Turning tax education into a comprehensive financial plan
By Yushing Ting
POSTED: 10:03 a.m. HST, Jun 17, 2014 LAST UPDATED: 11:59 a.m. HST, Jun 17, 2014
Jeff Buck, Ed Buck, Katie Buck
The E.A. Buck Family of Companies began in 1980 as a typical broker-dealer. But over time, Ed Buck's vision broadened, and he saw a new strategic, education-based way to help clients plan for their financial lives.
This, says his son, Jeff Buck, vice president, led Ed Buck to do three things: First, he closed down the broker-dealer operations and focused on being an advisor. Second, he steered away from the traditional stocks/bonds/ mutual funds-type structure. And third, he stopped charging an annual fee for meetings and advice, to try to reach more people and teach them how to use strategies many of his wealthy clients could access.
Jeff Buck says, “My father also began to focus on understanding the tax laws, with the idea that if we can run a tax projection – penciling out the client's total tax liability for the coming year and then projecting a cash-flow sheet, we can understand how taxes might impede investment performance or the ability to save. We focus on ways to try to reduce taxes over time and/ or utilize investment strategies that may provide a tax advantage for the client.”
None of E.A. Buck's 11 advisors are CPAs or tax attorneys, but they use tax situations as a starting point to provide investment strategies that make sense for clients. “Our company offers unique services that we feel differentiate us from other advisors,” says Jeff Buck. “We do not charge clients directly for our services; instead, we are compensated via commissions on the products we sell when clients apply our investment strategies.
Of course, clients are not obligated to use our strategies; however, we currently assist more than 5,000 clients with their financial needs on an annual basis, which says a lot about the success of our business model.”
Another way the E.A. Buck Family of Companies can serve clients is to help them with active, third-party management of existing 401(k) accounts while they are working for their current employers. Under a self-direction option, the
firm can help broaden clients' investment choices beyond the core set that employers' 401(k) providers typically offer. An asset-based fee is charged for this service.
Buck says the company holds frequent information seminars and develops lifelong relationships with clients. “We personally tailor our advice and investments around the needs of each one of our clients based on their expressed concerns and tax situation. We started with taxes and left ‘typical' behind.”