A rigorous periodic review of your finances and tax obligations is standard practice. But this fall, we recommend that you start your exam a little earlier. There is so much uncharted territory to cover: the evolution of the global pandemic, possible changes in US tax laws, and historic highs in US stock markets.

Give yourself more time to communicate with advisors, make informed decisions and take action. Consider the following themes as a way to make these discussions as effective and efficient as possible.

1. Review your portfolio: Stocks have continued to soar in 2021 and our market outlook remains positive. Even so, make sure you understand your current position and check that your overall strategy is still aligned with your goals. Pay close attention to any holdings that have become a “concentrated position” which could disrupt your financial future if the markets were to turn around. We are now focusing on three pillars that contribute to the diversification of the portfolio:

• Traditional sources: Traditional diversifiers, such as core fixed income and aggressive asset managers that target a low correlation with risky assets, can help mitigate volatility.

• Alternative sources: Hedge funds with less correlated return streams can be a valuable addition to traditional portfolio cushions.

• Exposure to high quality growth: Companies with strong balance sheets and participating in low beta strategies can help protect downside capital while allowing upside participation.

2. Remember the importance of protection against cybercrime and fraud: Fraud losses reported in 2020 totaled more than $ 1.5 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as fraudsters became more sophisticated and their goals failed to keep pace.

Take a tiered approach to preventing cybercrime and fraud by creating a fraud prevention plan and find a financial partner who can provide ever-changing defenses that detect and prevent potential threats. In addition to finding a financial partner to help you protect your wealth, think about a few key questions; For example: Has your company engaged partners to review your current threat detection? Are you receiving timely cybersecurity advice, education and content?

3. Review your tax and estate plan: In a low interest rate environment, US investors can take advantage of certain lending techniques and trusts that exploit these rates to transfer wealth with little or no tax consequences on donations. However, the recently proposed policy changes could mean that the environment will change, and soon.

For business owners, this can be especially important to consider in terms of succession planning. The new economic dynamics of a post-pandemic world have stimulated business mergers and acquisitions activity, and we see that this demand will persist until 2022. Beyond the tax implications of selling a business , consider factors such as executive compensation for your wealth goals or earnings analysis as you prepare your business for a sale.

4. Consider the impact and purpose of your wealth: Today, many of us are more interested than ever in using investments and charitable giving to make an impact.

For the investor, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment can be interesting. From renewable energy to social equity and equality, the momentum towards a more sustainable economy continues to accelerate. We have identified many investment opportunities that match these trends and investing sustainably does not require compromising on performance.
If you’re interested in impactful giving, there are ways to get the most out of your charitable dollars. For example, if you donate to a large number of charities and want to simplify your tax filing, two options to consider include donating to a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or a private foundation. Both strategies allow you to make a single irrevocable contribution to “advance” several years of giving (or, if you prefer, you can make multiple donations over a period of several years). You will generally receive a charitable income tax deduction in the year of the donation equal to the fair market value of your contribution.

Like previous market shocks, the post-COVID 19 environment has made it clear that a comprehensive wealth management strategy is crucial. Take the time to sit down with a financial professional to work out a plan that works for you and your family. Consider using the current themes identified above as a basis for this discussion. Creating a plan and sticking to it is the first step in securing a better future.

JP Morgan Private Bank provides personalized financial advice to help high net worth clients and their families achieve their goals. Private banking clients work with dedicated teams of specialists who bring their investments and financial assets together into a comprehensive strategy, leveraging JP Morgan’s global resources in the areas of planning, investing, lending, banking, philanthropy, family office management, trust services, advisory services and more. More information on JP Morgan Private Bank in Cleveland is available at privatebank.jpmorgan.com/Cleveland.