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Investment Strategy Considerations
in a Rising Tax Environment
By David A. Klenke, CFA, CPA and Mark J. Blumenthal, CPA
Synopsis
Sound investment strategy typically starts with a foundation in asset
allocation. Technology has allowed novices and professionals alike to build
allocations quite easily using assumptions about the future. We find that
these assumptions, developed in a pre-tax world, are rarely adjusted for
the real world, which is impacted by taxes. By adjusting the assumptions
to consider taxes, an investor may construct superior portfolios leading to
greater wealth potential.
After considering both pre-tax and after-tax portfolio construction,
investors may reach a point of “tax equilibrium.”1
This is a state wherein
an investor is in balance between tax considerations and other factors;
where he or she neither overreacts nor underreacts to the impact of taxes
in portfolio construction and maintenance.
Investors’ tax equilibriums should change when the tax environment
changes. In 2003, we saw ordinary rates lowered from 38.6% to 35%
and capital gain rates lowered from 20% to 15%. As legislated, these rates
“sunset” December 31, 2010, and move back to the prior rates.
Often forgotten in the tax discussion is the impact of estate taxes. For
the average American, this is appropriate. However, for higher-net-worth
families, the estate tax must be considered along with income taxes if the
goal is to maximize wealth for future generations.
The purpose of this paper is to review the impact of income taxes on
portfolio construction; consider how a rising income tax rate environment
may affect investment strategy; and identify how portfolios should be
adjusted further for the impact of estate taxes. This paper is written to
high-net-worth individuals and their advisors.
Critical Observations
1.	Taxes take a significant toll on a
portfolio’s investment returns.
2.	Adjusting asset allocation
modeling assumptions for taxes
can result in greater wealth.
3.	Investors must understand
the concept of “tax equilibrium,”
a point at which one balances
tax considerations and other
economic factors relative to
decisions about their portfolio.
4.	Investors should reconsider
the cost of taxes on their
portfolio in anticipation of a
rising tax environment.
5.	Estate taxes can be an even
more important consideration
than income taxes if the goal
is to maximize wealth for
future generations.
- 2 -
Shifting Mindsets to an
After-Tax World
In 1986, a study by Gary Brinson,
Randolph Hood, and Gilbert
Beebower (BHB) solidified asset
allocation as the building block of
portfolio construction. In its most
simplistic terms, asset allocation is
the mix of cash, bonds, stocks and
other investments. Given today’s
technology, it is easy for the novice to
the professional to use these models
to construct “optimal allocations,”
or those that maximize returns for a
given level of risk.
It is important to note that the two
main research papers that much of
asset allocation theory is based upon
did not consider taxes.2
Even today,
investment research and products are
focused on the large institutions and
pension funds that pay no tax.
Therefore, it should be no surprise
that the models created to construct
asset allocations rarely contemplate
taxes. Since high-net-worth individuals
do pay tax, we believe by adjusting
the assumptions in these models to
consider taxes, an investor may
construct superior portfolios leading to
greater wealth accumulation.
To illustrate this point, let us discuss
Mr. Jones, a hypothetical investor
with a $50 million portfolio. Mr.
Jones calls and states, “I continue to
hear about how large endowment
funds like Harvard’s have sizeable
allocations, 35% to 40%, to hedge
funds. Should my hedge fund
allocation be this large as well?”
A response to Mr. Jones might sound
something like this: “Having some
amount of hedge fund exposure could
be appropriate. However, it is
important to recognize that these
returns are less tax-efficient to you
than to Harvard.”
To understand this, we need to make
some assumptions. All hedge funds
are not created equal. Therefore, let’s
assume the modeled pre-tax returns of
aggressive and conservative hedge
funds approximate the returns of a
portfolio split 50% to equities and
50% to fixed income. This portfolio,
referred to as “50/50,” is illustrated in
Table A and compared to a 100%
hedge fund portfolio.
Asset Allocation: Theory and
Important Assumptions
Asset allocation is the way in
which an investor weights diverse
investments such as cash, bonds,
stocks, and other investments.
To determine the mix of these
investments, computer-driven
mean-variance optimizers are
used. Optimizers need only three
simple assumptions per asset
class – return, risk as measured
by standard deviation, and
correlation. What results is an
efficient mix of portfolios that
theoretically achieves the highest
return for a given level of risk.
In practice, optimizers can create
imprudent portfolios unless
constrained because the algorithm
is very sensitive to the three inputs
above. While the three inputs
themselves are conceptually
easy to understand, achieving
an accurate forecast becomes a
major challenge. Therefore, the
application of optimizers is under
constant debate.
Our paper assumes an appropriate
approach has been taken in both
the derivation of the assumptions
and application of the resulting
portfolios. The assumptions that
we cite in Tables A and B are not
a forecast of the future. These
are assumptions we believe to
be reasonable in nature based
on our experience, to facilitate
this example. Results and
conclusions can vary depending
on assumptions.
Asset Allocation Model: Pre-Tax Assumptions
50/50 Hedge Fund Difference
Large Cap Core 25 0
Small Cap Core 10 0
International Equity 15 0
Taxable Bonds 50 0
Hedge Funds 0 100
Modeled Return 7.17% 7.50% -0.33%
TABLE A:
- 3 -
Note that the hedge fund portfolio has a
slight return edge, pre-tax, of 33 bps.
Unlike Harvard, however, Mr. Jones
pays income taxes. It is important,
therefore, that we adjust the model’s
assumptions for each of these asset classes
to account for that. As background, we
think of asset classes being either
tax-efficient or tax-inefficient. Some
examples of tax-efficient asset classes
would be stocks and private equity. Why
are these efficient? Their returns come in
the form of capital appreciation or
dividend income, which is taxed at 15%.
To the extent the capital appreciation is
not realized, this gain is deferred into the
future, creating further benefit. Municipal
bond returns are also efficient as they
may escape federal tax altogether.
Contrast this with an inefficient return
such as that of the hedge fund. The vast
majority of the return of a hedge fund is
ordinary income or short-term gain in
nature and, therefore, taxed at 35%.
When you adjust allocation models for
income taxes, they yield different results
as shown in Table B. Our model’s
change is now 111 bps in favor of the
50/50 portfolio. Assuming Mr. Jones
decreases his hedge fund allocation by
20% because he is now “tax aware,” we
have helped him improve his after-tax
return by 22 bps (20% x 111 bps).
Assuming Mr. Jones has a $50 million
portfolio, that improvement creates
$110,000 annually. By adjusting the
assumptions to consider taxes, Mr. Jones
has constructed a superior portfolio
leading to greater wealth.
Of course, Mr. Jones must also consider
the resulting risk of the portfolio.
Depending on risk assumptions, the
higher return may or may not come at
a price. Risk in allocation models is
traditionally measured by standard
deviation, or variability in return. Since
risk is defined as a function of return,
it is worth noting that the less efficient a
return, the lower its after-tax risk.
In other words, while the government
may get a larger percentage of the profits
on inefficient returns, they also share
a greater percentage of the loss with
the investor.
While hedge funds were the focus of
Mr. Jones, inefficient investments
include anything where the primary
return component is taxed as ordinary
income. Other examples include REITs
(as their dividends are not considered
“qualified” dividends) and high-yield
bonds. The bottom line: when using
allocation models, shifting one’s mindset
from gross returns to after-tax returns
should yield superior portfolios and
more wealth.
Shifting Locations to Achieve
Higher Returns
Generally, one way to have your tax-
inefficient “cake and eat it too” would be
to find structures in which investors can
place ordinary income producing assets
to have that income shielded. These
structures may include IRAs or 401(k)
plans. As an example, Mr. Jones may
Asset Allocation Model: Post-Tax Assumptions
50/50 Hedge Fund Difference
Large Cap Core 25 0
Small Cap Core 10 0
International Equity 15 0
Taxable Bonds 50 0
Hedge Funds 0 100
Modeled Return 5.99% 4.88% 1.11%
TABLE B:
- 4 -
have a $5 million IRA in his $50
million portfolio. He may want to
consider purchasing some of his hedge
funds or high-yield taxable bonds
inside his IRA, which would defer
current taxation until distributions are
taken. Since distributions would be
ordinary in nature anyway, Mr. Jones
is no worse off from a tax standpoint
and has achieved a higher return by
allowing a higher-returning asset to
compound in the IRA. Note that
when hedge funds are purchased
inside an IRA, a special tax issue
called “unrelated business taxable
income” (UBTI) must be considered.
Another example of shifting location
to achieve a higher return can arise
when an intentionally defective
grantor trust (IDGT) is involved
and the children are the beneficiaries.
An IDGT is a grantor trust with a
purposeful flaw that causes the
grantor to continue to pay the income
taxes even though these trusts can be
structured so that the assets are not in
the grantor’s estate.
Let us assume Mr. Jones set up an
IDGT years ago for the benefit of
his children and it is now valued at
$10 million. (In this example, we are
ignoring the gift tax issues that would
have been considered when these
trusts were formed.) In addition, his
three children have portfolios of $5
million each. Mr. Jones is working
with an investment advisor to manage
the IDGT and his children’s portfolio.
They appropriately decide to view the
total $25 million pool as a whole with
a single asset allocation. To the extent
that there will be inefficient asset
classes included in the allocation
(hedge funds, REITs, high-yield, etc.),
they fill up the IDGT with these
investments first. Why? If the children
invest in them, they pay the tax
with dollars out of their estate.
However, if the IDGT holds the
assets, Mr. Jones pays the tax.
Given that he has an estate tax
problem and his children will most
likely inherit only roughly half of his
net estate (to simplify we assume a
50% estate tax rate), his dollars should
be viewed like half dollars. Therefore,
if the trust yields a 10% return
($1 million) that was subject to the
35% rate, Mr. Jones pays $350,000.
To the family, however, the ultimate
economic impact is approximately
half that. Standing back for a second,
we observe Mr. Jones has improved
his portfolio by both focusing on
after-tax returns and paying attention
to asset location. With these two
mind shifts, Mr. Jones may now have
achieved his tax equilibrium.
Finding Tax Equilibrium
As advisors, we should never lose sight
that it is the overall net investment
return that ultimately matters and
focusing solely on tax reduction could
cause investors to miss potential
investment opportunities. Taxes are
just one key factor, but they should
not drive investment decisions
without at least equal attention given
to investment returns and other broad
considerations, such as investment
objectives, risk tolerance, and income
needs. At some point, an investor
reaches his or her tax equilibrium,
which is a state where there is balance
between tax considerations and other
factors. In other words, the investor is
neither overreacting to the cost of
The Importance of a
Family Mission on Asset
Allocation Choices
Before doing anything, including
a preliminary asset allocation,
an advisor for an affluent family
should take a step back and
examine the family’s mission for
their assets. What are they trying
to accomplish in or through their
investments? Is their primary
goal to maximize cash flow? Is
it ultimately to spend down all
money or to leave a large legacy to
their children, to charitable groups,
or to both? These are highly
personal decisions but they may be
influenced by such factors as the
size or scope of their assets, and/
or the ages of their children. These
decisions may also ultimately affect
one’s tax equilibrium.
- 5 -
taxes nor ignoring them. Since
everyone’s situation is different and
their concerns vary around a range of
factors including risk, taxes, expenses,
and overall investment goals, each
investor’s point of tax equilibrium is
uniquely their own and depends
heavily on their family’s mission for
their assets.
Investors’ tax equilibriums can and
do change, though, when the tax
or business environment changes.
We believe the winds of change
are blowing. As you can see from
Tables C and D, ordinary rates are
currently 35% and capital gain
rates are 15%. As legislated, these
rates “sunset” December 31, 2010,
and return to the 2002 levels.
It is helpful to understand that by
any measure, relative to historical tax
rates, today’s marginal rates are low.
Why is this important? Given that
a natural tax increase is already
legislated and factored into the budget,
it underscores the probability that
taxes will rise in the coming years.
After all, Congress would have to
take proactive steps to change the
law to prevent this. We feel this is
unlikely. For starters, the hundreds
of billions of dollars committed to
economic rescue and stimulus
programs will make this challenging.
In addition, the unfunded liabilities
of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social
Security may make the rescue
package look like an after-thought.
Using the Congressional Budget
Office’s own figures (shown in Graph
A), these three programs may absorb
100% of tax revenues before the end
of this century if left unchanged.
Given these and other factors, we
believe taxes will rise.
Investment Strategy
Considerations in a Rising
Tax Environment
Returning to our example, it is natural
to expect Mr. Jones to ask how the
probable increase in tax rates might
impact his portfolio. When we modeled
a “sunset” 2011 tax environment, we
observed some interesting results.
Historical MaximumTax Rate on Ordinary Income
Tax year Top marginal tax rate
(percentage)
1954-63 91.00
1964-67 70.00-77.00
1968 75.25
1969 77.00
1970 71.75
1971-81 70.00
1982-86 50.00
1987 38.50
1988-90 28.00
1991-92 31.00
1993-2000 39.60
2001 39.10
2002 38.60
2003-10 35.00
TABLE C:3
Tax Increases Needed to Absorb Planned Programs
0.0
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
35.0
30.0
Tax Revenue:
As Legislated
Tax Revenue:
30 Year Historical Average
Tax Revenue:
Tax Cuts Extended
25.5%
20.9%
18.4%
Other Federal Spending
(Not Including Debt Service)
Social Security
Medicaid
Medicare
2007
2013
2019
2067
2025
2031
2061
2037
2055
2043
2049
2073
2079
2082
Federal Spending as a Percentage of GDP
0.0
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
30.0
35.0
2007201120152019202320272031203520392043204720512055205920632067207120752079
Other Federal
Including Debt
Social Security
Medicaid
Medicare
Historical MaximumTax Rate on
Long-Term Capital Gains Income
Tax year Top marginal tax rate
(percentage)
1954-67 25.00
1968 26.90
1969 27.50
1970 30.20
1971 32.50
1972-77 35.00
1978 33.80
1979-80 28.00
1981-86 20.00
1987-96 28.00
1997-2002 20.00
2003-10 15.00
TABLE D:4
GRAPH A:
Data source: Congressional Budget Office Long-Term Forecast, December 2007 and The Heritage Foundation
- 6 -
The after-tax impact of moving from
a 35% tax to a 38.6% tax reduces the
return of the 50/50 portfolio by 6.4%.
The hedge fund portfolio is less
affected, and is reduced by only 5.5%
What is happening? Observe that a
change from 35% to 38.6% is only
about a 10% change. However, when
you observe a change in the long-term
rate of 15% to 20%, this is a 33%
change. The dividend rate is even
worse as a change from 15% to 38.6%
represents a 157% increase. Although
the dividend return is just a small
component of the total stock return,
you can see how efficient assets like
equities (and the 50/50 portfolio)
will be impacted at a greater level.
Based on these and other observations,
Mr. Jones will see that in a rising
tax environment:
1.	His inefficient asset classes (hedge
funds, REITs, high-yield, etc.) will
be more attractive on a relative
basis compared to efficient assets.
2.	His efficient asset classes (stocks,
private equity) will become less
attractive on a relative basis
compared to inefficient assets.
3.	High dividend paying stocks
(value and preferred stocks) will
become less attractive on a relative
basis compared to lower or
non-dividend paying growth
stocks. For example, Stock A is a
value stock assumed to return
10% (3% through dividend and
7% through capital appreciation).
Stock B is a growth stock assumed
to return 10% all through capital
appreciation. Under current law,
the after-tax return of both stocks
would be approximately the same
assuming a holding period of one
year and a day. However, under
2011 law, the after-tax return
would be 7.4% for Stock A versus
8% Stock B.
Given the first two observations,
Mr. Jones may actually decrease his
allocation to efficient asset classes as
the after-tax benefits of them are
lessened. Given the third observation,
Mr. Jones should revisit the balance
of value and growth stocks in his
portfolio. In 2003, some investors
deliberately sought out value stocks
due to the tax benefit. If this law
reverses, those same investors may
reverse their strategy, putting downward
pricing pressure on value securities.
Lastly, the after-tax returns of his bond
portfolio need to be reconsidered
depending how market yields adjust.
If Mr. Jones owns assets with large
capital gains and he does not plan to die
with them (receiving the step-up in
basis), he should consider the pros and
cons of selling them now. For example,
let us assume Mrs. James (his sister)
owns a highly concentrated $50 million
position in zero-basis stock. She wants
to diversify this holding in the next few
years to reduce her risk, but has been
reluctant to do so because of the high
dividend of 3.5%. This dividend
yielded approximately $1,500,000
annually after federal tax. Looking
forward to a 2011 rate environment
where the dividend tax rate is now
38.6%, her dividend will pay her
around $1,075,000 after federal tax.
With nothing but the dividend tax rate
changing, Mrs. James suddenly would
be earning about two-thirds of her
previous after-tax yield.
Six Tax-Smart Strategies
You Should Consider
1.	Buy and hold. This avoids
the tax drag and transaction
costs when you sell an asset. If
you can hold onto your stock
until you die, you will also
have succeeded in completely
avoiding most income taxes
on investments. For the best
tax results, use non-dividend-
producing stock so that you
do not have to pay toll charges
along the way. But this does not
apply if you die in 2010 as the
step-up basis rule is revoked for
that one year. Normally, the tax-
basis of stock is stepped up to
its value when the owner dies.
If the stock is then sold, there
would be no capital gain tax.
2.	 Tax-loss harvesting. Any time
that you have a taxable gain,
consider harvesting a tax loss
to offset taxes on the gain. This
does not mean you should
automatically do it, rather
consider it. If you sell stock for
this reason, with the intention
of maintaining exposure, be
aware of the“wash sale”rule,
which stipulates that you
cannot buy back the same
stock within 30 days. One way
to avoid that is to use the sale’s
proceeds to buy stock in a
similar company and then buy
back the original stock after a
month passes – that is, if you
still desire it as an investment.
You should also consider using
indexes to maintain your market
exposure for 30 days.
3.	Tax-lot selling. Deciding which
lot of stocks to sell first can
make a substantial impact on
taxes. Sell high-basis stock
shares first to minimize the
realization of capital gains.
(continued)
- 7 -
Mrs. James could consider selling the
stock now even though she will pay a
significant tax on the sale. By selling
the stock now, she would save $2.5
million versus a sale at the 20% tax
rate in the future. Assume that Mrs.
James’ goal after the sale is simply to
generate an attractive after-tax yield
and to protect the principal. One
alternative for her would be to invest
the net $42,500,000 proceeds in a
diversified municipal bond portfolio
generating 3.5% in tax-free income
which would provide annual cash flow
of approximately $1,500,000. For a
tax cost of $7.5 million, Mrs. James
retained her after-tax annual income
and has less portfolio risk.5
Tax Environment Under
President Obama
While we modeled an “as legislated”
environment above, it is important
to think about how President
Obama’s policies will impact our
conclusions and how he might
change one’s tax equilibrium.
Overreacting or underreacting to
possible changes to the tax laws will
cause an investor to lose his or her tax
equilibrium. Investors must have a
view of the future that carefully
balances multiple factors so as to not
destroy their tax equilibrium. We offer
our view of the future with the
knowledge that the global recession
and response by governments across
the globe change everything.
We believe that there will be major
tax legislation early in Obama’s
presidency. Just a few months ago it
seemed all but certain that the 15%
capital gains rate would be history in
2009. It now appears that Obama
and the Democratic Congress may
leave all of the tax rates for
individuals unchanged until their
natural demise at the end of 2010. It
also appears that there could be tax
cuts for small businesses and possibly
for wealthy investors.
Regardless of the long-term capital
gains rate, many of our clients have
already realized enough long-term
capital losses in the year 2008 that
could be carried over into 2009 (for
some even 2010) to offset potential
future capital gains. These taxpayers
must adjust their thinking through a
rebalance of their tax equilibrium, as
capital gains up to their capital loss
carryovers are effectively tax-free. For
taxpayers who did not harvest excess
capital losses last year, there is still
time to harvest their unrealized losses
this year before their positions, one
hopes, rebound.
How to Give the Government
Back Your Income Tax Savings
If the goal is to leave wealth to
children or other heirs, then
consideration of the estate tax is a
fundamental component of one’s
tax thinking and achievement
of tax equilibrium. It should also
impact after-tax asset allocation
considerations. If one plans to spend
all of one’s money in his or her
lifetime or plans to leave it to charity,
then this section may not be relevant.
Today the estate tax exemption is
$2,000,000 and it will rise to $3,500,000
this year, with a tax rate of 45% on
assets above the exemption. In 2010,
there will be no estate tax and in 2011
4.	 Rebalance with new money.
Rebalancing your portfolio is an
important part of maintaining
your desired asset allocation.
Unfortunately, this can create
a taxable event. If possible,
use new cash to add to
underweight targets.
5.	 Keep the AMT and its
implications in mind. The
alternative minimum tax acts
like an entirely separate tax
code. It disallows a number
of fairly common deductions,
including personal exemptions
for dependent children, real
estate taxes, and state and local
income taxes. Long before filing
your annual income taxes, it can
be helpful to conduct a rough
run-through, first without the
AMT, and then using the AMT.
Consider the options and
which, if any, financial
transactions would help you
arrive at the most favorable tax
scenario. Interestingly, those
in the highest tax bracket may
benefit from paying the AMT
because it involves a lower
maximum tax rate (28%) than
the highest federal income tax
rate (currently 35%).
6. 	Use appreciated stock to
make charitable gifts. Rather
than making cash gifts, you
should consider making gifts
to charity using appreciated
stock from your portfolio. This
will reduce the unrealized gains
in your portfolio and reduce
future tax liability. The cash
that was to be used for
making the gift can be used to
“reimburse”your portfolio,
which will also allow you the
opportunity to rebalance.
(Tax-SmartStrategiescontinuedfrompreviouspage)
- 8 -
the law reverts to the period prior to
the Economic Growth and Tax Relief
Reconciliation Act of 2001 that provided
an estate tax exemption of $1,000,000
and a maximum estate tax rate of 55%.
Worth noting, www.barackobama.com
outlines a $3,500,000 exemption and
a 45% rate.
We do not think that the law will revert
back to the old rate and exemption, as
both political parties seem to want to end
this debate. Thus, we believe that the
estate tax law will be rewritten. The
exemption will likely range between
$3,500,000 and $5,000,000, and
possibly be indexed to inflation. The top
estate tax rates could range between 15%
and 45%. On the issue of returning to a
unified gift and estate exemptions our
crystal ball is hopeful, but cloudy. In any
event, we are advising clients to simply
assume that there will be an estate tax in
2010 and beyond.
If Mr. Jones wants to leave his money to
his children, estate taxes should impact
his tax equilibrium and resulting asset
allocation. Why? For Mr. Jones, his
$50 million estate could be worth only
$23 million to his children based on
actual 2011 estate tax rates. To
incorporate estate taxes into his tax
equilibrium, we first have to understand
his wealth goals, which we simplified as
follows: a) spend all his money, b) leave
it to charity, or c) leave the money for
future generations.
Let us assume the answer is a
combination of “b” and “c,” but Mr.
Jones is still a big spender. Furthermore,
before Mr. Jones realized there was
an estate tax he had planned to leave
$10 million to each of his three children,
with the remaining $20 million going
to charity. Recall that his three children
already have $5 million portfolios each,
and there is an IDGT for their benefit
with $10 million. Previously we suggested
viewing the total $25 million pool (the
children plus the IDGT) as a whole
with a single asset allocation placing the
inefficient assets in the IDGT.
In this situation, Mr. Jones may wish to
broaden his view of his asset allocation
and investment selection to look at the
entire family (and $75 million) as one
global unit. Mr. Jones’ allocation could be
very conservative with a municipal bond
portfolio providing more than adequate
current income, while preserving the
bulk of his estate to meet his charitable
and family gifting goals. Meanwhile, the
children and the IDGT could invest for
growth as their assets are outside the
estate. The IDGT would still contain
the least efficient asset classes so that
Mr. Jones bears the brunt of the taxes.
Approaching allocation in this way could
drive millions of dollars in additional
value to his heirs. In other words, Mr.
Jones should integrate his investment,
tax, wealth transfer, charity, and lifestyle
plans into one family strategy.
The Conclusion
Investors should be thinking about the
cost of taxes on their portfolios and
considering the impact of a rising tax
environment. Investors should strive to
achieve tax equilibrium, which strikes
a balance between tax considerations
and other economic factors. The most
successful investors will coordinate their
investment, tax, wealth transfer, charity,
and lifestyle plans into one integrated
family strategy.
- 9 -
1
The term “tax equilibrium” is a proprietary concept developed by Mark J. Blumenthal, CPA to educate and inform clients as well as tax and investment consultants.
2
BHB’s research from 1986 and Markowitz’s 1952 modern portfolio theory.
3 
Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, April 4, 2003.
4 
Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, April 4, 2003, updated by Blackman Kallick, May 2006.
5 
The economic risk from lack of diversification of a single stock position that represents the majority of an investor’s wealth is a serious risk. There are many investment
models that would incorporate the low 15% capital gain tax rate from a sale today and could model the risk and probable returns of future diversified asset class portfolios.
This written advice is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the
Internal Revenue Code.
© 2010 Robert W. Baird  Co. Incorporated. www.rwbaird.com 800-RW-BAIRD MC-29605 First use: 1/2010
About the Authors
David A. Klenke, CFA, CPA is a Vice President with Robert W. Baird  Co., headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He
holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is a CFA Charterholder, a CPA, and a
CFP®. Dave and his two partners, Ed DeFrance and Chris Didier, comprise a Private Asset Management group which
focuses on high-net-worth individuals and families, and family offices. Dave and his team specialize in serving the
wealth management needs of current and former CEOs of public and private companies. You can contact Dave at
414-298-7434 or dklenke@rwbaird.com.
Mark J. Blumenthal, CPA is a Partner and Chairman of the Family Office Services Group at the accounting and business
advisory firm Blackman Kallick in Chicago. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Private Equity/Venture Capital group
and senior real estate tax partner of the firm. Mark serves as a strategic advisor to ultra-affluent families, family
offices, private equity/venture capital funds, and mature private businesses. He advises clients on buying, selling
and investing in private businesses and real estate; the formation of family and investing limited partnerships, family
offices and private foundations; and income tax and transaction planning. Mark has been published and quoted in
numerous national publications and is a frequent conference speaker on family office operations and tax issues. You
can contact Mark at 312-980-2917 or mblumenthal@blackmankallick.com.

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Investment Strategy Considerations in a Rising Tax Environment - Dec. 2011

  • 1. Investment Strategy Considerations in a Rising Tax Environment By David A. Klenke, CFA, CPA and Mark J. Blumenthal, CPA Synopsis Sound investment strategy typically starts with a foundation in asset allocation. Technology has allowed novices and professionals alike to build allocations quite easily using assumptions about the future. We find that these assumptions, developed in a pre-tax world, are rarely adjusted for the real world, which is impacted by taxes. By adjusting the assumptions to consider taxes, an investor may construct superior portfolios leading to greater wealth potential. After considering both pre-tax and after-tax portfolio construction, investors may reach a point of “tax equilibrium.”1 This is a state wherein an investor is in balance between tax considerations and other factors; where he or she neither overreacts nor underreacts to the impact of taxes in portfolio construction and maintenance. Investors’ tax equilibriums should change when the tax environment changes. In 2003, we saw ordinary rates lowered from 38.6% to 35% and capital gain rates lowered from 20% to 15%. As legislated, these rates “sunset” December 31, 2010, and move back to the prior rates. Often forgotten in the tax discussion is the impact of estate taxes. For the average American, this is appropriate. However, for higher-net-worth families, the estate tax must be considered along with income taxes if the goal is to maximize wealth for future generations. The purpose of this paper is to review the impact of income taxes on portfolio construction; consider how a rising income tax rate environment may affect investment strategy; and identify how portfolios should be adjusted further for the impact of estate taxes. This paper is written to high-net-worth individuals and their advisors. Critical Observations 1. Taxes take a significant toll on a portfolio’s investment returns. 2. Adjusting asset allocation modeling assumptions for taxes can result in greater wealth. 3. Investors must understand the concept of “tax equilibrium,” a point at which one balances tax considerations and other economic factors relative to decisions about their portfolio. 4. Investors should reconsider the cost of taxes on their portfolio in anticipation of a rising tax environment. 5. Estate taxes can be an even more important consideration than income taxes if the goal is to maximize wealth for future generations.
  • 2. - 2 - Shifting Mindsets to an After-Tax World In 1986, a study by Gary Brinson, Randolph Hood, and Gilbert Beebower (BHB) solidified asset allocation as the building block of portfolio construction. In its most simplistic terms, asset allocation is the mix of cash, bonds, stocks and other investments. Given today’s technology, it is easy for the novice to the professional to use these models to construct “optimal allocations,” or those that maximize returns for a given level of risk. It is important to note that the two main research papers that much of asset allocation theory is based upon did not consider taxes.2 Even today, investment research and products are focused on the large institutions and pension funds that pay no tax. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the models created to construct asset allocations rarely contemplate taxes. Since high-net-worth individuals do pay tax, we believe by adjusting the assumptions in these models to consider taxes, an investor may construct superior portfolios leading to greater wealth accumulation. To illustrate this point, let us discuss Mr. Jones, a hypothetical investor with a $50 million portfolio. Mr. Jones calls and states, “I continue to hear about how large endowment funds like Harvard’s have sizeable allocations, 35% to 40%, to hedge funds. Should my hedge fund allocation be this large as well?” A response to Mr. Jones might sound something like this: “Having some amount of hedge fund exposure could be appropriate. However, it is important to recognize that these returns are less tax-efficient to you than to Harvard.” To understand this, we need to make some assumptions. All hedge funds are not created equal. Therefore, let’s assume the modeled pre-tax returns of aggressive and conservative hedge funds approximate the returns of a portfolio split 50% to equities and 50% to fixed income. This portfolio, referred to as “50/50,” is illustrated in Table A and compared to a 100% hedge fund portfolio. Asset Allocation: Theory and Important Assumptions Asset allocation is the way in which an investor weights diverse investments such as cash, bonds, stocks, and other investments. To determine the mix of these investments, computer-driven mean-variance optimizers are used. Optimizers need only three simple assumptions per asset class – return, risk as measured by standard deviation, and correlation. What results is an efficient mix of portfolios that theoretically achieves the highest return for a given level of risk. In practice, optimizers can create imprudent portfolios unless constrained because the algorithm is very sensitive to the three inputs above. While the three inputs themselves are conceptually easy to understand, achieving an accurate forecast becomes a major challenge. Therefore, the application of optimizers is under constant debate. Our paper assumes an appropriate approach has been taken in both the derivation of the assumptions and application of the resulting portfolios. The assumptions that we cite in Tables A and B are not a forecast of the future. These are assumptions we believe to be reasonable in nature based on our experience, to facilitate this example. Results and conclusions can vary depending on assumptions. Asset Allocation Model: Pre-Tax Assumptions 50/50 Hedge Fund Difference Large Cap Core 25 0 Small Cap Core 10 0 International Equity 15 0 Taxable Bonds 50 0 Hedge Funds 0 100 Modeled Return 7.17% 7.50% -0.33% TABLE A:
  • 3. - 3 - Note that the hedge fund portfolio has a slight return edge, pre-tax, of 33 bps. Unlike Harvard, however, Mr. Jones pays income taxes. It is important, therefore, that we adjust the model’s assumptions for each of these asset classes to account for that. As background, we think of asset classes being either tax-efficient or tax-inefficient. Some examples of tax-efficient asset classes would be stocks and private equity. Why are these efficient? Their returns come in the form of capital appreciation or dividend income, which is taxed at 15%. To the extent the capital appreciation is not realized, this gain is deferred into the future, creating further benefit. Municipal bond returns are also efficient as they may escape federal tax altogether. Contrast this with an inefficient return such as that of the hedge fund. The vast majority of the return of a hedge fund is ordinary income or short-term gain in nature and, therefore, taxed at 35%. When you adjust allocation models for income taxes, they yield different results as shown in Table B. Our model’s change is now 111 bps in favor of the 50/50 portfolio. Assuming Mr. Jones decreases his hedge fund allocation by 20% because he is now “tax aware,” we have helped him improve his after-tax return by 22 bps (20% x 111 bps). Assuming Mr. Jones has a $50 million portfolio, that improvement creates $110,000 annually. By adjusting the assumptions to consider taxes, Mr. Jones has constructed a superior portfolio leading to greater wealth. Of course, Mr. Jones must also consider the resulting risk of the portfolio. Depending on risk assumptions, the higher return may or may not come at a price. Risk in allocation models is traditionally measured by standard deviation, or variability in return. Since risk is defined as a function of return, it is worth noting that the less efficient a return, the lower its after-tax risk. In other words, while the government may get a larger percentage of the profits on inefficient returns, they also share a greater percentage of the loss with the investor. While hedge funds were the focus of Mr. Jones, inefficient investments include anything where the primary return component is taxed as ordinary income. Other examples include REITs (as their dividends are not considered “qualified” dividends) and high-yield bonds. The bottom line: when using allocation models, shifting one’s mindset from gross returns to after-tax returns should yield superior portfolios and more wealth. Shifting Locations to Achieve Higher Returns Generally, one way to have your tax- inefficient “cake and eat it too” would be to find structures in which investors can place ordinary income producing assets to have that income shielded. These structures may include IRAs or 401(k) plans. As an example, Mr. Jones may Asset Allocation Model: Post-Tax Assumptions 50/50 Hedge Fund Difference Large Cap Core 25 0 Small Cap Core 10 0 International Equity 15 0 Taxable Bonds 50 0 Hedge Funds 0 100 Modeled Return 5.99% 4.88% 1.11% TABLE B:
  • 4. - 4 - have a $5 million IRA in his $50 million portfolio. He may want to consider purchasing some of his hedge funds or high-yield taxable bonds inside his IRA, which would defer current taxation until distributions are taken. Since distributions would be ordinary in nature anyway, Mr. Jones is no worse off from a tax standpoint and has achieved a higher return by allowing a higher-returning asset to compound in the IRA. Note that when hedge funds are purchased inside an IRA, a special tax issue called “unrelated business taxable income” (UBTI) must be considered. Another example of shifting location to achieve a higher return can arise when an intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) is involved and the children are the beneficiaries. An IDGT is a grantor trust with a purposeful flaw that causes the grantor to continue to pay the income taxes even though these trusts can be structured so that the assets are not in the grantor’s estate. Let us assume Mr. Jones set up an IDGT years ago for the benefit of his children and it is now valued at $10 million. (In this example, we are ignoring the gift tax issues that would have been considered when these trusts were formed.) In addition, his three children have portfolios of $5 million each. Mr. Jones is working with an investment advisor to manage the IDGT and his children’s portfolio. They appropriately decide to view the total $25 million pool as a whole with a single asset allocation. To the extent that there will be inefficient asset classes included in the allocation (hedge funds, REITs, high-yield, etc.), they fill up the IDGT with these investments first. Why? If the children invest in them, they pay the tax with dollars out of their estate. However, if the IDGT holds the assets, Mr. Jones pays the tax. Given that he has an estate tax problem and his children will most likely inherit only roughly half of his net estate (to simplify we assume a 50% estate tax rate), his dollars should be viewed like half dollars. Therefore, if the trust yields a 10% return ($1 million) that was subject to the 35% rate, Mr. Jones pays $350,000. To the family, however, the ultimate economic impact is approximately half that. Standing back for a second, we observe Mr. Jones has improved his portfolio by both focusing on after-tax returns and paying attention to asset location. With these two mind shifts, Mr. Jones may now have achieved his tax equilibrium. Finding Tax Equilibrium As advisors, we should never lose sight that it is the overall net investment return that ultimately matters and focusing solely on tax reduction could cause investors to miss potential investment opportunities. Taxes are just one key factor, but they should not drive investment decisions without at least equal attention given to investment returns and other broad considerations, such as investment objectives, risk tolerance, and income needs. At some point, an investor reaches his or her tax equilibrium, which is a state where there is balance between tax considerations and other factors. In other words, the investor is neither overreacting to the cost of The Importance of a Family Mission on Asset Allocation Choices Before doing anything, including a preliminary asset allocation, an advisor for an affluent family should take a step back and examine the family’s mission for their assets. What are they trying to accomplish in or through their investments? Is their primary goal to maximize cash flow? Is it ultimately to spend down all money or to leave a large legacy to their children, to charitable groups, or to both? These are highly personal decisions but they may be influenced by such factors as the size or scope of their assets, and/ or the ages of their children. These decisions may also ultimately affect one’s tax equilibrium.
  • 5. - 5 - taxes nor ignoring them. Since everyone’s situation is different and their concerns vary around a range of factors including risk, taxes, expenses, and overall investment goals, each investor’s point of tax equilibrium is uniquely their own and depends heavily on their family’s mission for their assets. Investors’ tax equilibriums can and do change, though, when the tax or business environment changes. We believe the winds of change are blowing. As you can see from Tables C and D, ordinary rates are currently 35% and capital gain rates are 15%. As legislated, these rates “sunset” December 31, 2010, and return to the 2002 levels. It is helpful to understand that by any measure, relative to historical tax rates, today’s marginal rates are low. Why is this important? Given that a natural tax increase is already legislated and factored into the budget, it underscores the probability that taxes will rise in the coming years. After all, Congress would have to take proactive steps to change the law to prevent this. We feel this is unlikely. For starters, the hundreds of billions of dollars committed to economic rescue and stimulus programs will make this challenging. In addition, the unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security may make the rescue package look like an after-thought. Using the Congressional Budget Office’s own figures (shown in Graph A), these three programs may absorb 100% of tax revenues before the end of this century if left unchanged. Given these and other factors, we believe taxes will rise. Investment Strategy Considerations in a Rising Tax Environment Returning to our example, it is natural to expect Mr. Jones to ask how the probable increase in tax rates might impact his portfolio. When we modeled a “sunset” 2011 tax environment, we observed some interesting results. Historical MaximumTax Rate on Ordinary Income Tax year Top marginal tax rate (percentage) 1954-63 91.00 1964-67 70.00-77.00 1968 75.25 1969 77.00 1970 71.75 1971-81 70.00 1982-86 50.00 1987 38.50 1988-90 28.00 1991-92 31.00 1993-2000 39.60 2001 39.10 2002 38.60 2003-10 35.00 TABLE C:3 Tax Increases Needed to Absorb Planned Programs 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 35.0 30.0 Tax Revenue: As Legislated Tax Revenue: 30 Year Historical Average Tax Revenue: Tax Cuts Extended 25.5% 20.9% 18.4% Other Federal Spending (Not Including Debt Service) Social Security Medicaid Medicare 2007 2013 2019 2067 2025 2031 2061 2037 2055 2043 2049 2073 2079 2082 Federal Spending as a Percentage of GDP 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0 2007201120152019202320272031203520392043204720512055205920632067207120752079 Other Federal Including Debt Social Security Medicaid Medicare Historical MaximumTax Rate on Long-Term Capital Gains Income Tax year Top marginal tax rate (percentage) 1954-67 25.00 1968 26.90 1969 27.50 1970 30.20 1971 32.50 1972-77 35.00 1978 33.80 1979-80 28.00 1981-86 20.00 1987-96 28.00 1997-2002 20.00 2003-10 15.00 TABLE D:4 GRAPH A: Data source: Congressional Budget Office Long-Term Forecast, December 2007 and The Heritage Foundation
  • 6. - 6 - The after-tax impact of moving from a 35% tax to a 38.6% tax reduces the return of the 50/50 portfolio by 6.4%. The hedge fund portfolio is less affected, and is reduced by only 5.5% What is happening? Observe that a change from 35% to 38.6% is only about a 10% change. However, when you observe a change in the long-term rate of 15% to 20%, this is a 33% change. The dividend rate is even worse as a change from 15% to 38.6% represents a 157% increase. Although the dividend return is just a small component of the total stock return, you can see how efficient assets like equities (and the 50/50 portfolio) will be impacted at a greater level. Based on these and other observations, Mr. Jones will see that in a rising tax environment: 1. His inefficient asset classes (hedge funds, REITs, high-yield, etc.) will be more attractive on a relative basis compared to efficient assets. 2. His efficient asset classes (stocks, private equity) will become less attractive on a relative basis compared to inefficient assets. 3. High dividend paying stocks (value and preferred stocks) will become less attractive on a relative basis compared to lower or non-dividend paying growth stocks. For example, Stock A is a value stock assumed to return 10% (3% through dividend and 7% through capital appreciation). Stock B is a growth stock assumed to return 10% all through capital appreciation. Under current law, the after-tax return of both stocks would be approximately the same assuming a holding period of one year and a day. However, under 2011 law, the after-tax return would be 7.4% for Stock A versus 8% Stock B. Given the first two observations, Mr. Jones may actually decrease his allocation to efficient asset classes as the after-tax benefits of them are lessened. Given the third observation, Mr. Jones should revisit the balance of value and growth stocks in his portfolio. In 2003, some investors deliberately sought out value stocks due to the tax benefit. If this law reverses, those same investors may reverse their strategy, putting downward pricing pressure on value securities. Lastly, the after-tax returns of his bond portfolio need to be reconsidered depending how market yields adjust. If Mr. Jones owns assets with large capital gains and he does not plan to die with them (receiving the step-up in basis), he should consider the pros and cons of selling them now. For example, let us assume Mrs. James (his sister) owns a highly concentrated $50 million position in zero-basis stock. She wants to diversify this holding in the next few years to reduce her risk, but has been reluctant to do so because of the high dividend of 3.5%. This dividend yielded approximately $1,500,000 annually after federal tax. Looking forward to a 2011 rate environment where the dividend tax rate is now 38.6%, her dividend will pay her around $1,075,000 after federal tax. With nothing but the dividend tax rate changing, Mrs. James suddenly would be earning about two-thirds of her previous after-tax yield. Six Tax-Smart Strategies You Should Consider 1. Buy and hold. This avoids the tax drag and transaction costs when you sell an asset. If you can hold onto your stock until you die, you will also have succeeded in completely avoiding most income taxes on investments. For the best tax results, use non-dividend- producing stock so that you do not have to pay toll charges along the way. But this does not apply if you die in 2010 as the step-up basis rule is revoked for that one year. Normally, the tax- basis of stock is stepped up to its value when the owner dies. If the stock is then sold, there would be no capital gain tax. 2. Tax-loss harvesting. Any time that you have a taxable gain, consider harvesting a tax loss to offset taxes on the gain. This does not mean you should automatically do it, rather consider it. If you sell stock for this reason, with the intention of maintaining exposure, be aware of the“wash sale”rule, which stipulates that you cannot buy back the same stock within 30 days. One way to avoid that is to use the sale’s proceeds to buy stock in a similar company and then buy back the original stock after a month passes – that is, if you still desire it as an investment. You should also consider using indexes to maintain your market exposure for 30 days. 3. Tax-lot selling. Deciding which lot of stocks to sell first can make a substantial impact on taxes. Sell high-basis stock shares first to minimize the realization of capital gains. (continued)
  • 7. - 7 - Mrs. James could consider selling the stock now even though she will pay a significant tax on the sale. By selling the stock now, she would save $2.5 million versus a sale at the 20% tax rate in the future. Assume that Mrs. James’ goal after the sale is simply to generate an attractive after-tax yield and to protect the principal. One alternative for her would be to invest the net $42,500,000 proceeds in a diversified municipal bond portfolio generating 3.5% in tax-free income which would provide annual cash flow of approximately $1,500,000. For a tax cost of $7.5 million, Mrs. James retained her after-tax annual income and has less portfolio risk.5 Tax Environment Under President Obama While we modeled an “as legislated” environment above, it is important to think about how President Obama’s policies will impact our conclusions and how he might change one’s tax equilibrium. Overreacting or underreacting to possible changes to the tax laws will cause an investor to lose his or her tax equilibrium. Investors must have a view of the future that carefully balances multiple factors so as to not destroy their tax equilibrium. We offer our view of the future with the knowledge that the global recession and response by governments across the globe change everything. We believe that there will be major tax legislation early in Obama’s presidency. Just a few months ago it seemed all but certain that the 15% capital gains rate would be history in 2009. It now appears that Obama and the Democratic Congress may leave all of the tax rates for individuals unchanged until their natural demise at the end of 2010. It also appears that there could be tax cuts for small businesses and possibly for wealthy investors. Regardless of the long-term capital gains rate, many of our clients have already realized enough long-term capital losses in the year 2008 that could be carried over into 2009 (for some even 2010) to offset potential future capital gains. These taxpayers must adjust their thinking through a rebalance of their tax equilibrium, as capital gains up to their capital loss carryovers are effectively tax-free. For taxpayers who did not harvest excess capital losses last year, there is still time to harvest their unrealized losses this year before their positions, one hopes, rebound. How to Give the Government Back Your Income Tax Savings If the goal is to leave wealth to children or other heirs, then consideration of the estate tax is a fundamental component of one’s tax thinking and achievement of tax equilibrium. It should also impact after-tax asset allocation considerations. If one plans to spend all of one’s money in his or her lifetime or plans to leave it to charity, then this section may not be relevant. Today the estate tax exemption is $2,000,000 and it will rise to $3,500,000 this year, with a tax rate of 45% on assets above the exemption. In 2010, there will be no estate tax and in 2011 4. Rebalance with new money. Rebalancing your portfolio is an important part of maintaining your desired asset allocation. Unfortunately, this can create a taxable event. If possible, use new cash to add to underweight targets. 5. Keep the AMT and its implications in mind. The alternative minimum tax acts like an entirely separate tax code. It disallows a number of fairly common deductions, including personal exemptions for dependent children, real estate taxes, and state and local income taxes. Long before filing your annual income taxes, it can be helpful to conduct a rough run-through, first without the AMT, and then using the AMT. Consider the options and which, if any, financial transactions would help you arrive at the most favorable tax scenario. Interestingly, those in the highest tax bracket may benefit from paying the AMT because it involves a lower maximum tax rate (28%) than the highest federal income tax rate (currently 35%). 6. Use appreciated stock to make charitable gifts. Rather than making cash gifts, you should consider making gifts to charity using appreciated stock from your portfolio. This will reduce the unrealized gains in your portfolio and reduce future tax liability. The cash that was to be used for making the gift can be used to “reimburse”your portfolio, which will also allow you the opportunity to rebalance. (Tax-SmartStrategiescontinuedfrompreviouspage)
  • 8. - 8 - the law reverts to the period prior to the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 that provided an estate tax exemption of $1,000,000 and a maximum estate tax rate of 55%. Worth noting, www.barackobama.com outlines a $3,500,000 exemption and a 45% rate. We do not think that the law will revert back to the old rate and exemption, as both political parties seem to want to end this debate. Thus, we believe that the estate tax law will be rewritten. The exemption will likely range between $3,500,000 and $5,000,000, and possibly be indexed to inflation. The top estate tax rates could range between 15% and 45%. On the issue of returning to a unified gift and estate exemptions our crystal ball is hopeful, but cloudy. In any event, we are advising clients to simply assume that there will be an estate tax in 2010 and beyond. If Mr. Jones wants to leave his money to his children, estate taxes should impact his tax equilibrium and resulting asset allocation. Why? For Mr. Jones, his $50 million estate could be worth only $23 million to his children based on actual 2011 estate tax rates. To incorporate estate taxes into his tax equilibrium, we first have to understand his wealth goals, which we simplified as follows: a) spend all his money, b) leave it to charity, or c) leave the money for future generations. Let us assume the answer is a combination of “b” and “c,” but Mr. Jones is still a big spender. Furthermore, before Mr. Jones realized there was an estate tax he had planned to leave $10 million to each of his three children, with the remaining $20 million going to charity. Recall that his three children already have $5 million portfolios each, and there is an IDGT for their benefit with $10 million. Previously we suggested viewing the total $25 million pool (the children plus the IDGT) as a whole with a single asset allocation placing the inefficient assets in the IDGT. In this situation, Mr. Jones may wish to broaden his view of his asset allocation and investment selection to look at the entire family (and $75 million) as one global unit. Mr. Jones’ allocation could be very conservative with a municipal bond portfolio providing more than adequate current income, while preserving the bulk of his estate to meet his charitable and family gifting goals. Meanwhile, the children and the IDGT could invest for growth as their assets are outside the estate. The IDGT would still contain the least efficient asset classes so that Mr. Jones bears the brunt of the taxes. Approaching allocation in this way could drive millions of dollars in additional value to his heirs. In other words, Mr. Jones should integrate his investment, tax, wealth transfer, charity, and lifestyle plans into one family strategy. The Conclusion Investors should be thinking about the cost of taxes on their portfolios and considering the impact of a rising tax environment. Investors should strive to achieve tax equilibrium, which strikes a balance between tax considerations and other economic factors. The most successful investors will coordinate their investment, tax, wealth transfer, charity, and lifestyle plans into one integrated family strategy.
  • 9. - 9 - 1 The term “tax equilibrium” is a proprietary concept developed by Mark J. Blumenthal, CPA to educate and inform clients as well as tax and investment consultants. 2 BHB’s research from 1986 and Markowitz’s 1952 modern portfolio theory. 3 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, April 4, 2003. 4 Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, April 4, 2003, updated by Blackman Kallick, May 2006. 5 The economic risk from lack of diversification of a single stock position that represents the majority of an investor’s wealth is a serious risk. There are many investment models that would incorporate the low 15% capital gain tax rate from a sale today and could model the risk and probable returns of future diversified asset class portfolios. This written advice is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. © 2010 Robert W. Baird Co. Incorporated. www.rwbaird.com 800-RW-BAIRD MC-29605 First use: 1/2010 About the Authors David A. Klenke, CFA, CPA is a Vice President with Robert W. Baird Co., headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and is a CFA Charterholder, a CPA, and a CFP®. Dave and his two partners, Ed DeFrance and Chris Didier, comprise a Private Asset Management group which focuses on high-net-worth individuals and families, and family offices. Dave and his team specialize in serving the wealth management needs of current and former CEOs of public and private companies. You can contact Dave at 414-298-7434 or dklenke@rwbaird.com. Mark J. Blumenthal, CPA is a Partner and Chairman of the Family Office Services Group at the accounting and business advisory firm Blackman Kallick in Chicago. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Private Equity/Venture Capital group and senior real estate tax partner of the firm. Mark serves as a strategic advisor to ultra-affluent families, family offices, private equity/venture capital funds, and mature private businesses. He advises clients on buying, selling and investing in private businesses and real estate; the formation of family and investing limited partnerships, family offices and private foundations; and income tax and transaction planning. Mark has been published and quoted in numerous national publications and is a frequent conference speaker on family office operations and tax issues. You can contact Mark at 312-980-2917 or mblumenthal@blackmankallick.com.