4 Financial Planning Strategies during a Market Downturn

During periods of market volatility, it is very normal to pay close attention to your portfolio while putting other aspects of your financial life on hold.  However, there are many important planning items that should not be overlooked during these times.  Here are a four planning ideas that can be implemented during market downturns that will help add to your after-tax return over time.

  1. Roth Conversions

When markets turn south, it can be a particularly good time to perform a Roth Conversion. You can convert tax-deferred assets, like assets in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), to Roth IRA when the investments in the account are depressed in value – this is taxable at ordinary income rates.  When the market ultimately recovers, that growth is captured, tax-free, inside of the Roth IRA.   Many advisors perform this conversion later in the year, but you might want to think about doing that conversion in the near term during this period of market volatility. This strategy is not for everyone so please contact us before making any decisions.

  1. Gifting

Whether it is to charity or family members, gifting is an important part of many financial plans:

  • Charity – If you are thinking of giving marketable securities to charity, you might consider waiting to donate until later in the year. With the recent market downturn, delaying the gift could allow time for stocks to recover and then be donated at a higher value, resulting in a larger tax deduction for you.  If you prefer to give now, ensure that the stocks you plan to donate are long-term appreciated securities.  Or, if you previously funded a Donor Advised Fund, you could consider gifting from that account.
  • Family – In addition to charity, gifting to family members can be an important part of your plan. Gifting to others can be particularly valuable when markets are down, as the value of gifted securities is lower for gift tax purposes, and all subsequent appreciation will be excluded from your estate – a win for both you and the donee!
  1. Tax Loss Harvesting

We know that investments can go down in value. When they do, there is an opportunity to sell that investment, take the capital loss, and swap into a different security that provides similar market exposure.  The end result is you have a tax loss to use to offset capital gains and you remain invested in the market.  These capital losses, while tough to look at, result in real dollars saved in the form of a lower tax bill.

  1. Stick to Your Plan and Investment Strategy

Last, but most importantly, trust your plan! The retirement and investment planning we do accounts for stressful market environments like we are currently experiencing. What’s important is to stay focused on your long-term goals and control what you can control – saving, keep spending in line with your plan, rebalancing, and capitalizing on strategies to reduce taxes. Remember, rebalancing is the process of revisiting your target asset allocation — the mix of stocks and bonds that comprise your portfolio — and making sure the assets you hold are in line with those targets. Rebalancing is the mechanical process of selling from investments that are over the target and using those proceeds to purchase the investments that have dropped in value — sell high, buy low.  A market dip can be a good opportunity to rebalance your portfolio. It is the patient, disciplined investor that will ultimately win in the end.

Luckily, periods of significant market volatility are generally few and far between.  However, when these downturns show up, they come with opportunity.  If you can execute on one or more of the above items during this tough time, they should add value to your financial situation in the long run. Talk with a Vertex advisor to learn more about how these strategies could help you!

 

The information provided here is for general information only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision. Please note that rebalancing investments may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events will be created that may increase your tax liability. Traditional IRA account owners have considerations to make before performing a Roth IRA conversion. These primarily include income tax consequences on the converted amount in the year of conversion, withdrawal limitations from a Roth IRA, and income limitations for future contributions to a Roth IRA. In addition, if you are required to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) in the year you convert, you must do so before converting to a Roth IRA. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

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Peter M. Babilla, CFP®, CRPS®

SENIOR WEALTH ADVISOR

Peter Babilla brings 40 years of experience in investment management and fiduciary* financial consulting to Vertex Planning Partners, LLC.

Pete graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana with a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance.

He began his career in 1983 with a focus on institutional fixed-income portfolio management, primarily working with community banks. After a decade serving institutional clients, Pete shifted his focus to working with individuals, families and business owners, providing guidance and education in all areas of Wealth Management.  Among his areas of focus are accumulation and retirement planning, investment management, risk management, and estate and wealth transfer.

Pete’s planning philosophy allows him to create a personalized program for clients, based on their own unique goals and circumstances.  The extensive investment and planning platform offered by Vertex enables him to create a highly customized program, tailored to each individual client.

Pete and his wife Suzanne have two children, and have resided in Wheaton, Illinois for the past 30 years.  He enjoys golf, reading, and traveling with his family.  Pete gives back as a past Board Member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, where his focus is on improving the lives of those living with epilepsy.

Pete works as fiduciary for his clients and holds the CERTIFIED FIANANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation and the Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS®) designation.

JUSTIN J. D'AGOSTINO, CFP®, CRPC®, AIF®

PRIVATE WEALTH ADVISOR

Justin D’Agostino joined Vertex Partners in 2019 and is a Private Wealth Advisor that serves a select group of business owners and affluent families. He specializes in investments, financial planning, and succession planning. His interest and knowledge in providing comprehensive financial planning and wealth management services to clients was sparked when he worked at a boutique tax and wealth management firm in Michigan. He has nine years of experience in the financial services industry, and his mission is to provide every client with targeted, comprehensive financial advice and to help them implement customized strategies designed to move them closer to accomplishing their unique goals.

Justin attended Hillsdale College where he earned his BA in Accounting and Financial Management and was a member and captain of the football team. Justin is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™ and Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ designations.

Justin and his fiancé, Alexandra, reside in Chicago, Illinois. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys golfing, playing soccer and spending summer weekends with his family.

Scott A. Sandee CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, CEPA

MANAGING PARTNER

Scott Sandee brings over 20 years of experience as Managing Partner. He is responsible for leading the firm’s efforts in assisting middle-market business owners and seven and eight-figure families to plan and realize financial goals based on their unique aspirations and situations.

With a privately held family business background, Scott has helped owners prepare for and execute a successful transition. In addition, he works with business owners and their advisors to develop financial strategies to maximize sales proceeds and minimize future taxes.

Before joining Vertex, Scott served in financial planning and investment strategy roles at Oxford Financial Group, Capital Group, and The Northern Trust Company, working with Chicago’s HNW/UHNW families clients.

Scott holds the Certified Financial Planner®, Certified Private Wealth Advisor®, Certified Investment Management Analyst®, and Certified Exit Planning Advisor designations. Scott earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University, and his family resides in Wilmette, IL.

Julie Hupp CFP®, MBA

PARTNER

Julie Hupp, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, has worked in the accounting and corporate finance field since 1987. She began her career as a CPA with Deloitte & Touche, specializing in the financial needs of small businesses. Then spent the next 13 years in corporate financial planning and business development at Baxter and TAP Pharmaceuticals. Recognizing her passion for personal financial planning, Julie started her business in 2006 where she focuses on comprehensive financial planning strategies and implementation.

Julie graduated from University of Illinois with a BS in Accountancy. She received her Master’s in Management with a concentration in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 1994.

Outside the office, Julie is the co-founder of the 12 Oaks Foundation, which has merged with Cal’s Angels, and is a former Board member. Julie enjoys cooking, reading, running, triathlons and doing almost anything outdoors. A great weekend is spending time with her husband and two adult kids boating at their lake house in Wisconsin.

Steven P. Franzen, CPA, PFS, CGMA

MANAGING PARTNER

Steven P. Franzen, CPA, PFS, CGMA is a public accountant and consultant with more than 23 years of experience helping individuals and businesses reduce their tax liability.  He began his career under the guidance of Patrick M. De Sio, CPA, CGMA and in 1996 became Mr. De Sio’s partner in De Sio, Franzen & Associates, Ltd. Steve’s expertise include entity design, complex tax strategies and multigenerational wealth transfer.  As Managing Partner, Steve conducts his practice under the philosophy that the client’s investment in their CPA should yield a return on that investment – most of the time that return is realized when working with clients on planning for their future. In an effort to increase the planning capabilities of the firm,  Steve formed Vertex Accounting Partners, LLC to ensure their guiding philosophy will continue well into the future.

Steve is a certified public accountant and has earned the professional designations of Personal Financial Specialist and Chartered Global Management Accountant.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society.  Steve earned a B.S. degree in accounting from Millikin University.  He and his wife Kristie live in Sugar Grove, IL with their three children.

Gregory P. Benner, CPWA®, CFP®, CLU®, CHFC®, AIF®, RMA®

MANAGING PARTNER

Gregory P. Benner, CPWA®, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, AIF®, RMA® has over twenty-two years of experience as a financial advisor. Greg’s practice is based on developing holistic financial plans that help his clients integrate sophisticated retirement, tax, risk management and estate planning strategies into an actionable plan, then stay the course as their behavioral coach.

Prior to founding Vertex Planning Partners, LLC, Greg spent four years as a founding partner of a Registered Investment Advisory firm affiliated with LPL Financial. He also spent seven years with JPMorgan Chase as a Senior Financial Advisor and was a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual Life.

Greg holds the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® designation and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant. He also holds the Chartered Financial Consultant®, Chartered Life Underwriter®, Accredited Investment Fiduciary™, and Retirement Management AdvisorSM designations. He earned a B.S. in Finance from Miami University.

He and his wife Lindsey reside in Naperville, IL with their daughter and twin sons.

Michael D. Bellis, CFP®, CLU®

MANAGING PARTNER

Michael D. Bellis, CFP®, CLU® began his career as a financial planning professional in 1994. His practice is centered on holistic financial planning, astute risk management strategies and empirical, research-driven portfolio construction. He began his career in partnership with his father under the name Bellis & Associates. Together, their practice and reputation for excellence dates back more than 40 years and includes multiple generations of the same families. After his father’s retirement several years ago, Mike continued to build a client-centric, consultative practice before forming Vertex.

Mike holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification and is also a Chartered Life Underwriter. He has been an active member of both the Society of Financial Services Professionals and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He earned a B.S. in Business & Marketing from Illinois State University. Mike is a lifelong resident of Naperville, Illinois. He and his wife Tanja have three children.