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Our goal is to help every client go as far as possible toward creating the legacy they desire. That term, legacy, means different things to different people. For some, it means a comfortable retirement without burdening their children; for others it means educating their children not only formally, but also in the values and principles acquired by the family over the years. For many it means passing along the assets they've accumulated to the next generation along with the knowledge of their hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

And, for some it means creating a 100-year plan to guide and assist family members in becoming the best they can be; stewards of both the assets, and the family visions and values that created them.

For those clients it means creating a Legacy.

In each case it starts with the basics of Accumulation Planning, Conservation Planning and Distribution Planning. And, in each area of planning it requires PeterAlexander to understand everything about our client's hopes, dreams, fears, aspirations and concerns. In some cases it even requires clients to understand more about themselves.

By understanding and knowing our client today, we are able to create plans that pursue our client's goals now, and in the future, while providing the flexibility to change with their objectives and circumstances

Accumulation planning addresses an individual's need to accumulate assets for future events:  retirement, educating children or grandchildren, major purchases or investments, making significant gifts to charity, or starting a business. The goal of Accumulation Planning is to provide the right amount of money, at the right time, in the right form, to accomplish any objective.

Our approach to Accumulation Planning begins by understanding everything the client wants to accomplish today, in one hundred years, and every year in between. We cannot provide quality advice until we know as much as possible about our clients; their hopes, dreams, fears, and aspirations.

Accumulation Planning starts with the objectives to earn as much as possible through your profession or business (see Business Planning), keep as much as possible (through Tax Planning), and grow what's left in the most productive and comfortable way possible (through Investment Planning*).

As a business owner you probably spend more time working in your company than on your future. It's understandable. After all, you run the show. You want your enterprise to succeed.

And, as a business owner, your future financial health probably depends greatly, or even solely, on the future health of your business.

Creating strategies using business assets to benefit you can also help you attract, retain, and reward the quality people you need to help you succeed. We can create the right package designed to accomplish all you need to maximize what the business can do for you (through Benefit Planning).

At some point in time, your business will pass to your spouse, your children, your employees, a third party, or some combination thereof. Creating the best value in your company is a process that needs to start today, not two weeks before you're ready to step down. Using our services (through Succession Planning) we can help make the transition easier, and more profitable.

Creating Benefit packages encompasses two main objectives; using corporate dollars to create as much value as possible for the owner, and providing a plan that will attract, reward and retain key employees.

Whether the plan uses qualified or non-qualified benefits, it must meet the needs of the client, and be as cost effective as possible.

At PeterAlexander, we review and analyze your current plans, and recommend any needed changes, additions or deletions to help achieve our client's goals in the most effective manner.

Your business probably represents your life's work, or the work of your forefathers. Growing, preserving, and transitioning your business assets needs the same thoughtful planning as the accumulation, conservation, and distribution of your other assets.

Will your business be sold to employees, outsiders, or will it be passed to the next generation of family? In either case, a long term strategic plan is needed.

Peter Alexander works with everyone involved in the family business enterprise to develop a Strategic Vision for the business that outlines the guiding principles of the founder, and delineates the opportunities, responsibilities, and obligations of any family member that chooses to enter the business.

Reducing taxes to the lowest levels legally possible is the right of all U.S. citizens. In his opinion in the Helvering vs. Gregory case, Judge Learned Hand wrote, "Anyone may so arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase ones taxes."

Income tax planning is a process involving the 3 D's: defer, divert and deduct; and the 2 C's: convert and credit. When possible, the goal is to defer or divert income to lower tax brackets, deduct everything legally possible, convert income taxed at regular rates to income taxed at lower rates, and take every credit offered by the tax code. Sounds simple, right?

Well, there are hundreds of possible legal strategies and tactics that can be used to reduce your taxes. When used together they form thousands of possible combinations that leverage off one another. The primary goal, and potential end result is to cut the effective rate of tax. At PeterAlexander, we work with your accountant or tax advisor to help find the right combinations to accomplish your goals.

Balancing risk and reward is talked about constantly in the press. Everyone knows that to increase your reward you must be willing to take more risk, right?

This is not always true.

The press and large parts of the investment community miss the most important part of the puzzle - correlation. Correlation measures how different classes of assets work together under different circumstances throughout the investment cycle.

The goal of quality investment planning is to create a portfolio that’s volatility could potentially be managed by using a number of different asset classes whose correlation brings the portfolio's volatility within the acceptable range of the client's tolerance for risk.

Because volatility usually is the one variable that causes people to abandon their plans, PeterAlexander uses a variety of asset classes, not just stocks, bonds and cash. We further diversify portfolios with more than 25 sub-classes.

*Securities and investment advisory services offered exclusively through Hornor, Townsend, & Kent, Inc.  This information does not represent investment advice; please consult with a qualified advisor regarding your individual circumstances.  There is no assurance that diversification or tactical asset allocation will produce better results than other investment strategies, nor can any investment strategy assure against market loss.

College just might be the single largest expense any family can incur during their lifetimes.

Combine the costs with the myths and misconceptions about college, and you have an even more difficult task ahead.

  • Private colleges are only for the rich
  • Big name schools are the only ticket to success.
  • I'm an alum of my child's first choice; they'll get in.
  • Only the poor qualify for financial aid.

At PeterAlexander we take a two-pronged approach to helping you educate your children. When time allows, we help you determine the best way to invest for your child's future. And, when your children are in high school, we can show you that what you have saved may not be nearly as important as how you have saved.

Conservation Planning addresses the need to conserve and protect all that you have created and accumulated. This includes protecting you, your family, and your assets from the traditional risks of loss of life, disability, medical expenses, personal liability, and loss of property (through Risk Management). It also includes protecting assets from the risks associated with our current legal environment (Asset Protection).

For each risk we face we have the choice of self-insuring the risk or reinsuring with a commercial insurance company. The process of risk management identifies the risks you face, quantifies the risk as it pertains to your individual situation, identifies those actions you can take to potentially minimize the risk, and finally, examines the pros and cons of self-insuring or reinsuring. Whichever method you choose, we will help you make an informed choice based on solid evidence rather than an emotional reaction.

Asset Protection is the process of examining the risk taken from an attack through the courts by an adverse plaintiff. In the current environment in the United States, the courts have occasionally shown a propensity to redistribute assets through judicial fiat.

Asset Protection Planning shows the client various strategies to arrange his/her assets in such a way as to potentially reduce the effectiveness of any legal attack.

Distribution Planning addresses the desire to see your assets go to the people and organizations you want, when you want, and in the form you want. Proper Distribution Planning may reduce or eliminate the taxes and costs associated with the distribution process.

Passing your assets to a spouse, children, and grandchildren without unnecessary loss to taxes and the administrative process is never easy. Estate Planning is the process of utilizing the available techniques to legally pass everything the client desires, to the people the client wants, in the fastest, and most cost effective manner possible.

As in all of our other planning areas, understanding the client and his/her hopes, dreams and goals is the first, and most important, step in the process. Knowing the heirs, and their abilities and capabilities, is essential to designing the best possible plan.

By understanding all those involved, and the dreams and aspirations of our clients, we can help design a plan that provides the heirs with the assets the client desires, in the manner he or she desires.

We believe philanthropy strengthens the values and vitality of every family that practices it. Without it, and an understanding of why it is important, family members who didn't create the assets can experience a decline in the vitality, and their sense of the world, and their place in it.

We work with our clients to create charitable strategies that help complete their desires, and work to communicate those desires to their heirs.

The culmination of our planning efforts is the full Legacy Plan. Legacy planning takes the accumulation, conservation, and distribution planning we've done, and adds to it the realization that we are all more than numbers on a balance sheet.

Your life has spanned generations. You have learned from those before you, and you will teach those that follow. The question you must answer is:

What will I teach?

Through your words and deeds you are always teaching. Sometimes the lessons learned are not the ones we intended. This happens because the lessons we passed on were either not planned, or misinterpreted. The important thing to understand is those lessons can be planned, and that you have something very valuable to teach.

Everything you have ever seen, heard, felt, and done is unique to you. Those that follow need to know all that you have to teach. Understanding you, and those who have gone before you, is vitally important to those that follow. This idea can best be illustrated through "The Bridge Builder" by Will Dromgoole.

The Bridge Builder

by: Will Dromgoole

An old man going a lone highway

Came at the evening, cold and gray,

To a chasm, vast and wide and steep,

With waters rolling cold and deep.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,

That sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned when safe on the other side,

And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old Man," said a fellow pilgrim near,

"You are wasting your strength with building here.

Your journey will end with the ending day,

You never again will pass this way.

You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide,

Why build you this bridge at eventide?"

The builder lifted his old gray head.

"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,

"There followeth after me today

A youth whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm that has been naught to me

To the fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim -

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."