After a year like 2020, many were hoping for some normalcy in 2021. It didn’t last long. This first week of the new year saw a record number of Covid deaths, an armed insurrection of the U.S Capitol, a surprisingly weak jobs report, new calls for Presidential impeachment, Democrats gaining a Senate majority for the first time in a decade, and a jet liner disappearing shortly after takeoff with 62 passengers on board. Whew!
Sounded like a bad Hollywood movie script, but sadly it wasn’t.
Despite the market’s resilience (for now), it was enough to test the resolve of even the most optimistic among us. I’m sure you received calls from nervous clients asking if it was time to take a more defensive position. See what’s keeping your peers and their clients up at night.
In these extraordinarily volatile times, several advisors who participate in our PR Light program shared common sense wisdom about maintaining one’s financial cool during unsettling times. We hope you find their insights comforting and enlightening:
- GUY BAKER, PH.D. (Wealth Teams Alliance, Irvine, CA) told Forbes that not all assets are created equal, especially when calculating your net worth. He also counseled Yahoo Finance readers to prioritize their credit card debt during their post-Holiday hangover and told Moneywise readers to brace for “higher tax rates, higher interest rates and slower economic growth during the early years of the Biden administration as the Fed acts to offset rising inflation.”*** Contact us here if you’d like to learn more about our PR Light program. Give us one hour per week of your time, and you can 10X your profile.
Prepping for a new Administration
At a time when commercial real estate seems at the abyss, BLAKE CHRISTIAN, senior tax partner of HCVT, LLP (Long, Beach, CA) believes the Opportunity Zone (OZ) program may have a unique role in leading the comeback of businesses in disadvantaged communities. It may also reinvigorate commercial real estate overall. Christian told National Real Estate Investor that both President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have praised the Opportunity Zone program as an economic development tool and that they’ll give it even more support as greater transparency and accountability is being built into the program.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years and, and OZ is the most flexible and impactful economic development program that I’ve seen in my career,” observed Christian. “It works really well for real estate, it’s way more flexible than a 1031 exchange and it’s fantastic for operating businesses.”
Part of the power of Opportunity Zones is that they’re not restricted to real estate. “A third of my opportunity zone business is on operating businesses,” Christian told The New York Times recently. “They’re accelerating quicker than real estate projects at this point.” Practicing what he preaches, Christian is creating an OZ fund to finance the expansion of a manufacturing business, of which he is a co-owner, that converts shipping containers into housing for homeless and low-income earners.
In these uncertain economic times, KAREN KOCH, a partner of Bedford Cost Segregation, (Louisville, KY) told The Tax Adviser that research and development (R&D) tax credits can be highly effective way for all kinds of businesses to replenish valuable dollars spent on new and innovative products or processes. Koch said many companies leave thousands of potential R&D credits on the table because they think they must create breakthrough innovations from scratch. In reality, Koch said they can earn valuable R&D credits simply by properly documenting improvement they’ve made in their products or internal processes.
Speaking of processes, KYLE WALTERS (L&H CPAs, Dallas, TX) shared great tips for cutting through “analysis paralysis” and “expanding the power of your network” in separate recent columns for Accounting Today.
Finally, RANDY FOX, founder of the advanced planning firm, Two Hawks Consulting, (Skokie, IL) told WealthManagement.com why he was committed to raising $10 billion for charity. Hint: It’s about better educating advisors; not about finding big money donors.
My dad always told me things are never as bad as they seem when the chips are down, just as things are never as good as they seem when you’re on a roll. There are plenty of ways to prosper in good times and bad. As financier George Soros said: “Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux. Money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.”
There will be plenty of time for that in 2021. While you’re at it, give your folks a call. They’d love to hear from you and chances are they’re right.
What’s keeping your clients (and peers) up at night? See our 2021 CPA/Wealth Advisor Confidence Survey™.
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