting married.

We helped them refinance their mortgage, set up an automatic savings plan to fund Roth IRA’s, and obtain insurance coverage from a reputable low-load insurance company (Abacus doesn’t sell insurance or any other product).

Our proprietary tools for establishing goals for every chapter of life helped them establish a financial roadmap for their future. As their incomes grew, we were able to guide them on where to channel their excess funds between debt reduction, emergency reserves, college, retirement and non-retirement accounts. Our quarterly check-in calls helped them stay focused on their goals for a growing family.

The Executive

A senior executive with a major Hollywood studio engaged us to help her and her husband decide when her optimal retirement date should be, and how to maximize the various assets they owned. These included a 401k, stock options, a deferred compensation plan, life insurance, a stock and bond portfolio, and several real estate investments.

After creating a comprehensive financial plan, we found that there were two major issues:
  • 1) there was too much exposure to the company's stock, and
  • 2) their real estate (including a former residence that was now rented out) was not performing as well as it could be.

We worked with the clients, their CPA, and a company benefits professional to reduce her exposure to the company's stock. Our strategies included exercising and selling stock options in a tax-intelligent manner, changing asset allocations within her 401k and deferred compensation plan, and hedging company stock that she had acquired in her own portfolio.

After analyzing the real estate operating statements, rent rolls, and similar properties, we assisted the clients in refinancing two of their buildings and selling another in a potentially tax efficient manner (through a 1031 tax deferred exchange).

The Domestic Partners

Two registered domestic partners with disparate incomes were unaware that a new law had taken effect that would require them to file their individual federal returns in a way that recognized their community property income in CA. The new law also permitted registered domestic partners in CA the option of filing amended returns for the previous three years, if that would produce a tax refund.

After learning they had been registered for several years, and knowing they had a large disparity in incomes, we encouraged them to have their CPA run the numbers. The partners each filed amended returns for the past three years in order to take advantage of a potentially significant tax refund..

The Inheritor

After inheriting a life-changing amount from her late mother's trust, a middle-aged woman and her husband initially tried to make investment decisions for themselves. They worked with the attorneys to finalize the estate, and then placed the money with a well-known national brokerage firm. Their broker would call with suggested investments, and they would generally go along with the suggestions, not knowing how to evaluate them. At first, the investment markets were rising, so they felt good about the relationship. But then the stock market began a prolonged correction.

After 18 months, they had been hearing so many bad things about stocks that they got out of the market and put the entire trust in local bank Certificates of Deposit.

After about six more months of lackluster stock market performance, the major indices began to rise, earning over 20% in the following nine months. It was at this time that their estate planning attorney referred the inheritors to Abacus, and they called us to develop a cohesive investment and financial plan.

After learning more about their goals, which included educating their three young children and taking care of an ailing parent, we helped them create an investment strategy that they would stick to through good and bad markets. One of the first recommended steps was to diversify out of most of the individual stocks that had been held by their parents for decades. We provided a detailed cash flow projection to help them understand how much they could possibly afford to spend each year without risking running out of money prematurely, and then managed their assets in accordance with the agreed upon policy. Each month, we wired a pre-agreed amount to their local bank which they used to cover their living expenses.

Disclosure:
The scenarios presented above are specific to the clients and circumstances described. Each client is completely different with respect to goals, resources, and the tax, legal, and economic environment in which our services are being rendered. Therefore, the advice given and results obtained could be very different than what is portrayed in these scenarios.
Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Different types of investments and financial planning strategies involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment or financial planning strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly here, will be profitable, or equal to any corresponding scenario discussed here.
Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, this content may no longer be reflective of current market conditions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this correspondence serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, individualized investment or financial planning advice from Abacus Wealth Partners, LLC
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