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 […]
This paper highlights the importance of active tax management of investment portfolios, using the results of an actual Ballentine Partners’ client as a case study. While the strategies and results described are real and verifiable, other details regarding the client have been altered to protect confidentiality. During the period covered by this study, we were able to add approximately $18.8 million of value for a $300 million portfolio (inclusive of a concentrated stock holding) through the combined impact of (1) strategically locating assets to save gift tax, estate tax, and generation skipping tax and (2) active tax management of the portfolio.
Individual investors tend to equate “risk” with loss of capital. That definition of risk may lead an investor astray and prevent the investor from reaching his or her goals. This article proposes a different definition of risk and explains how prudent management of risk is essential for meeting the investor’s goals. Investors cannot avoid risk, and there is no such thing as a “risk-free” investment.
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.
Master limited partnerships have had a tough year. A precipitous drop in energy prices, weak investor sentiment, adverse technical selling factors (closed-end fund deleveraging, short-selling by hedge funds, tax-loss harvesting), and recent issues surrounding one of the bellwethers of the industry, Kinder Morgan, have all contributed to the worst performance the sector has ever experienced.
This case study is based on an actual Ballentine Partners client family and outlines best practices for maximizing client after-tax returns using a number of techniques including asset allocation planning, asset location planning, and active tax management of portfolios. While the strategies and results described are real and verifiable, the details of the client’s background […]
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 […]
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 […]
Are we on the verge of a repeat of 1997 and 1998 when we saw a surge of defaults by the countries collectively called the “Emerging Markets?” Why does this matter? How does this affect emerging market stock indices and your portfolio? Given the risks, does it make sense to maintain your portfolio’s exposure to […]
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 […]
The US energy renaissance may be taking a breather, exasperated from ten years of mind boggling growth, but unquestionably it is not over. Global energy demand is expected to grow well into the future and the US is poised to take advantage of the trend to become the world’s marginal producer. At current oil prices, […]
While everyone is at risk when it comes to hackers and online thieves, the wealthy are specifically targeted, and increasingly by aggressive and well-organized individuals. The good news is there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and your family. It won’t take much time – most of the effort involves simple, common-sense […]
Greg Peterson, Ballentine Partners’ Director of Investment Research, and William Tickle, Director of Impact Investing, were featured in FundFire’s Opinion column on how “Advisors Can Soar or Sink with Mission-Based Investing”.
by Roy C. Ballentine, CLU, ChFC, CFP® Important decisions we made, why we made them, and what it means to you 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 […]
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 a public company, a principal in a private equity, hedge fund or real estate investment firm, you […]
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 […]
This paper discusses the re-emergence of domestic energy production, illustrates the evolving opportunities and risks brought about by this re-emergence for the United States and briefly touches on the potential investment opportunities for our clients. This paper will have a particular focus on natural gas, the most significant source of domestic energy.
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 […]
Despite the negative drumbeat of negative press about the state of municipal finance in the United States, we believe the risk to our clients’ municipal bond portfolios is extremely low. State and local governments, feeling the impact of the economic turmoil of the past few years, are currently struggling with significant budget deficits. This has […]
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 […]
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 […]