Thank you, thank you, thank you for your great cover story, “Power of Attorney” (July 2004), about a law firm that also provides tax, financial planning, and estate planning services. I have struggled with this type of practice for three years. I began as an investment advisor/CFP in the early ’80s, and then added the law practice in 2000. We struggle with similar issues in Utah, and it is very encouraging to see a successful firm practicing like this while maintaining the integrity of the legal practice. I am struggling with compensation, ownership, and licensing issues between disciplines, especially since not all of our partners are attorneys, registered reps, or RIAs.
I think we will see many more practices like this emerge, especially on a smaller boutique scale, and I am glad to see that your magazine is on the case. Thanks again for a very informative article.
Troy T. Wilson
Reliance Financial Advisors
Salt Lake City, Utah
In “The Right Way to Optimize” (Gluck Report, June 2004), Ibbotson and PlanScan representatives criticized current optimization techniques while praising new techniques that, coincidentally, they happened to be selling. I skip over articles when they smell as fishy as this one did. Please stick to unbiased reporting so that I can read your whole magazine.
David (Trey) Biz?
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I must take exception with your July article about variable annuities (“Bird in Hand,” July 2004), and remind you of some of the other distinct disadvantages of VAs that you failed to mention.
1. VAs are estate-planning nightmares. You have taken gains that would normally be taxed at capital gains rates and made them taxable at income tax rates. Secondly, should the client die, the heirs are paying income taxes on the gains. Gains on stocks or mutual funds would receive a step-up in basis. The gains would be wiped out and no taxes paid.