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Above and Beyond 'Typical' Wealth Management

Mar 09, 2021 09:59AM ● By Med Magazine

Tax time can be a stressful and complicated time for people with highly diversified financial portfolios. The greater variety of financial interests a person has - from owning an interest in a medical practice, family business, vacation home, rental property, farmland, stocks, art, gold, and more - the more complex things can be. 

But Gary Popkes, a Certified Financial Planner® and Wealth Advisor at Frontier Bank, says Frontier's Wealth Management and Trust Department can make this tricky time of year, as well as the rest of the year and beyond, much, much simpler. 

"Most wealth management professionals deal with typical assets such as stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), etc.," says Popkes. "Due to the fact we are a trust department, and a full fiduciary, we are able to serve clients not only with these typical types of assets, but also many of the non-traditional types of assets."

This includes assets such as farmland, real estate, houses, vacation homes, rental properties, closely held stock, precious metals, private placement offerings, LLC interests, and more. 

"A person can see all of their stocks and bonds, as well as rents coming in from their rental properties, all on one statement," says Popkes. "It really simplifies things for people who are invested in a variety of different types of assets."

It can also make things easier for people who own stock in a family business. Because the business is not publicly traded, a traditional investment firm may not be able to custody the asset. Frontier's trust department can securely hold the stock and collect the dividends, and list it among the stockholder's assets. 

"Let’s say their CPA states their closely-held stock was worth $20 last year and this year it's worth $35," says Popkes. "We can also include that in our performance reporting. So not only do they get performance updates on traditional publicly held stock, but also performance updates on their closely-held stock."

And convenience and organization are not the only advantages to consolidating the management of diverse assets. 

"It is also about security," says Popkes. "Most individuals don't have the high level of security that we provide." Frontier's trust accounting software securely tracks the whole gamut of investments and associated transactions, alleviating tax time headaches for the investor and their CPA.

Having everything in one place can also make things simpler during major life changes, such as retirement or a death in the family.  

"A scenario we often see is the husband may keep track of where the various assets are held in his head," says Popkes. "Then something happens to him and the spouse is trying to search for everything and gather it all together. If a person can do this while they are both together, it makes it much easier for the surviving spouse later."

Frontier can even manage and hold custody of retirement accounts like IRAs, SEP IRAs, 401(k) and 403(b) accounts.

"Many of our clients have their investment accounts and retirement accounts with us," says Popkes. "If they want to take the next step, we work with their attorney to help them set up a family trust and they can move farmland, vacation homes, etc., into their family trust."

If a client dies or becomes incapacitated, Frontier can ensure continuity for the family by continuing to act as trustee, managing assets, paying bills, and distributing income for as long as needed. Popkes says a growing number of clients choose to have Frontier manage the majority if not all of their assets. 

"When a person needs an investment organization with the experience and background to track all of their outside investments, they can offload it to us for a very reasonable fee, simplify their reporting, and save a lot of time," says Popkes. "It really makes this time of year easier for people. If we handle the day-to-day management and paperwork, we can hand it over to the CPA and save people a lot of running around."