Wealth Insights

Boston skyline with sailboats in the foreground

Taxachusetts No More: “Millionaire’s Tax” denied

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday that a ballot initiative that would have had Bay Staters vote this fall to raise the state income on its wealthiest residents is unconstitutional. The Fair Share Amendment, dubbed by some the “Millionaires Tax,” would have had voters decide whether to increase the income tax rate from 5.1% to 9.1% on incomes exceeding $1 million. The proposal will no longer appear on the November ballot. […]

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Robot playing piano

I Married a Robot: How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Our Lives

Without our really noticing it, artificial intelligence (AI) is creeping ever more closely into our daily lives. From the Amazon Echo to self-driving vehicles to currencies that you can’t touch, AI is gradually transforming developed societies in ways we have yet to fully grasp. As artificial intelligence gets more sophisticated and weaves further into the fabric of human existence, what are the implications for work and society as we know it? […]

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Close up of tax forms with pencil and calculator

What Tax Reform Means for Investors

At more than one thousand pages, the new tax reform package has plenty of both carrots and sticks for US taxpayers. Both the short- and long-term effects of the new legislation on economic growth in the US are uncertain at this point, but changes in the tax code will undoubtedly confer both benefits and penalties on certain segments of the US economy. Until the tax accountants ferret out every new wrinkle, let’s examine the most likely impacts that the new law will have on the investment landscape in the coming years. […]

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Image of a person signing a document at a table.

The Tax Proposal & You

On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Chairman, Kevin Brady, ended months of speculation by releasing H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” detailed tax legislation that is the first step in possibly reshaping the country’s tax code. The bill is all-inclusive, including changes to everything from individual and business tax rates to the tax benefits of home ownership to 529 plans to the future of the estate tax […]

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The White House and the South Lawn

Much Ado About Taxes

The Trump Administration today released its “Unified Framework for Fixing our Broken Tax Code” to flush out its tax reform priorities for individuals and businesses. The nine-page document is similar to the single-page bulleted outline the Administration rolled out in April and which we commented on then. Frankly, not much has changed in five months as the details of what will ultimately be a bill debated and voted on by Congress remain elusive.

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People waiting in a line on a city street

Hurry Up…and Wait

A much anticipated and, perhaps, over-hyped news conference rolling out the Trump Administration’s tax reform plan generated very little “new news” yesterday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn presented an outline of a plan that is very similar to the talking points the President promoted on the campaign trail. […]

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The Brexit Vote – What It Means For Investors

This morning’s stunning news that UK citizens have voted to leave the European Union is sending shock waves through global financial markets. Equities around the world are cratering today, having anticipated a more benign outcome to the vote earlier in the week.  Investors are fleeing from the British pound, the euro, and global equities in […]

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The Right Way To Manage Wealth

This article addresses important questions for the owners of substantial private wealth:   What is the right way to manage wealth?   What mistakes do most families make?   How can families avoid those mistakes? The management of private wealth should be based on a process that: Begins with a strategic plan from which long-term […]

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Wealthy But Illiquid

Wealthy But Illiquid

The combination of risk concentration and lack of liquidity poses significant challenges for wealth management, and for the preservation of wealth. If you are the owner of a private company, a top officer, director or major shareholder in public company, a principal in a private equity, hedge fund or real estate investment firm, you could […]

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Estate Planning Questions and Issues to Ponder

Estate Planning Questions and Issues to Ponder

This article explores some key estate planning issues that arise in nearly every discussion about estate planning. If couples arrive in their attorney’s office having already thought about these issues, estate planning discussions will go more smoothly and couples will feel more confident in their decisions.

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A Breach Has Occurred...Now What?

A Breach Has Occurred… Now What?

With cyber theft often in the headlines, it might seem as though it’s not a question of whether your personal information will be compromised, but when. For example, you have likely seen CNN’s estimates that over 100 million Americans have had their personal information stolen and exposed over a one year period. This may leave […]

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Investors Profit from a Shrinking Banking System

The 2008 US Credit Crisis and resulting European Banking and Sovereign Crisis exposed major weaknesses in banking regulations and oversight. The reaction from policymakers and market participants set about sweeping reforms that will permanently alter the system as we know it. Ballentine Partners has followed these events closely, recognizing that massive regulatory change will create […]

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Setting Your Investment Goals: It’s Harder Than You Think

The right way to define your investment goals requires you to answer many important questions about your financial situation now, and your expectations for the future.  You must address the types and amounts of investment risks you are willing to tolerate.  You must also consider taxes on your investment income, inflation, investment fees, regulatory constraints […]

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Portfolio Optimization Theory vs. Practice

This paper examines the gap between the theory of portfolio construction and its practice. In particular, it analyzes some of the problems in the application of portfolio optimization techniques to individual investors. We then discuss what can be done today to compensate for the problems with the theory, and what additional work needs to be […]

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Decision Model for Non-Qualified Stock Options

This paper analyzes various strategies for an individual who holds a non-qualified stock option and who desires to maximize the amount of after-tax wealth generated by the option. In all cases, we assume the executive will do a “cashless” exercise. That is, the executive will pay the option strike price by exercising additional options and […]

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The Future of Impact Investing

Social investing has evolved from “responsible” to “impactful.” Learn which investors and asset managers are driving the change and how this relatively new opportunity set enriches a broader investment strategy.

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Debunking the Myths of Impact Investing

This paper outlines the challenges and opportunities in a rapidly growing field and proves that sometimes when “creativity” and “finance” come together, it can actually be a good thing!

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The Business of Wealth Management

The Business of Wealth Management

This article describes important decisions we made in structuring our wealth management practice. Our purpose is to explain the decisions we made in our business and how they affect our clients. Much of what is covered here relates to the many conflicts of interest in the wealth management business and how we decided to address […]

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prevent beign stolen

How to Prevent Being Stolen From

They are often very competent, clever, and persistent. Judging by the 70 million-plus credit card numbers they recently stole from Target, they can be quite ambitious, too. They are the crooks and hackers who lift identities, clean out bank accounts, or simply empty wallets. And while everyone is on their radar screen, those with wealth […]

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Decision Model for Non-Qualified Stock Options

Decision Model for Non-Qualified Stock Options

This paper analyzes various strategies for an individual who holds a non-qualified stock option and who desires to maximize the amount of after-tax wealth generated by the option. Contrary to most people’s expectations, assuming that the expected pre-tax return on the option is greater than zero, the optimal strategy for maximizing after-tax wealth is almost […]

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family-foundation

Best Practices for Protecting the Privacy of Your Family Foundation

Family foundations are required to publicly disclose sensitive information – but you can take steps to protect your privacy. Family foundations comprise nearly half of the 76,000 private foundations in the US. Every year, these family foundations are required to disclose information in mandatory filings that become public. Unfortunately, the information contained in these filings […]

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Your-Spouse-Family-CEO-in-waiting

Your Spouse: Family CEO-In-Waiting

Do you have a sound plan for managing your family’s financial situation if the spouse who is in charge of those issues must suddenly assume that role? If you are like most couples, one spouse tends to take the lead in managing the family’s financial life. That spouse handles most of the discussions with financial […]

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Deep Values

Wealth Manager Magazine: “Deep Values”

Incorporating a family’s values into legacy plans requires advisors – and clients – to think about the real effects their strategies have on heirs. As advisors in multi-family office practices of family-focused wealth management firms, we have a unique opportunity to play a critical role in our clients’ lives. Our work allows us to both […]

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