A New Year is Here! Are Your Clients Ready?

The turkeys have been eaten, lights have been packed away, and New Year’s resolutions are already lagging.

But even though the holidays are over, all is not lost. We have a whole year of possibilities to look forward to—and your clients want to be sure that their financial goals are still within reach.

We spoke with some of Orion’s advisor clients to get their take on what’s important to their clients as one calendar year turns over to the next. Here are some of their top recommendations.

Get a Head Start on Taxes

A common refrain among advisors is that for many clients, getting organized can be one of the harder tasks. All the same, it’s one of the most critical—especially when it comes to getting ready for taxes.

“What I tell my clients is that they have an opportunity to get their financial house in order and prepare for the tax season that’s coming up,” said Manish Khatta, President of Potomac Fund Management.

One way that clients can get their financial house in order, according to Blake Street, Founding Partner and CIO of Warren Street Wealth Advisors, is to see how taxes and investments may play off each other.

Street said that funding strategies for various employer-provided tax-advantaged savings vehicles should be reviewed, and this time is also a great opportunity to revisit insurance coverages for health, disability, and life.

On the Orion platform, all advisors have the ability to use the Eclipse trading and rebalancing engine to help them ensure that they’re helping clients save the most on taxes. With automated alerts for tax-loss harvesting opportunities and the ability to rebalance on a household-level, tax season can be a simple season.

Set Up Clients to Stay on Track for RMDs

The end of the year is an ideal time to ensure a client satisfied all their Required Minimum Distributions for the year. However, the start of the next is a new opportunity to verify that every client who needs a Systematic Withdrawal Plan has it and is comfortable with the amount that they’ll need to take out of their accounts in that calendar year.

Khatta’s team focuses on proactively monitoring client accounts for specific data in mid-November.

For clients who have to meet a specific dollar amount for required minimum distributions, Potomac does the work needed to double-check their accounts to ensure that they’re on track.

Another advisor, Chris Horvath of Strategic Planning Group, Inc., echoed Khatta’s thoughts on the need to keep RMD amounts front and center for clients who need them.

“Checking up on RMD amounts is especially important for inherited IRA accounts, where there can be a little more manual work involved since the custodian doesn’t calculate the RMD for you automatically like they do on traditional or rollover IRAs,” Horvath said.

Want a simple way to track RMDs? The Orion RMD app is purpose-built to allow advisors a simple way to monitor that all accounts that require RMDs have been satisfied.

Max Those Contribution Limits

But the one piece of advice that comes through the loudest from every advisor we spoke to was the need for clients to contribute as much as possible to their qualified accounts every year.

Khatta recommends that his clients review their employer 401(k) accounts and all other retirement accounts available at their income level to see if they can max out contributions for each before their deadlines.

Street said his firm looks for any room that their clients might have to max fund retirement vehicles such as 401ks, IRAs, or any other available vehicle.

With the Orion Connect portfolio accounting platform, every advisor on the platform can set up data queries to review contributions during a custom time period across all client accounts for a quick review of how each client stands before contribution deadlines.

In addition to data queries, advisors can also utilize the all-new Report Builder 3.0 app to build unique reports and quickly view account activity, customize portfolio reviews, and much more. Reserve your spot in our next Report Builder webinar to see how you can use our reporting suite to speed up your review process.

Ready to make good on your firm’s resolution to grow with efficient operations, scalable client experience solutions, and powerful integrations? Contact us today to see how your firm can benefit from Orion’s solutions.