Investing & Economy

Tax Changes Worry Investors

Financial advisors and their clients are increasingly concerned about how proposed changes in federal tax policies could affect future portfolio growth and retirement planning.

Tax policy was the number one concern for 74 percent of financial professionals polled in the 2021 Advisor Authority Study from Nationwide, the diversified financial and insurance group. The study also found 88 percent of advisors reported their clients want to talk about how tax policy will impact their financial plans and their investments. Almost a third of financial professionals said they believe taxes are the most important issue that will affect portfolios over the next 12 months – even greater than inflation, the federal deficit, Washington gridlock, or lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A financial advisor with expertise in tax mitigation strategies can address those issues by identifying problems that would otherwise erode family wealth if not properly addressed according to David Schlossberg, EA®, RFC, AIF®, NSSA, the senior partner at Assured Concepts Group Ltd. in East Dundee, Illinois. Schlossberg is credentialled as an enrolled agent (EA), a federally licensed tax practitioner who can represent taxpayers before the IRS.

As both an EA and a financial advisor, Schlossberg offers tax mitigation advice at Assured Concepts Group as well as through their sister firm, Tax Plan For Wealth, Inc. Both businesses develop specific plans for tax mitigation strategies over a long-term planning period, typically twenty years – a specialty that many financial advisors do not provide.

schlossberg heada“We believe that tax mitigation should be considered using a minimum window of 20 years” Schlossberg said. “There are many things that early retirees might do during the early part of retirement that can cost them money. Taking a closer look at that first decade and making changes will pay dividends over and over again.”

The best strategic recommendations come from advisors with experience and credentials in tax mitigation, he explained. Many people in the financial service industry have learned how to talk about Roth conversions, for example, because that is a popular subject today. However, those who lack deep expertise in tax mitigation are probably unable to make truly sound recommendations about Roth conversions, IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement savings strategies.

“There are some software packages that can handle Roth conversions,” Schlossberg added, “but we found most of those to be inadequate. So, we built our own financial planning model to simulate tax mitigation approaches over periods ranging from two to 20 years. If we can help reduce our clients’ taxes over two decades of retirement, then we're going to help them create more wealth for themselves and their heirs.”

While tax mitigation is a specific strength at Assured Concepts Group, it is also part of a comprehensive process that takes a holistic approach to financial planning.

“We steer away from the labels suggesting we are merely ‘investment advisors,” Schlossberg said. “For us it's not about rate of return; it's about wealth management. What matters is what our clients have at the end of the day, which is not always generated by returns. Too much of the industry dialogue today focuses on rate of return; not enough deals with the entire picture of your wealth.”

He said the firm follows a four-step approach to wealth management: planning, growing, keeping, and leaving. Each segment of this methodology is discussed with every client or group of clients.

“Planning means having a blueprint for tomorrow,” Schlossberg explained. “Growing is making sure that investment management is done in a way that is risk-tolerant to the client. Keeping means making sure clients are not eroding too much wealth to unnecessary items – such as by not having adequate insurance protection or a sound plan for taxation. Finally, leaving means helping them find the best way to pass on their wealth to the next generation – especially considering how the SECURE Act of 2019 has modified the approach to wealth transfer on a multi-generational basis.”

He continued, “I would never take a client’s money without doing a financial plan within the first three months. I need to know where they are going and what they are doing. Financial planning should naturally be the primary consideration in all the decisions and recommendations that will be made.”

Schlossberg said a good fit for his practice is the client who is genuinely seeking holistic financial advice – not someone who only wants a person to manage their investments. He finds many of his clients through conducting financial educational events for the general public.

“It's easier to find those ideal clients when you meet them in an educational setting,” he said. “Their attendance indicates they are open to somebody else's opinion about financial matters and are more likely to listen to what you have to say. After the educational presentation, we offer them an initial free consultation. They are usually pretty open to what we have to offer. If they are a good fit for our firm, we spend a few minutes talking about how our services may help them on an ongoing basis. But regardless, we are spending 95 percent of that time giving pro bono advice that can benefit them and providing sound guidance to the community.”

Schlossberg said financial education is an important part of the initial process for new clients and continues during ongoing engagement with existing clients. The goal is to put people at ease throughout the process. He noted everything is designed to make complex topics as simple as possible for prospects and clients.

“We consider ourselves more than just financial advisors,” Schlossberg added. “We consider ourselves financial therapists. Our goal is to help people sleep better at night by understanding what's going on, where they stand now, and where they're trying to go financially.”

For more information on at Assured Concepts Group, visit

David Schlossberg is a Registered Rep with National Securities Corp., Member FINRA/SIPC. Investments involve risk and may lose value


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