As you can tell by my smiling face above, we had a terrific time at this year’s NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) Fall conference.
AssetBook’s COO, Neel Dattani and I convened with about 300 fee-only financial planners at the Omni Resort in Orlando for one of our most successful conferences to date.
Thanks to Ric Haines, the conference coordinator, we had a prime location in the exhibit hall. We were amazed by the number of clients (at least a dozen) that came by to say hello. We also had a large number of prospective clients stop to see and learn about AssetBook.
It was really great when we had a mix of both current and prospective clients at the booth because our current clients were the ones selling AssetBook to the prospective clients. It’s hard to beat these strong referrals, especially with this tight-knit group of advisors.
In light of the recent Equifax and other data breached, the topic that was trending the most was cybersecurity. Identity theft expert John Sileo did a keynote presentation on “The Hacker’s Blacklist – Top Threats and Countermeasures for Data Security.”
John’s discussion helped advisors to:
- Answer the critically important “WHY” of security training before explaining the “HOW TO”
- Clarify answers to questions like “What is cyber security?” and “How does cybersecurity work?”
- Convert “humans as your weakest link” into your greatest competitive advantage
- Prioritize threat trends, such as ransomware, cyber blackmail, Internet of Things, and Denial of Service (DDoS)
- Detect, reflect and react to social engineering & fraud tools from phishing to pre-texting
- Build a tactical white-list of critical data, necessary computer security conversations, and next steps
One thing that I found fascinating was when he talked about setting up a network on his laptop while sitting in the lobby of the Omni resort the day prior to his presentation. He named the network “Omni Free”, and in less than an hour dozens of users logged on to his phony network. Once they logged in, he could read files, emails, etc. It was a real eye-opener for everyone in the room.
For more information about expert speaker John Sileo, check out Sileo.com.
The conference was everything that we could have hoped for, from the content to the location and venue. Most importantly, the quality of advisors attending the conference was as good as it gets. Thanks to all NAPFA organizers for putting on a terrific conference.
Good morning from Deep Creek Lake on a beautiful late Summer morning.
Bob Veres Insiders Forum, September 6 -8, Nashville, TN
AssetBook PowerUp User Training & Seminar, September 27-29, Cumberland, MD
NAPFA 2017 Fall Conference, October 18-21, Orlando FL
We hope to see you at one of these conference this Fall!
Be A Radar Power User!
We want to cordially invite you to attend this year’s Power Up User’s and Training conference. The event will again be held on September 27-29 at Rocky Gap Resort and Casino which is nestled in the mystic mountains of Western Maryland.
Our expert trainers will teach you everything you need to know to become a Radar Power User! We will offer both basic training and advance breakout sessions.
Past attendees of our user’s conference have raved about the content of the our training sessions as well as the venue. Check out the video below to hear what AssetBook users who attended our Power Up conference last year had to say…
Call us today to reserve your spot. See you in September!
AssetBook is proud to formally introduce its newest integration partner, Utah Educational Savings Plans (USEP). Many of our advisors have given high praise to USEP, so we wanted to share some information about their 529 platform.
- As of 2011, assets in direct-sold vs advisor-sold 529 plans were even—50 percent of the industry was with direct-sold plans, where the other 50 percent was with advisor-sold plans.
- Since then, direct-sold plans have continued to see the largest growth in the industry.
- As of the second quarter in 2016, direct-sold plans have $127 billion in assets versus $108 billion for advisor-sold plans.
- More advisors are going toward direct-sold plans due to lower costs, simplicity, and age-based options.
Federal Tax Benefits
- Earnings exempt from federal income tax if used
- for qualified higher education expenses
- Accounts held outside taxable estate
- Treated as completed gift to the beneficiary
- Five-year election (IRS Form 709)
State Tax Benefits
- The rule of thumb regarding tax benefits and 529s is to tell people to look at their state’s plan first. If they have a state plan that offers tax benefits, they may want to invest in their state’s plan. It depends on their individual tax situation.
- Looking at the graphic, the 16 states in blue either have no state income tax or no state tax incentives for residents. Residents of these states don’t have any enticement to stay within their state’s plan, so it affords them the opportunity to shop around and consider other states’ 529 plans.
- The six states in green are tax parity states: Arizona, Montana, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Maine. Think about tax parity like the anti-home-court advantage—there’s a tax incentive for investing in that state’s 529 plan, but the state will offer the same incentive for any plan they choose, whether it’s the home plan or not.
- The states in grey offer tax benefits. Some states might not have tax benefits that outweigh the fees or the tax benefit might not be an incentive. The account owner might also want to invest up to the maximum benefit for their state, and then invest anything beyond that amount in another state’s plan.
- Each account owner must consider his or her individual tax situation.
- The “all-in” asset-weighted fee includes the underlying expense ratio of the funds plus the UESP Administrative Asset Fee.
- Highly ranked by Morningstar, Kiplinger’s, Money magazine, and consumer advocate Clark Howard. UESP is one of three gold-rated Morningstar plans, and UESP has received Morningstar’s top rating 11 of 13 years.
- UESP offers both Vanguard and Dimensional funds.
For more information, contact UESP directly.
Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP)
Direct: 801.869.8926 | uesp.org
Toll Free: 800.418.2551 | Fax: 801.321.7299
When the regulators come knocking, will you have the tools necessary to efficiently meet the specific requests that they require?
When you experience the pressure associated with a regulatory audit, you’ll quickly understand the value in having a partner like AssetBook. We help you produce the incredibly specific reports and lists they require, with minimal interruption to your business. Partnering with AssetBook will give you peace of mind because you’ll be ready when they come knocking.
Our custom approach to audit support streamlines the process because we’re able to produce these custom requests timely and efficiently, such as:
- Trade Blotters for all investment types for any date range
- AUM reports by household, account, or portfolio for any date range
- Global performance reporting by household, account, portfolio or class for any date range including quarterly, monthly or daily intervals
- Global management fee billing support including detailed breakdown of fee calculation for your entire client base
- Security and trading analysis reports including 13F reporting requirements
AssetBook has more than 15 years experience in supporting advisors when the auditors call.
We’ve learned that providing auditors with the exact reports they ask for, no more, no less, drastically speeds up the examination process. Send them happily on their way, satisfied with their findings.
As we approach the end of the year, many advisors are taking the time to analyze their client’s accounts, searching for opportunities to save them money on this year’s income taxes. Since each client’s taxable situation is unique, it is important to understand how cost basis is handled in AssetBook and what useful tools are available to help you with this effort.
We also thought it would be useful to explain in detail the tax lot information being imported into AssetBook from your custodian that could be extremely useful when considering tax harvesting opportunities.
Tracking Cost Basis in AssetBook
There are two ways in which we track cost basis in both AssetBook systems:
- Internal cost accounting system
- Importing tax lots from the big 4 custodians
Using AssetBook internal cost accounting feature
Our internal cost accounting system can track cost basis using the following standard methods:
- High Cost
- Low Cost
Using the imported custodian tax lots feature
This is the preferred method, since by using your custodian’s tax lots mitigates the chance for discrepancies between your custodian’s tax reporting and your own tax reporting. To use your custodian’s tax lots, notify your custodians that you wish to receive the files. In AssetBook, enable custodian tax lots by clicking the “Use Custodian Cost” box on each account record.
Tools to identify tax saving opportunities
We thought it would be useful to explain in a couple of tools available that could be extremely useful when considering tax harvesting opportunities.
Tax Considerations tile in the Household Dashboard
The Tax Considerations tile is a very good way to see your client’s tax picture at a glance. The tile shows you all taxable income, short and long term realized gain/loss. It also displays the client’s top 3 unrealized losses for positions in taxable accounts.
Account Unrealized Gains/losses Report
Once to get a look at your client’s tax picture, run the unrealized gain report. This report can be run at either the Household or Accounts levels.
Other useful reports
- Household Rebalancing by Class with Last Buy Date (rebalancing report that shows cost basis and gain/loss for each position).
- Advisor Positions Unrealized Gain/Loss (Global report across clients)
- Advisor Positions Unrealized Gain/Loss Sums (Global report across clients)
For more detail on using AssetBook for tax management and planning, click here do download the complete white paper.
Our client portal partners, ModestSpark, will be holding several webinars this month. These webinars focus on key features, best practices, and deep-dives on specific topics.
Here’s what is coming in November:
2-Factor Authentication (2FA) – Sneak Peek
Audience: Administrators and Advisors
Description: 2-factor auth is coming to Modestspark! With security for you and clients always a top priority, 2FA is a great feature you should know about. Learn more about the upcoming release containing 2FA and how to use these new capabilities.
Wednesday, November 30 @ 10:00am PST
Document Center – Deep Dive & Best Practices
Audience: Administrators and Advisors
Description: The Document Center is a key feature within Modestpark. With unlimited storage and easy access for you and clients, the Document Center is a vital place to securely store quarterly reports, invoices, and other important documents. Learn more about the use of Document Center, tips/tricks to increase adoption and migration of documents into Document Center.
Tuesday, November 22 @ 8:00am PST
Audience: New Customers (Administrators)
Description: This session walks new customers through the onboarding process. From data imports to configuration and rollout activities, we’ll cover the basics to get you started!
Tuesday, November 29 @ 10:00am PST
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