Every Dollar Counts

Don’t leave any possible monetary gains on the table. This is the goal behind active tax loss harvesting, a technical financial maneuver allowing an investor to sell a losing investment, and then collect – or harvest – a capital loss which can be used to offset capital gain for tax savings.

It sounds complicated, but for those who know how to use the formula, it is viewed as “just math” that needs to be completed in order to bring a more productive return to clients.

Active tax loss harvesting could also be considered the financial version of the practice of gleaning, in which people go back through the fields to pick up any fruit and vegetables left behind after the main harvest is completed.

The bulk of those fruits and vegetables have nothing wrong with them from a nutritional standpoint: It just takes some extra effort to gather them up.

“I am just amazed at the number of advisors managing taxable funds, who just leave that money on the table,” Marc Agel, a partner in the Albany Advisor Group based in Albany, New York noted. As part of upstate New York, agricultural ideals like gleaning in the fields are not only understood, but are also part of the culture. In the past year, Agel and his team have saved the firm’s clients more than $95,000 by using the active tax loss harvest method. He says, somewhat jokingly, that perhaps it is better to be “lucky than good,” in terms of timing the buyback into the market after selling a loser. Either way, for Agel, “it just doesn’t make sense to leave those dollars laying there. ”This is one aspect of the financial literacy of clients that he strives to improve. Agel sees it as part of his job as a financial advisor to not just help clients avoid mistakes, but also to teach them why certain choices aren’t good ones to make.

It includes the amount of risk to take in a portfolio in order to achieve set goals. It also includes learning how to avoid debt – a step his Millennial and Generation X clients often mention to him.
The advice he gives is best summarized by his firm belief in being a fiduciary for his clients first, before having any other interaction with them. Agel says it is easy for him to preach the fiduciary model because it is the only model he’s ever used.

“I feel it has the highest propensity to alleviate conflict of interest on the client’s behalf,” Agel said. “Nothing is perfect as long as human are involved, but as long as money is changing hands, the fiduciary model offers the greatest amount of potential for eliminating any conflict of interest that can damage the client.”

Learn more about Marc Agel and Albany Advisor Group online at

AlbanyAdvisor Group is a division of PKS Advisory Services LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm.
Investments and insurance products are made available through Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments and are: NOT FDIC INSURED·NOT BANK GUARANTEED·MAY LOSE VALUE·NOT A DEPOSIT·NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL OR STATE GOVERNMENT AGENCY.  Securities offered through Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, Member FINRA/SIPC, Headquartered at 18 Corporate Woods Blvd., Albany, NY 12211

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