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.

Related Resources

On the Horizon: 7 Focus Areas | Second Quarter 2018
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Umbrella Insurance: Coverage for a Rainy Day
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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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How to Maximize Charitable Giving Under the Tax Cut & Jobs Act
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Client Story: A Special Needs Trust Empowers the Caregiver and the Disabled Spouse
In this story, a special needs trust provided financial and personal peace of mind - and freedom - for a
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How Does Real Estate Fit into Your Financial Plan?
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Estate Planning: Choosing the Right Executor
Jane* was a strong woman who lived a simple and honest life. She grew up in the depression, married young
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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.

Related Resources

Market Outlook: Long Term Returns are Driven by Valuations | Second Quarter 2018
The big picture for Smith & Howard Wealth Management is always going to be framed by valuations.
Read more.
On the Horizon: 7 Focus Areas | Second Quarter 2018
While unanticipated events always occur, there are typically some themes, data points and awaited events that can impact markets.
Read more.
Summary: Second Quarter 2018
Strong global growth, tax reforms & low interest rates provide a solid backdrop for earnings growth, but valuations remain stretched.
Read more.
Market Recap – Volatility Settles Down | Second Quarter 2018
Market volatility leveled off during the 2nd quarter, but that was more reflective of just how extreme 1st quarter volatility
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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.

Related Resources

How to Maximize Charitable Giving Under the Tax Cut & Jobs Act
A retired couple is looking for tax-efficient options to meet their charitable goals following the passing of the Tax Act.
Read more.
On the Horizon: 7 Focus Areas | Second Quarter 2018
While unanticipated events always occur, there are typically some themes, data points and awaited events that can impact markets.
Read more.
Market Recap – Volatility Settles Down | Second Quarter 2018
Market volatility leveled off during the 2nd quarter, but that was more reflective of just how extreme 1st quarter volatility
Read more.
Client Story: A Special Needs Trust Empowers the Caregiver and the Disabled Spouse
In this story, a special needs trust provided financial and personal peace of mind - and freedom - for a
Read more.
Tax-Loss Harvesting: Using Losses to Reap Benefits
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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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Client Experiences

SHWM believes strongly that affluent individuals, families and institutions deserve objective advice. We partner with you to tackle all your financial challenges and goals – serving as a trusted advisor you can depend on for timely, objective advice that always has your best interests at heart. Because we do not sell products, we are able to provide unbiased options and recommendations. Following are some stories of ways we have worked with our clients to help them solve problems or achieve their goals.