The Whitnell Way

Insights For Business Owners, Executives And Affluent Families

Viewing Blogs by Wayne Janus

What To Do When Facing The Unknown

Five Ideas For Adjusting To The New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. As I write this in July of 2020, a resurgence of infections is causing many state and local leaders to pull back on reopening. Main Street businesses are hard-hit and some will close permanently. Unemployment numbers are projected to rise. The economy has slowed. In our streets, we are witnessing protests and demands for racial justice. It’s also an election year, the outcomes of which could bring sweeping changes to everything from social policies to tax policies to foreign policy.

If I were to describe this period in one word it would be—uncertain. Now, more than ever, we are facing the unknown. When I talk to clients, I hear the unease in their voice. But this is not the first time, as a nation, that we’ve faced hard times. I know that past results are not a guarantee of future results. But the past has many lessons to teach us that can guide us as we move ahead. After reflecting on this situation, I’d like to put forward five ideas for adjusting to our new normal. 

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What To Do When Facing The Unknown

Five Strategies To Build Family Values About Money

How To Help Your Heirs See Money The Way You Do

Many of the mature clients I work with are concerned that their heirs will never fully appreciate all of the sacrifices they’ve made to provide for their family.  Most of my clients did not inherit their wealth.  They worked for it, taking a lot of risks along the way.  There is often a huge gap between the way they view money and the way their children and grandchildren view money.  This gap is a source of frustration, conflict and anxiety. 

No two generations are likely to see eye-to-eye on anything.  Yet, I believe there is a great deal that we can do to unify a family, even a multi-generational family, around money values.  These efforts can reduce tension and increase family unity.  After having coached hundreds of clients facing this dilemma, I’d like to share five strategies that will help you build family values about money. 

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Five Strategies To Build Family Values About Money

Whitnell Podcast: Insights With Wayne Janus

How Do We Know We Have A Great Financial Advisor?

In this podcast, originally aired on Chicago’s Premiere talk-radio station, WGN, Wayne Janus tackles tough questions like why is it so hard for people to talk about money?  Why don’t people share openly with their financial advisor and even family members?  How do we know if we have a great financial advisor? 

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Whitnell Podcast: Insights With Wayne Janus

Whitnell Podcast: Insights With Wayne Janus

How To Choose A Financial Advisor

Choosing a financial advisor can be a stressful event.  What should you look for?  What should you expect from them?   What’s the difference between a tax advisor, a financial advisor and a wealth manager?   Wayne Janus discusses what you should look for and what kinds of questions you should ask to ensure you get the best possible advisor for your family. 

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Whitnell Podcast: Insights With Wayne Janus

Whitnell Podcast: Tax Insights With Wayne Janus

How To Avoid Paying More Than Your Fair Share In Taxes

The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 was supposed to simplify tax matters.  However, the TCJA has probably introduced far more concerns than certainties.  The major changes in the TCJA that impact high-net-worth individuals are related to standard deductions, charitable gifts and mortgage interest.  Wayne Janus provides insights and strategies about how to address the changes in the TCJA in this 22-minute podcast, originally aired on Chicago’s premier talk-radio station, WGN 720.  

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Whitnell Podcast: Tax Insights With Wayne Janus

What To Do With Taxes In 2018

Strategies To Get The Greatest Benefit From The New Tax Laws

In my last article on the topic of tax law changes, I noted several steps that you could take to reduce your 2017 taxes.  Many of those strategies required immediate action and created a rush of activity.  But even if you didn’t get an opportunity to take advantage of those ideas, there are still many things you can do in 2018 and beyond to reduce taxes. 

The new tax law is hundreds of pages long and is anything but a simplification of the law.  Many long-standing itemized deductions have been greatly reduced, like real estate and state taxes.  The standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly is now $24,000.  Congress did not repeal the alternative minimum tax.  All of these changes are creating confusion.  Clients are asking, “what do we do now?”  

Fortunately, my colleagues and I have been examining the actual tax laws, all 500+ pages, to determine how to help you.  I’m happy to report that there are more options to reduce taxes than you might have heard about from other sources.  Here are some of my best ideas about what to do with taxes in 2018 and beyond.

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What To Do With Taxes In 2018

Tax Strategies To Consider Right Now

6 Ideas To Help You Win Or Tie Against Tax Changes

The details of the tax bill have yet to be fully explored and the impact of these changes may not be fully apparent for some time.  But now that the bill has passed, it is important to understand how the new tax laws might affect you.  Our team at Whitnell has spent the last several days reading and analyzing the proposed tax changes.  This analysis has helped us draw several conclusions. 

My counsel is to view these six ideas as either a win or a tie.  Many long-standing tax deductions may be partially or completely eliminated very soon.  These may include deductions for local real estate taxes, state income taxes, housing mortgage interest payments, investment advisory and accounting fees and possibly other deductions.

It appears that most changes to the tax laws will likely be effective going forward, but there are some with effective dates in 2017.  Since substantial deductions may be partially or completely wiped out starting next year, it is wise to consider how to take advantage of current tax law to reduce future taxes.  Here are six ideas to help you win or tie against pending tax changes.

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Tax Strategies To Consider Right Now

Why Your Wealth Advisor Needs A Tax Orientation

Investment Returns Unlikely To Balance Out Poor Tax Decisions

A friend of mine has been considering moving from California to Nevada’s Lake Tahoe region because he wanted a slower-paced lifestyle, fresh air and outdoor sports, far less traffic, and better overall quality of life.  But he overlooked the big pay-raise he was about to give himself from lower taxes.  Financial advice and tax strategies go together like fresh air and outdoor sports.  Here’s why.

As a financial advisor with a Master of Science Degree in Taxation, I have come to realize that investment and tax advice must go hand-in-hand. If you get investment advice from one source and tax advice from another—and these two sources do not closely collaborate—you are very likely to miss substantial opportunities to grow your net worth.  Here are 4 reasons that wealth advice must be paired with tax-mitigation strategies.

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Why Your Wealth Advisor Needs A Tax Orientation

Top 5 Considerations For Wealth Transfer Planning

Why You Should Build A Long-Term Relationship With An Advisor Who Deeply Knows Your Family

Today’s affluent families have many options for choosing investment advice and financial advisors. There is no lack of information, or automated computer systems, available to help them make choices. Yet, as a seasoned financial advisor, my experience is that computer systems may help guide families and their advisors through the stages of wealth accumulation and wealth preservation. However, those systems are not nearly as effective for the final (and in many ways, most important) stage of wealth transfer.

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Top 5 Considerations For Wealth Transfer Planning

When The Markets Throw You Lemons, Make Lemonade

Strategies To Take Advantage Of Today’s Opportunities

Lately I’ve been meeting with clients over luncheons. I hear the concern in my clients’ voices during these conversations. Let’s be honest. The markets have been rough for quite some time now. This could last a while and no one can really say when things will improve. But I want to provide a perspective here that I think might help you see things in a different light.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were facing a much more difficult market. The downturn of 2007 and 2008 are still fresh in the minds of many affluent investors. But people often seem to forget the very substantial recovery that followed. Funny isn’t it? We remember the pain of the losses, but so quickly seem to forget the joys of a rebounding market.

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When The Markets Throw You Lemons, Make Lemonade

How To Really Build Wealth – Part 2

Identifying And Overcoming Controllable Impediments To Wealth Creation

I spend my days helping my clients think through and make good decisions regarding their wealth. Often these decisions are based on what they want their wealth to do for their lives, their futures and their loved ones. Most of my clients have built or hope to build multi-generational wealth that will last.

To achieve this goal, they have to make informed decisions, especially at critical moments in the wealth-building process. A big part of my role is helping clients focus on those things they can control and make good decisions.

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How To Really Build Wealth – Part 2

How To Really Build Wealth – Part 1

Identifying Seven Non-Controllable Impediments To Wealth Creation

As a wealth manager I see people making good choices and poor choices every day. While everyone wants to build wealth that will last for multiple generations, most people do not see the often invisible sources that drain their wealth. Like the proverbial holes in the dike that leak water, these wealth drainers prevent people from retaining and growing their wealth.

In my experience, people lose wealth to two sources: things they cannot control and things they can control. In this article I want to show you how to identify impediments to wealth creation that are beyond your control and how to address them. In my next article, I will discuss how to address impediments to wealth building that you do control.

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How To Really Build Wealth – Part 1

Four Tax Strategies To Maximize Wealth

Use These Strategies To Retain More Wealth

As we approach the end of 2013, affluent families are considering their tax situation. This is the right time of year to do so. However, most people think of taxes in relationship to ordinary income. I believe it is time for a mind-shift. I believe it is time for affluent families to look at their investments, not just ordinary income, in relationship to taxes.

Why do I say this? In 2013 we witnessed many changes both to legislation and to the markets that will likely impact your tax picture. I do not believe that we have seen the end of these changes.

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Four Tax Strategies To Maximize Wealth

The Financial Impact Of Divorce

Things To Consider Before You Divorce And How To Re-Build After

The old saying about love is that “the heart wants what the heart wants.” When the heart wants a divorce, it can feel like your world is turning upside down. While divorces are gut-wrenching emotionally, the financial implications can be equally devastating. If you are thinking about a divorce, here are some key considerations about how this may impact you financially. If you’ve gone through a divorce, here are some steps to help you rebuild financially.

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The Financial Impact Of Divorce