Where Research Meets Your Financial Plan

Your advisor can utilize a tax-sensitive planning process to analyze existing accounts, income, tax implications and current holdings. Your portfolio can be personalized across investments, values and a variety of types of risk.

Risk can mean something different to everyone, however. Some people fear market declines and portfolio losses. Some don’t want to see their portfolio underperform an index. And others fear not having immediate access to the entirety of their portfolio.

That’s why your preferences matter—your advisor can build a portfolio that considers your perspectives for these types of behavioral risks. After all, there’s no sense taking risks when you don’t need to.

Existing Accounts

Design a plan optimized around your existing account types including taxable, tax-deferred, tax-free, annuity, bank, 401k, college savings, executive compensation and RSUs/stock options.

Existing Holdings

If you have concentrated stock, low tax-basis positions or other holdings that cannot or should not be sold, a plan can be developed that complements those existing assets.

Income Sources

For those approaching retirement, it’s important to design a portfolio to account for income from other sources such as pension, rental property and other income-producing assets.


Financial research teaches that tilting to companies with certain characteristics such as size, style and quality may enhance returns. For those comfortable with a stock portfolio that performs differently from headline indexes, such as the S&P 500, it can be helpful to increase the amount invested in these companies to improve your potential for higher returns.


Alternatives may add another source of risk and return to a portfolio.


Clients can incorporate faith-based views or Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concepts into their portfolios. An advisor can help you explore the options and investment trade-offs of expressing your values in your portfolio.

Investment Type

Whether using mutual funds, ETFs or separately managed accounts (SMAs), different investment vehicles can impact your taxes and strategy. An advisor can help you figure out which approach is most appropriate for your circumstances.

Manage Tomorrow’s Taxes Today

Different investments have different tax treatments, and withdrawals from different investment accounts are taxed differently as well. By putting tax inefficient investments, such as bonds and alternatives, into more tax-efficient accounts, such as an IRA, your tax burden can potentially be reduced. This is called Asset Location.

Often overlooked, this strategy helps determines which assets should be held in tax-advantaged vs. taxable accounts to help maximize the after-tax returns of your whole portfolio. Taxes are inevitable, but there’s no sense paying more than your fair share.

  • Stocks
    Stocks tend to lose less money to taxes than other asset classes. Although different styles, regions and vehicles can be taxed differently, dividends and capital gains from the sale of stocks typically have the most favorable tax treatment.
  • Bonds
    High-quality bonds make frequent interest payments. Although this can create a reliable stream of income, with the exception of municipal bonds, most bond payments are taxed as ordinary income.
  • Alternatives
    Although a potential source of return in the portfolio, alternatives tend to include distributions that are at least partially taxed at ordinary income rates.

Taxes Matter. Don’t Overpay.

Traditional Placement

Traditional asset location uses the same single allocation across all accounts.

Strategic Asset Placement

Strategic asset location is a tax-aware investment approach that better aligns your investments within your accounts. Although each individual account will have different performance with this strategy, this approach can improve the after-tax returns for your whole portfolio. Find out how we score asset classes.

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$500,000 IRA Account

Money in an IRA has not been taxed yet but withdrawals will add to your income taxes. Therefore, income-producing assets, such as bonds and alternatives, are best to hold in tax-deferred IRA accounts for better current-year income control and more steady income for Required Minimum Distributions.

$200,000 Roth Account

Money in a Roth has already been taxed and withdrawals will not generally impact your current year taxes. Roth accounts are a great way to hold both high tax investments, such as bonds and alternatives, or high growth assets, such as stocks.

$300,000 Taxable Account

Stocks and other tax-favorable assets are typically held in a taxable account since they are less likely to produce income and could benefit from a step-up at passing.

How an Asset Location Plan Can Make a Meaningful Difference In Your Taxes

To illustrate the power of asset location, a hypothetical $1 million portfolio allocated strategically, with $500,000 invested in stocks and $500,000 invested in bonds, would provide an additional $46,000 in value (after-tax) after 10 years compared to a portfolio that uses the same allocation across all accounts.

One Portfolio for Your Life

Your advisor can work to create an investment plan to fit your long-term needs and risk profile, structure your portfolio along the dimensions of expected return and use the Evidence-Driven Investing™ methodology backed by over 70 years of peer-reviewed financial research and market studies.

By personalizing your plan, they can also expand your potential benefits, including minimizing your tax burden. To reduce the amount of wealth eroded by taxes over your lifetime, your advisor can recommend and implement an overarching tax plan tailored to your individual investing goals.

Ready to find your portfolio?

Contact your advisor to take the next step, and start your journey using financial research, not guesswork.

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